I am new to allnurses.com and have been lurking and reading up until now. What a fantastic way to network and I regret I did not come across this site sooner!
My name is Bonnie Creighton. I am an RN with thirty years of experience (what a scarey thought that is - :0) I currently live and work in Minnesota, but have lived and worked in our Profession in New York, Ohio, Kentucky, Arizona and California. (a "nomad" of sorts.......should have been a traveling nurse).
The subject I am bringing to the bulletin board is nobody's favorite, for sure. It's one of those - "do we have to bring that up" kind of topics which makes us "squirm" in our skin, roll our eyes and want to click "delete" to "make it go away." And I can't say I blame you.
I am posting for a special reason which has to do with my own personal journey down the crucible path of self-destruction while active in my own disease of addiction. On August 8th of this year I celebrated six years clean and sober after 28 years of active drinking, which progressed to the place we "swear" we will "never" go as professionals........diverting narcotics in our work setting, for our own use.
I am in the process of writing a book about my personal experience and invite your feedback, comments, thoughts, ideas, own experiences, insights, or whatever you choose to say about the subject of medical professionals and their vulnerability to substance abuse because of the environment in which we work. Anything you choose to share is for my own ongoing understanding of this complex disease, which is multi-faceted in its impact on any person. (I am NOT soliciting this kind of feedback for inclusion in my book.)
As a medical professional, with the disease of addiction, I have discovered along the way that within our own profession some progress has been made, and good progress in some settings, in addressing this issue, but overall there is still a collective denial of this urgent problem.
Because I had an employer that understood this as a disease I was treated with dignity and afforded the opportunity of treatment, which has resulted in an ongoing positive outcome for me. Sadly, I am the "exception" to the rule, if you have any knowledge of the "statistics" currently available where recovery from the disease of addiction is concerned.
For any who might be reading this, if you have questions about this topic, I am more than willing to entertain them and would feel a sense of satisfaction that I might be of some help .
Thanks for "listening", being open-minded and honest in your feedback, and I look forward to hearing from some of you. You can e-mail me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
if you so choose.
Bonnie Creighton, RN, MHCA
Mental Health Consumer Advocate