My CRNA friends do illegal drugs - page 4

Two of my friends who are CRNA's take recreational ecstasy almost every weekend. They will take it on Saturday night...stay up all night....and then try to sleep it off on Sunday. When Monday... Read More

  1. by   catcolalex
    If the board of nursing can take away a license if you are caught doing any illegal drugs whether you are working or not, does that not answer what should be done? things are "illegal "for a reason.
  2. by   CaseManager1947
    I will refer interested individuals to www.Drugabuse.gov/meetings/MDMA/MDMAExSummary.html

    This is the government's take on MDMA or ectasy. This compound has "dissociative qualities" similar to pot and if anyone remembers Ketamine, also similar to that. It does not actually produce hallucinatory experiences, but causes a rather out of body type experience from what I've read. Attend closely, however, to the portions of this web page that address long term affects, as this drug affects the serotonin system in the brain. Also, can damage fetus, if a young, potentially pregnant CRNA were to use. it. Bottom line, this is an illegal drug, and there have also been reported deaths with it, as some users will "bump" the dose, to get an additional high. I guess people will do what they're going to do,as some have said. I think it is ill advised, however.
  3. by   Alpha13
    So many posts that keep rehashing the same arguments. I'll just break down the one below because I feel it covers the most bases.

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Knowing the implications on continued licensure and yet STILL using illegal recreational drugs - at any time - is addictive behavior.

    The fallacy that "knowing the risk and still using = addiction" is pretty obvious so I won't elaborate.

    You can bring up alcohol and cigs all you want. IF I choose to use any legal substance on my day off, I am not risking my license. To risk your license is a sure sign that the NEED to use is more important than the NEED to protect that high investment.

    You are right, it certainly is a sign (key word) that these people may have developed a dependance. But you can't exclude the possibility that they are just using the drugs for recreation! Think about it, what if these ladies are the club type that occasionally take ecstasy under the assumption that it's very unlikely they'll get caught? We do risky things all the time and our actions don't always imply need

    And, as has been pointed out, working anesthesia is one of the most abuse prone jobs simply because of access.

    It's simply playing with fire. I could not in good conscience know that someone was playing with fire in such a way and not intervene - if not for their PATIENTS, then for them personally.

    *inserts standard alcohol defense*

    Friends don't let friends put themselves in such positions. Professionals don't condone such behavior in fellow professionals.

    If these professionals felt that the drug was hampering the collegue's job performance then yes, they have a responsibility to turn that person in. But is that the case with recreational ecstacy use? I dare you to say yes (so I can use the alcohol defense again!)

    If I know a friend intends to commit suicide, I'd intervene, regardless the cost. I just don't see much difference in standing by and watching a friend commit professional suicide.

    Professional suicide? What a horrible analogy!

    It's unprofessional behavior. Simply put, it's not only against the law, it's rightly grounds for a mandated peer review program or loss of licensure.

    It's a bold claim to state that recreational ecstasy use is unprofessional when you don't really have any reason to believe these CRNAs are impaired in any way for their professional duties. I'd be comfortable making an assertion like that for a hard drug but not ecstasy. As for your latter sentence, no argument here but the question is should a friend turn these people in? You could take the hard line and say that yes, in ANY case where a friend is breaking the law they should be turned in, but I doubt that you take such a hard line with the law (if not, do you speed? I love to ask that to hard liners) It is up to the the friend to turn these people in and if she doesn't have a nazi view of illegal drugs like some of you people, I don't see any reason for her to do so.




    ~faith,
    Timothy.

    ~Anarchy!
    Alpha
    Last edit by Alpha13 on Sep 26, '06
  4. by   ZASHAGALKA
    I'm all for being an anarchist, if that is your desire. But, rebelling against the system means that the system can and should turn it's back on you.

    So, in your anarchist state of mind, my response would be complete disassociation and that includes no licensure. You can't have it both ways, the world doesn't work that way.

    It IS unprofessional behavior. Any action that you have to hide from the BON is, by definition, unprofessional as considered by the BON.

    Look up the word 'professional'. A key definition is adherence to a standard of professional practice. And not exhibiting addictive behavior IS a standard when your job entails handling addictive substances.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 27, '06
  5. by   Josh L.Ac.
    Quote from asoldierswife05
    Ecstasy is an "unclean" designer drug that also contains various amounts of ephedrine, DXM and ketamine (which produce PCP-like effects), cocaine and methamphetamines.
    The threat of adulterated ecstacy might be a possibility, but anyone can order an ecstacy testing kit to make sure what they are getting is clean. If someone is intelligent enough to make it through CRNA school, they could probably figure out how to use the reagent kits to make sure they are not getting all of the "nasty stuff".

    Also a reality check. Usually people making fake pill are going to adulterate the pills with cheap ingredients in order to make more money. They probably are not going to use cocaine or heroin. But even if they do...it will show up on the kit.

    On the other hand, I would hate to have a CRNA working on me that is having "the next day blues"...although there are ways to prevent that as well.

    Oh, and the only people that I've ever seen that reported "ketamine-like effects" while doing ecstacy were those that were actually doing ketamine.


    [/off-topic]


    If it is your professional opinion that the drug use of your collegues [whether it be illegal, legal, prescription, herbal, synthetic, or whatever] is endangering their patients, then it has to be reported. And while legal =/= moral, as a medical professional, you have certain ethical responsibilties that others might not be subject to.
  6. by   susswood
    Quote from paindoc
    Terrorists do not see the value in obeying laws. Neither do professionals that condone illegal drug use.
    Comparing terrorists with drug use? Lets get real here. That's insulting.

    And just to clarify, just because you believe people heve the right to do what they want in their own time does not mean you condone or endorse the behavior. Many of us just believe in the right to privacy.

    The fact that ecstacy is illegal does not make it any more dangerous than a legal drug like alcohol. In the right circumstance, alcohol can be just as illegal and much more dangerous than ecstacy (i.e. driving). Alcohol related deaths are in fact frequently reported... when was the last time you heard about an ecstacy related death? Want your health-care provider to work with an alcohol hang-over? No, but it's legal, and it probably happens way more often than you think. In fact, alcohol addiction is a common and unfortunate problem... ecstacy addiction? I don't think so.

    Honestly, I would think very hard before I went off and tried to ruin someone's life 'cause they party on the weekend. Honestly, I'm way more afraid of alcoholics... they're everywhere, and they're well within the law to carry out their addiction. Like I said... get a grip, people.
  7. by   RNCRNA2BE
    Quote from susswood
    Comparing terrorists with drug use? Lets get real here. That's insulting.

    And just to clarify, just because you believe people heve the right to do what they want in their own time does not mean you condone or endorse the behavior. Many of us just believe in the right to privacy.

    The fact that ecstacy is illegal does not make it any more dangerous than a legal drug like alcohol. In the right circumstance, alcohol can be just as illegal and much more dangerous than ecstacy (i.e. driving). Alcohol related deaths are in fact frequently reported... when was the last time you heard about an ecstacy related death? Want your health-care provider to work with an alcohol hang-over? No, but it's legal, and it probably happens way more often than you think. In fact, alcohol addiction is a common and unfortunate problem... ecstacy addiction? I don't think so.

    Honestly, I would think very hard before I went off and tried to ruin someone's life 'cause they party on the weekend. Honestly, I'm way more afraid of alcoholics... they're everywhere, and they're well within the law to carry out their addiction. Like I said... get a grip, people.
    :yeahthat:
  8. by   Focker
    This website should enable posters to do polls, most web bulletin board services have that feature. That way we could see a running tally of what everyone thinks/would do. So far the categories, from one extreme to the other, look like:

    1. Mind your own business/blowing it out of proportion
    2. I'm on the fence
    3. Confront the friends before doing anything else
    4. Turn them in immediately
    5. They are terrorists :uhoh21:
    Last edit by Focker on Sep 26, '06
  9. by   deepz
    Quote from CaseManager1947
    .... "dissociative qualities" similar to pot and if anyone remembers Ketamine, also similar to that. .........

    'Remembers ketamine'?

    Remember it? Do you wish to imply that ketamine is not used in everyday current practice? Not so. Hardly a week goes by that I don't employ ketamine in some manner as an adjunct to general anesthesia or MAC sedation.


    deepz
  10. by   SportyNurse
    I am so upset and outraged at some of these responses on here... oh just watch them, don't get the board involved, what they do on their own free time is their own business...

    I don't think so. If anything was to ever happen to one of their patients and people knew about it and didn't say anything, then they should be just as liable for the harm done.

    I am definitely far from being the perfect nurse, but if anyone ever thought that there was anything wrong with me, or I was ever impaired, then feel free to have someone check it out. I would be upset if they felt that way and didn't call the board.

    We are supposed to be patient advocates, and that means making sure that all of the care that they recieve is as safe as possible. I am shocked at the number of posts on here suggesting to just let it go and not get the BON involved, because they worked so hard to get where they are.

    I did some reading up on ecstasy and the research isn't totally clear yet, however chronic ecstasy use is linked with serotonin levels and impairment of cognition, mood, and memory... Now, that is someone I don't even want passing me a pill, let alone in charge of putting me out. Those who posted that the issue should be left alone should be ashamed of themselves.
  11. by   arv
    Just my opinion...
    I don't usually post here very often because I am still just a student and recognize that I still have some "rosy" views of how nursing is/should be. However, this topic compelled me. I am amazed at the posters who are defending the "recreational use" of Ecstasy. To me, it all boils down to this. I was just reading last night about another nurse who posts on this site who was let go from work for being "impaired" by medicine that she has scripts for. She chooses to not take them within 12 hours of a shift for her patients safety, they are perfectly legal - yet she was (unfairly IMO according to the post) terminated because of this "impairment." So it really isn't an issue of ecstasy not being a hard drug or alcohol being worse but legal - they are all inappropriate when they CAN effect your professional decision making. I agree that I wouldn't want these CRNA's working on me - but then neither would I want someone hung over. Whatever your vice of choice, if it effects your ability to perform duties that are in your standard of care (and this is not whether YOU think it is affecting your ability, it is in the eyes of someone else, be it BON, patient, administration, Johnny Law, etc.) DON'T DO IT!!! I will leave it up to the OP as to what action to take but I would find a way to intervene. Chain of command, BON, whatever the case may be. I am sure I will be flamed, but this is what I truly believe and felt strongly enough about to actually post instead of lurking.
  12. by   introspectiveRN
    [FONT=System]PATIENT ADVOCATE.

    [FONT=System]PATIENT ADVOCATE.

    [FONT=System]PATIENT ADVOCATE.


    Courage without conscience is a wild beast.-R. G. Ingersoll
  13. by   jeroboam
    One may rationalize all one wants, but we practice in a profession that requires a level of mental agility and concentration that is extremely unforgiving of mistakes. The IOM estimate, that medical errors kill about 100,000 patients per year, is likely on the low side. Personnel who paralyze you, and then breathe for you, likely require a higher degree of mental stability and agility.

    If they continue to use drugs, on their own time, it is likely that these women will harm someone, by driving their cars if not in the operating room. The data on Ecstacy is available on PubMed and anyone who believes that it doesn't cause permanent brain damage is fooling himself/herself.

    So often, people do or don't do things for the wrong reasons. The RIGHT reason to report these women to the BON is that IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO. The OP is supposedly a friend; a friend doesn't let his friends fry their brains. Anesthesiologists have the highest rate of drug addiction in the medical profession. It won't be long before these women are stealing Fentanyl and Dilaudid, then using Fentanyl and Dilaudid in the operating room. I have seen it happen.

    I would report these women in a heartbeat. I wouldn't want either one of them giving anesthesia to my friends or relatives. That's the test. If they're not good enough for you, OP (for you to trust them in the OR with your loved one), then they're not good enough for anyone else. REPORT THEM.

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