Article Text

Crisis Management
Vets in trouble
  1. James Willis

    James Willis qualified as a dentist from Bristol in 1981. Before this he tried a variety of careers from botanist at Exeter University and Kew Gardens through to yacht charter agent in the Windward Islands. He studied at the School of Addictive Medicine at the University of Utah and subsequently spent time with the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency. He is currently a part-time dentist, and special referee for the Dentists' Health Support Programme, as well as coordinator of the Veterinary Surgeons' Health Support Programme.


A VETERINARY surgeon with a drink or drugs problem working in practice is an obvious threat to the well-being of the patients, the practice and him or herself. However, recognising the signs of such a problem can be difficult. In this article, James Willis, himself a recovering alcoholic, describes through his own experiences, how such a situation might arise, possible addictive behaviour that may help to identify the problem, and how to go about getting help, either for yourself or for a colleague you are concerned about.

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