May 22, 2020

Prescription Drug Use Among Nurses

Dr. Charles Smith, addictionologist at Recovery First Treatment Center, penned an op-ed in Fierce Healthcare on the challenges of the pandemic and the potential mental health struggles of the health workers keeping the rest of us healthy.

“These heroes are among the most at risk for issues like PTSD, substance abuse and even suicide,” said Dr. Smith. “Faced with long exhausting work hours, the constant risk to their own health and that of their family, feelings of helplessness when they can’t save patients’ lives despite every effort, death on a scale that many have never seen before, and the pressure of living up to being called a hero when the odds are stacked against them, is all unbelievably overwhelming.”

In light of this pressure, Dr. Smith offers a number of tips for front-line workers to cope and avoid long-term trauma. They include:

  • Be aware of your own mental wellbeing
  • Turn off the news
  • Don’t let social distancing become social isolation
  • Don’t get sucked into substance use

All of Dr. Smith’s tips for coping can be found at Fierce Healthcare.