They can’t wear long sleeves in the operating room, which would hide the track marks on their arms, so they inject the drugs into less visible veins in their legs, thighs or the folds between their toes.
It’s not difficult; anesthetists are extraordinarily skilled at finding veins.
Some will tape an IV needle and tubing from a vein in their foot to their ankle, or from an arm vein to their back, with a port hanging over their shoulder beneath their scrubs. It makes it easier to secretly inject at work that way.
Anesthetists – the doctors who keep patients alive during surgery, who essentially take over our breathing – make up just three per cent of all doctors, but account for 20 to 30 per cent of drug-addicted MDs. Experts say anesthetists are overrepresented in addiction treatment programs by a ratio of three to one, compared with any other physician group, an occupational hazard that could pose catastrophic risks to their patients.
Their drugs of choice are most frequently fentanyl and sufentanil, opioids that are 100 and 1,000 times more potent than morphine. They "divert" a portion of the doses meant for their patients to themselves, slipping syringes into their pockets.