There are a number of doctors who have lost the right to practice medicine because of addiction. Prescription drugs are highly addictive, often times, doctors will become addicted to the pain killers and sedatives that they are prescribing. Striking deals with patients to help get themselves the drugs they desire without writing prescriptions for themselves; another common practice is to give injections of water to patients so that the doctor can use the medication. Once a doctor loses the right to practice it is usually very difficult to become reinstated and sometimes doctors who lose their licence never get it back.
In Canada, an investigation by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba found that Dr. Anthony Hlynka was addicted to the drugs he had been prescribing his patients. "Hlynka wrote OxyContin prescriptions for some patients he knew well and arranged for them to provide him with some or all of their painkillers for his own use", according to the CBC. Now, less than six months since his license was revoked, Hlynka is back practicing medicine; this time he will be watched very closely and drug tested regularly, Hlynka is no longer allowed to prescribe narcotics.
"The risks are minimal and even less likely given the strict terms and conditions on it," said College registrar Dr. Bill Pope. "For example, it would be almost unheard of for him to be allowed to practice independently in these situations". Hlynka was ordered to complete a drug treatment program and if he would like to continue being a doctor he will have to comply with everything he was asked to do. Hlynka is one of many doctors who have partook in this type of activity, there are some doctors who, after sobering up, have fought for years to be reinstated. As we understand the nature of addiction better, the possibility for doctors in recovery to practice medicine is real.
Hlynka was required to pay all of the $30,000 spent on the investigation into his case.