Being a pharmacist is a stressful yet incredibly important profession. Pharmacists are responsible for the lives of thousands of people throughout their career, and one minor mistake can have immense consequences. Having that much responsibility and so little of a margin of error can also be a lot to handle.
Coping Mechanisms & Available Resources
When faced with overwhelming pressure, it’s natural for anyone to turn to various coping mechanisms to help them attempt to handle stress. Unfortunately, drug and alcohol are often turned to for relief, and overusing either of these can lead to substance abuse. Pharmacists, like anyone, can find themselves over medicating and struggling with a burgeoning addiction problem. Alcoholism is a difficult battle to fight but it isn’t impossible, and it’s not a battle that has to be be fought alone.
In response to the growing substance abuse epidemic, pharmacy professionals have developed Pharmacists Recovery Networks or PRNs. PRNs are networks that were created to help pharmacists struggling with drug or alcohol addiction get the treatment they need, and navigate the stresses of substance abuse recovery and prevention.
Obstacles to Treatment
Those who’ve tackled substance abuse often report shame and fear as being the primary obstacles that initially stopped them from seeking help and treatment. Many pharmaceutical professionals fear that coming forward and voluntarily admitting they have a problem will cause them to face repercussions from their employers. This fear isn’t unfounded, but it isn’t the whole story either.
Coming forward and admitting you’re struggling with alcoholism or drug abuse isn’t easy, it takes a lot of fortitude and a strong will to get better. The courage to seek help is also a sign of character, and showing that strength of character can go a long way to helping a pharmacist retain their license.
How to Keep Your license & Continue Practicing
Voluntarily admitting your abuse of substances is the best way to ensure you can keep or renew your license and return to practice following your treatment. Taking that proactive step shows the pharmacy state boards your commitment to not only your health but also your career. Pharmacists Recovery Networks operate in nearly every state, and initiating your involvement in one can prove crucial to your success in getting back to work in pharmaceuticals.
What are the Aspects of Substance Abuse Treatment for Professionals in Pharmacy
The aspects of substance abuse treatment for professionals in pharmacy vary by state, but the foundations of each include a minimum of six months in a group and or individual therapy program or treatment center. Professionals seeking treatment are also required to attend at least 90 recovery meetings and submit to random drug testing. A recovery sponsor is a necessity, and you must provide monthly progress reports to your pharmacy board or employer.
Relapse Risk Factors and Prevention
Preventing substance abuse relapse is an essential component of PRN treatment programs. The pharmacy work setting and culture can make relapse tempting. The stress of working in pharmacy doesn’t go away, and life doesn’t stop happening just because you’re struggling. It’s important to find healthy ways to cope that do not include alcohol or other substances, and having a stable support system in place.
Returning to work as a pharmacist is not only possible but probable — as long as appropriate treatment steps are followed and taken seriously. While your license may be suspended when you enter treatment, completing the program will put you in the position to have your suspension reviewed and overturned. Do not let fear of your license being suspended keep you from seeking help and getting the treatment you need. You deserve a healthy and happy life.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 855-408-2040 for a consultation.