Random Drug Testing to Reduce the Incidence of Addiction in Anesthesia Residents: Preliminary Results from One Program


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Abstract

Substance abuse occurs in approximately 1%–2% of anesthesia residents and nearly 80% of programs have had one or more resident (s) with such a problem. Education and control efforts have failed to reduce the frequency of substance abuse. Anesthesia providers have a professional obligation to be drug-free for the well being of their patients. We have instituted a program of preplacement and random urine testing of residents in anesthesiology in an attempt to decrease the incidence of substance abuse. We demonstrate that such a program is feasible, despite logistic and cultural obstacles. Larger multi-institutional studies will be required to determine whether instituting a program of random urine testing decreases the incidence of substance abuse in anesthesiology residents.

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