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Physicians who are narcotic addicts blame the onset of their problems on three major factors: (1) overwork, (2) chronic fatigue, and (3) physical disease, two psychiatrists from the Menninger Foundation, Topeka, Kan, reported to the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, held May 4 through 8 in Los Angeles.
These factors, according to Herbert C. Modlin, MD, and Alberto Montes, MD, are the classic ones described in the literature on physician-addicts. A paper describing a study of 25 physician-addicts at the C. F. Menninger Memorial Hospital during a 15-year period carried the following comments about onset of addiction:
"That these physicians were overworked seems credible, but are not most physicians? These men apparently found it difficult to put a reasonable limit on their practice. Most of them were average persons with high and unrealistic aspirations.... Their overt behavior was a denial of limitations to avoid exposing their basic insecurity
Factors in Addiction: Overwork, Fatigue, Illness. JAMA. 1964;188(8):26. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060340082043