P023: THE PREVALENCE OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN ANESTHESIOLOGIST ASSISTANTS PROGRAM
Jeffrey Huang, MD, Hossein Solimany, Katie Brunet, MD; HCA
Introduction: Addiction to anesthetic drugs continues to be a major issue in the anesthesia workplace, with as many as 15% of anesthesia care providers developing a substance abuse problem at some point during their career (1). In 2013, Warner et al. investigated the frequency with which SUD occurred within anesthesia residency training programs in US (2). The authors found that 0.86% of US anesthesiology residents showed evidence of SUD during their training. Anesthesia care providers (ACPs), including residents, physician anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists, and anesthesiologist assistants can be affected with a particular disease (SUD) at a given time. However, there is no data about the incidence of substance abuse among anesthesiologist assistants. Therefore we conduct this study to identify the prevalence of substance abuse among AA students in the US.
Methods: We conducted a cross sectional electronic survey via email to all 12 AA programs in the US. The survey was adapted and modified from the study in Canada (3). Data analysis was performed using descriptive statistics.
Results: Of 12 surveys distributed to anesthesiology assistants program directors and site chiefs, 7 (58%) were returned. Substance abuse was reported as .8% for Anesthesiologist Assistants. There was one report of marijuana abuse and one report of benzodiazepine abuse. No opiate use was found during training. At present, the majority of respondents did not think substance abuse was a growing problem across the countries AA programs. 57% of respondents also did not believe strict measures would help improve the incidence of substance abuse. However, 100% of respondents supported random drug screening among anesthesia providers.
Discussion: The prevalence of substance abuse among AA students has not been studied before. Measures used to control substance use among anesthesia providers are imperfect. We hope this study can be used as a data point to direct future studies.
Baldisseri MR. Impaired healthcare professional. Crit Care Med 2007; 35(2 Suppl): S106-16.
Warner DO, Berge K, Sun H, Harman A, Hanson A, Schroeder DR. Substance use disorder among anesthesiology residents, 1975-2009. JAMA 2013; 310: 2289-96.
Substance abuse: a national survey of Canadian residency program directors and site chiefs at university-affiliated anesthesia departments.
Boulis S, Khanduja PK, Downey K, Friedman Z.Can J Anaesth. 2015 Sep;62(9):964-71
in the US.
13 The authors found that 0.86% of US anesthesiology residents showed evidence of SUD during their training the US.13 The authors found that 0.86% of US anesthesiology residents showed evidence of SUD during their training
issue in the anesthesia workplace, with as many as 15% of anesthesia care providers developing a substance abuse problem at some point during their career.1