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Substance Use a Growing Problem Among Anesthesiology Residents — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
December 4, 2013

Substance Use a Growing Problem Among Anesthesiology Residents

By Kelly Young

Substance use disorder among anesthesiology residents has increased over the years while relapse rates have not improved, according to a JAMA study.

Using records from the American Board of Anesthesiology, researchers assessed substance use among residents who began primary training in anesthesiology from 1975 to 2009.

During this time, 0.86% of residents had confirmed substance use disorder. The highest incidence rates occurred from 2003 onward (2.87 per 1000 resident-years). Among those with a known substance use disorder, 11% died because of it. Intravenous opioids were the most commonly abused substances. Relapse rates were largely unchanged during the study period.

The authors conclude: "Despite the considerable attention paid to this issue, there is no evidence that the incidence and outcomes of [substance use disorder] among these physicians are improving over time."

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