Challenged by colleagues

A 30-year-old Radiologist was distressed following challenges about his behaviour and comments about drinking from his colleagues.

He did not really think he had a problem when first ringing the helpline, but after several further chats, he did eventually identify with some of the behaviours and drinking patterns discussed with the SDT member.

Slowly, he came to agree that he did indeed have an alcohol dependence issue, and requested our help. It transpired that he was also dependent on sleeping tablets and diazepam – an issue he had not previously thought of as significant.

He went on sick leave from work and into a nearby treatment centre suggested by the SDT responder. In-patient management rather than just attending AA was chosen as it was a poly-abuse scenario, and he had recently started to experience withdrawal symptoms from alcohol.

As part of the treatment programme, he attended AA and NA meetings and has remained clean & sober for 2 years now. His workplace contacted the GMC for advice. Since he had admitted to having a problem and had gone into a treatment centre and was attending meetings, the GMC advised that all their ‘criteria’ were being fulfilled, and that they were happy for the Trust to manage the doctor at local level.