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A Piece of My Mind |

Intellectualization of Drug Abuse

Clinton B. McCracken, PhD
JAMA. 2010;303(19):1894-1895. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.581.
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Health care professionals and physicians in particular have rates of substance abuse that are equal to and often exceed those observed in the general public.1,2 These estimates may even be low, as many studies rely on self-reported data. Health care professionals presumably use drugs for many of the same reasons as those of the general population. Nonetheless, given the intelligence, years of education, and high levels of achievement found in this group, the relatively high incidence of substance abuse may be somewhat surprising. Ease of access to drugs is commonly cited, particularly with respect to the high rates of drug abuse among anesthesiologists3; however, given the complex nature of addiction, the underlying causes are assuredly myriad.

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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