Source: dvm 360 

Veterinary medicine is inherently stressful, with long hours, high responsibility, and the emotional toll of life-and-death decisions. This stress often extends beyond work, affecting personal life and relationships. The profession’s demands can lead to substance use as a coping mechanism, which can quickly become problematic. Substance use, including alcohol, cannabis, illicit drugs, and prescription medications, provides temporary relief by altering mental states and providing a dopamine rush. However, chronic stress and a genetic predisposition can increase the risk of addiction.

Theories such as Anna Lembke’s dopamine theory and self-medication theory explain how addiction develops. Treatment options vary from peer support programs and anonymous groups to outpatient therapy and residential programs. Evaluating substance use’s impact on daily life is crucial for finding effective, personalized treatment and maintaining a healthy balance between personal and professional life.

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