Approaching Addiction in NursingRegister Today!
This is a discussion on Approaching Addiction in Nursing in Medical-Surgical Nursing, part of Nursing Specialties ... Addiction and Chemical Abuse has to be one of the most misunderstood, mis-informed, and most...by BostonTerrierLoverRN Mar 5, '12Addiction and Chemical Abuse has to be one of the most misunderstood, mis-informed, and most untreated disease process in the world. It saddens me to no end the plight of the addict in healthcare. It is frightening both in its active state and inactive state. This disease is like any other, it has an induction period, all the way to an end stage. Many see drug addicts as weak, criminal, and deviants. It has to be one of the most steriotyped illnesses in the western world. The word "Addiction" itself evokes very negative ideas and reactions. If the Nursing and Medical Profession truly believed it to be a disease, then we could fight it AS ANY OTHER. We would research it, develope more treatment modalities, and educate our patients as it affects not only the addict with this disease.
I truly understand the nurse who immediately has a negative response to a known active addict waiting at triage with a variety of vague pain complaints for the anticipated "Fix," and then off with a prescription for more narcotics if the ER doesn't have a Narcotics Policy. But, I am not angry at the patient following the manifestations of their disease of addiction. They are doing exactly what addicts who need narcotics to prevent withdrawals naturally do! It's the medical and nursing staff who just let a patient with an untreated and probably undiagnosed disease just totally fall through the system. <br><br>
It is the same as a diabetic patient coming in, displaying all the flagship signs of diabetes acute exacerbations out loud and on paper presenting in with a complaint of dizziness and nausea, and being treated for Vertigo! We have done nothing for the patient, they will get sicker, and if not PROPERLY treated soon, THEY WILL DIE!
To make it even more imperative, it is not just our patients. This disease is present right now in your family, friends, fellow nurses, and doctors as you read this! I have heard it said so many times that if 4 teenagers died of a Virus at their school, the CDC and medical community would be all over it! Where are they now with thousands a year dying or having their lifes completely destroyed? Addiction is no respector of race, wealth and privelage, male/female, age, class, or creed.
I know there has been progress through the years on addiction treatments. I just also know with all my heart, all my being, and all I have seen and heard; We in the medical field have stong feelings about Addiction as a "Valid" disease with "Valid" treatments.
Do you as a healthcare professional believe that Addiction is a disease?
How do you feel about the current social stigmas on Addiction?
How have you been affected personally by Addiction?
Do you agree/disagree with my opinions on Addiction?
Print and share with friends and family.
Compliments of allnurses.com.
http://allnurses.com/showthread.php?t=682276©2013 allnurses.com INC. All Rights Reserved.
- 1,298 Views
- Jun 24, '12 by psychRN319Hello there. I read your thread and wanted to share my thoughts. I am an RN in Mental and Behavioral Health, specifically on the Chemical Dependency Unit. I have worked in my position since I graduated 3 1/2 years ago. My unit is a detox unit where the pts receive an Ativan taper for about 3 days, depending on which protocol they are on (alcohol, opiates, Benzos). I understand and agree that addiction is a serious problem and very misunderstood and under addressed. Sadly this is the case for all mental health conditions. At our hospital, it is known that Mental Health is the only department that does not make money for the hospital. We remain available to the community because there are very limited resources available to the mentally ill, and chemical Dependency is a mental illness. I see alot of returning pts (frequent fliers) who for whatever reason do not follow up after discharge, most relapse almost immediately. I am blessed that I haven't had to personally struggle with addiction(except nicotine......but I also believe I have compassion for the addicts just as I do for my pts with other mental health disorders. Just like any disease process, there are pts who really desire to get better and try to help themselves by following the advice of the treatment team. But it is ultimately their decision to use the resources we provide for them. I get frustrated about the pts that abuse the system (claim they are suicidal to get admitted, come in because they are homeless but have no interest in being clean/sober...etc.) because there are pts who really want help. I hope I helped you and feel free to ask more questions. BTW, what role do you have in addiction? Are you a nurse?
- Nov 21, '12 by BostonTerrierLoverRNHi, my gosh I'm sorry, I wrote this long ago, and I never got a response. After that, I kind of abandoned it, and noticed your response reading over old threads. I'm a recovering nurse of 5 years, Opioids. I am now a FNP who does general practice, but I work very close with the State' Legislature, the Board of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Nursing now in my State to fight this disease. Being in a poor state, it's very hard to get attention for this, and funding was $2,000.00 last year for our recovery projects. I along with 8 other MD's/DO's and one other NP own three halfway houses that charge $200 per month for boarding, daily group, and Utilities/Cable. It is my life's work so far, and currently we house 21 recovering addicts who must follow the rules to maintain up to 24 months residence in the homes. We are trying to purchase another home at current, but money isn't the issue- it's the flack we get from the community when trying to move in. If the current plan works out we can house 48 patients at one time. We are currently 1 over max occupancy, but the one room with 3 guys are all around 19, and enjoy each others company- so it worked out. They must all be full time employed, attend 3 meetings per week (not including daily group which is mandatory 3 nights a week/7 offered), not get any charges, cannot miss a court date, cannot be late for sign in 11 pm, and alas, must volunteer 10 hours per month with community. This is a sweet deal when it cost $1600/mo at cheapest apartments here, and most of their families have discarded them.