• 1 in 15 doctors develop an addiction at some point
  • 24% of lawyers will battle alcohol during their careers
  • UK has highest rate of OESOPHAGEAL CANCER

Rising numbers of doctors, dentists, vets and lawyers are becoming ‘functioning alcoholics’, experts in the UK warn. Addiction specialists have given them that label because they do not fit the typical image of down-and-out street drinkers.

There has been a surge in demand from professionals seeking rehab treatment abroad to avoid being recognised in nearby hospitals or clinics, it is claimed.

Alistair Mordey, who runs a substance abuse clinic in Chiang Mai, Thailand, said that demand for treatment from doctors was growing at twice the rate of any other occupation.

He added: ‘We are seeing a lot of professionals coming in, particularly from London. They are in workplaces where you really wouldn’t want them to be. The British Medical Association has estimated that one in 15 doctors will develop an addiction problem at some point and they are three times more likely to develop cirrhosis of the liver than the general population.

Research has also suggested that up to 24 per cent of lawyers will suffer from alcoholism during their careers.
UK has the highest rate of oesophageal cancer in Europe and experts blame partly on binge drinking.

About 6.4 out of every 100,000 develop the disease, also known as cancer of the gullet, in the UK every year – almost double the European average of 3.3, figures from the World Cancer Research Fund showed.