Chemical dependency: An occupational hazard in the field of anaesthesia
The medical personnel are vulnerable to substance abuse and dependence due to ready access to substance of abuse. Addiction is considered as an occupational hazard for those involved in the practice of anaesthesia for the same reason. Substance abuse is defined as a psychosocial biogenetic disease, which results from dynamic interplay between a susceptible host and favourable environment. According to the 5th and the last National Survey on Drug Abuse (NSDA) in 1993 by Pakistan Narcotic Control, there are nearly three million drug dependants in Pakistan, but no data is available to determine the prevalence among medical or anaesthesia personnel. In order to handle the rising trend of chemical abuse, we need to have more surveys and studies on this subject, written policy and educational programme in postgraduate training with proper control and frequent checking of narcotic dispensing. Reporting of drug abuse and rehabilitation of affected doctors are areas which need to be worked upon.