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Addicted Physicians Say Rx Misuse Is for 'Self-Medication'

Addicted Physicians Say Rx Misuse Is for 'Self-Medication'

Avoidance of withdrawal symptoms and recreational use also reported as primary reasons

FRIDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians who misuse prescription drugs report self-medication as a leading reason, according to research published in the September/October issue of the Journal of Addiction Medicine.

In an effort to identify reasons for physicians' misuse of prescription drugs, Lisa J. Merlo, Ph.D., of the University of Florida in Gainesville, and colleagues conducted focus groups with 55 physicians (94.5 percent male) undergoing monitoring by a State professional health program due to substance-related impairment.

The researchers found that all of the participants received a diagnosis of substance dependence, and most (about 69 percent) admitted a history of misusing prescription drugs. The participants reported five primary reasons for the misuse of prescription drugs: managing physical pain, managing emotional or psychiatric distress, managing stressful situations, recreational use, and avoidance of withdrawal symptoms.

"Our results emphasize the importance of self-medication as a leading reason for misusing prescription medications, although recreational use was also an important factor," the authors write.

Full Text (http://journals.lww.com/journaladdictionmedicine/Fulltext/2013/09000/Reasons_for_Misuse_of_Prescription_Medication.7.aspx )