Yup - it's an abused drug. I was surprised to see that unused Propofol was just pitched in the trash when I did my role transition in a Level 1 center's SICU last year. Not controlled like narcotics.
I actually emailed my preceptor about the issue, just for her info. Here are some other articles I found on the topic:
Propofol at a Subanesthetic Dose May Have Abuse Potential in Healthy Volunteers [Some people apparently get a "buzz" from low doses of it, while others don't like the feeling & choose not to try it again.]
Anesthesia Programs Report Incidence of Propofol Abuse
Survey Finds Reports of 24 Cases of Abuse, Seven Resulting in Death
San Francisco--A recent survey found that 21 (17.5%) of the 120 academic anesthesia programs in the United States had reported at least one instance of propofol abuse within the last five years.....They received reports of 24 cases of propofol abuse from 21 departments, with seven cases resulting in death.
Nine cases of propofol abuse confirmed by the investigators involved eight anesthesiologists and one operating room technician.
Death after excessive propofol abuse. [- male nurse in Hamburg, Germany found dead after abuse of propofol]
Lethal self administration of propofol (Diprivan). A case report and review of the literature. [death of female anesthesiologist in Greece]
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16431058?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez. Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.P ubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=2&log$=relatedarticles& logdbfrom=pubmed