Research Article

Alcoholic doctors can recover.

BMJ 1990; 300 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.300.6726.728 (Published 17 March 1990) Cite this as: BMJ 1990;300:728
  1. G Lloyd

    Abstract

    A survey of doctors with alcohol and drug dependence who joined a self help group was carried out to find out whether they had recovered and whether their lifestyles and careers had been affected. After the group had been meeting for eight years 100 doctors had attended for over six months, and they were sent a questionnaire. Sustained recovery from dependence was achieved by 76 doctors for an average of nearly five and a half years. Among 15 who had not recovered, seven had died of causes directly related to alcohol misuse. Nearly a fifth of those surveyed had been assessed by the medical committee of the General Medical Council, and nearly half had lost their job but were in satisfactory employment again at the follow up survey. Those who recovered had contributed nearly 500 years of service to health care since contacting the group.