any nurses/nursing students on methadone? - Page 2Register Today!
- Feb 14, '11 by Life_is_good_1973I am an RN in Nevada and no, they do not allow the use of many, many medications that other states do (such as suboxone). Another poster on here a while back thought taking prescription medications such as xanax and vicodin was okay per the BON while on a monitoring contract, as long as it was prescribed. I had responded to that and this is why. I live in what appears to be one of the more stricter states for contract nursing = )
- Feb 14, '11 by Thenurse27My license was suspeneded for diverting. I am on Methadone and the BOD is aware and I am getting my license back. I am in NJ so I know all states are different. I would never tell any of my co-workers under any circumstance. I consider myself to be clean as I have not used anything without a script in 7 years. I am weaning off right now to go on Suboxone. I'm not sure of what will happen when I start looking for work. I know I will be tested and I don't know how employers will feel. Best of luck to anyone in similar circumstances.
- Apr 19, '11 by BhavanaI am not sure about state nursing boards, but when in school, if you are tested by clinical locations, you don't need to worry. Hippa laws apply to everyone, including nursing students. It is really nobodies business. If you are on methadone or any other prescription drug, it will show up on the test. The testing facility will contact you and ask if you have a prescription, and if you do, you fax it to or take it to them, and they send your test through as clean. Simple as that.
It should be the same way with the BON, and eventually it will be. People with addictions have rights just like everyone else, and if an anti addiction program is working for or helping them, they should have the right, without consequence, to follow that program while working or doing anything else they desire to do.
As for the comment made above by someone thinking they would not want their nurse to be on methadone...well, that person obviously knows very little about the drug and how it works. It wouldn't bother me if my nurse were on methadone. In fact, I would prefer it to knowing that he or she was out drinking in a bar till 2 am the night before, or smoking pot 5 times a week.
- Apr 19, '11 by SWS RNQuote from Life_is_good_1973I am an RN in Nevada and no, they do not allow the use of many, many medications that other states do (such as suboxone). Another poster on here a while back thought taking prescription medications such as xanax and vicodin was okay per the BON while on a monitoring contract, as long as it was prescribed. I had responded to that and this is why. I live in what appears to be one of the more stricter states for contract nursing = )
I am in Florida, and it too is very specific and strict. If you are in a monitoring program, in this case the IPN, it is considered a complete abstinence contract....that includes alcohol (even if alcohol is not your DOC) and all prescribed medication such as benzo's and opiates. You may take them for emergencies if prescribed under a doctor's care, however, you CAN NOT practice again until you are off of them and have demonstrated clean uds. The Fl board does not allow the use of suboxone as well. I was prescribed Suboxone early on, and sorry I have to say, IT IS STILL A DRUG...a controlled drug....and one that has a terrific potiential for physical addiction. The withdrawal from that was FAR worse than the opiate w/d...(and yes, I did taper...it has a very long half life and it took 17 days of pure misery)
I am of the camp that believes that as long as you are taking a controlled substance--you are not clean and sober. Sorry, but I have been there...and done that....now I am 2 1/2 years Drug free and it is totally GLORIOUS!
I really can't believe how great I feel without all of that stuff in my system. (and I never thought I could do it)
Luck to all
- Apr 20, '11 by BhavanaSWSRN - I am really happy for you that you were able to accomplish what you see as being "clean". It is no easy feat to get off of any drug...that is for sure. However, the choice is different for everyone. If someone needs to stay on methadone till they are 95 to keep their life under control, then that is what works for them, and I fully support that. Everyone has their own path to follow. Addiction is a disease and some will need medication to control it, just like diabetes is a disease, or MS, or any other illness. It is the attitude that drug addiction is a moral failing that gives birth to all of these "conditions" for addicts, like we all have to suffer thru the complete hell of withdrawal to have an acceptable life.
Again, what has worked for you is wonderful, but it is not what should work for everyone else. In my opinion, the LAWS have to change, not the way people handle their addiction. The Americans with Disabilities Act agrees with me...it is just taking the rest of the world some time to catch up.Last edit by Bhavana on Apr 20, '11 : Reason: add name of person I was responding to!
- Apr 20, '11 by kbucksnIt is really funny to me as to people not wanting to have their nurse on MMT...i can think of many other meds that have a big ole label on the bottle that says may cause impairment blah blah blah....what about a diabetic, maybe their BS gets to high, their not quite stable on t heir meds....my hubby is a diabetic and when that has happened to him he could be mistaken for intoxicated...so should we not let diabetics practice nursing? In fact strong antibiotics make me quite sleepy and Tylenol makes me much sleepier than methadone ever has. What people dont seem to get is that most people on MMT (as long as they arent abusing it as with ANY other drug, even OTC)are not "high" or impaired,maybe the first few days of taking it as your body adapts,j ust like many other meds. As some of the other poster have mentioned many of us take it for more than just drug treatment, like ongoing pain issues. So should they get off of it to be prescribed pain meds? That is how many of us got there in the first place! In my case it works for pain as well as mental health. I am bipolar (which is a big part of where the drug prob originated)and when I was younger tried several different med combos, some would help for awhile, some not at all. When I was prescribed methadone the physician had informed me that he was attending a conference in Europe regarding methadone for tx for mental health issues, he explained to me that there is alot of research that has shown that methadone stabilized people that nothing else would. Well over the last few years I have found that to be true. I have not had an issue with depression, mania, etc since being on MMT. So part of me wants to detox for few of what society thinks but part of me does not because it has allowed me to feel normal everyday of my life. Or maybe I shouldnt be allowed to practice nursing because of being bipolar?? Nurses are not immune to life or health related issues!! i can understand if someone is obviously impaired, but just to assume that is wrong! In fact I have seen many nursing students on here that are on MMT and maintained very high GPA's , honors, or dean'
s list. How in the hec does an "impaired" person accomplish that?? i can think of many many OTC cold meds that impair a person more than MMT. I do not debate the fact that we have made mistakes in our past but should that be held against us forever because we sought treatment?? Maybe the next time I am treated in a hospital, I should refuse care from a nurse if they mention having taken cold medicine. Afterall they might be "impaired". I would hope to God that a person that as worked the butt of to get to nursing school and then get THROUGH nursing school would have enough judgement as well as ethics and professionalism to not work if they felt impaired in anyway...
As fpr myself I am in a real catch - 22.. I receive monthly takehomes, I live hundreds of miles away from my clinic.In order to taper I would have to come in daily or be considered "unstable" by the clinic...well that is not realistic for me to drive hundreds of miles 1 way everyday....so I remain on MMT
I just want to say kudos to my fellow mmt patients. we have worked very hard and overcome alot of various obstacles to be where we are whether it be licensed in nursing school or working towards NS. I really wish that people would see us for who we are not mistakes we have made...I doubt they would want to be defined by THEIR mistakes...but thats what we deal with,not to mention many clinics, mine included treat you like a criminal not a patient or client. I pray that one day these stigmas will no longer exist esp those that define you as a drug addict because you take a medication. To the poster that mentioned that, I applaud you for not being on any kind of medication but it doesnt make someone who is "unclean" as you have said. With all due respect but I think that is ignorant thinking. If we sat here and listed every med and reason people may take these meds we could get very petty and judgemental.I am thankful to live in a day in age where we have treatments for so many various illnesses, drug dependency included, that have allowed people to live normal, productive lives. I apologize for a rather scattered post but this is a subject that I feel passionate about. Kudos to everyone and their success and have a wondefrul day!
- Apr 20, '11 by mona1023It would be in your best interests to check with the BON in your state to see what their expectations are with regard to addiction. Before you take your boards you will most likely have to submit an application that includes the question "Have you ever been treated for addiction?" When you submit your signed affidavit explaining your methadone use you will most likely have to be in a monitoring program for a time. I honestly don't no of any monitoring program that allows the use of ANY mild altering substances. In Indiana, when we sign our monitoring agreements we agree to not consume alcohol, any cold medication or even benadryl and certainly not methadone or suboxone. The reality is nurses are held to a much higher standard. We are given the privilege of caring for others by higher authorities-namely the BON and Attorney General in our states. If anything, I believe that the standards will get MUCH stricter - that eventually nurses with a history of addiction will not be allowed to practice- period (regardless of the American With Disabilities Act). There BON in my state is definitely much, much more conservative. Remember-you do not matter to the BON or any monitoring program at all. There purpose is to protect the public. I am only stating my opinion and I do wish you the very best!!
- Apr 20, '11 by BhavanaInteresting, you thinking the standards will become stricter...because in reality, they are going in the other direction. An individual on a stablized dose of methadone is NOT impaired in any way. It is the attitude that they are, or that addiction is a moral failing and not a disease, that believes otherwise. And by the way, the amount of addicted nurses is staggering. At least you know that a nurse on methadone is taking care of the problem and not still using to get high.
I think that what this comes down to is our opinions about addicts, and what rights they have. Methadone has always been, and continues to be, a controversial treatment. But I know many people that have been saved by this drug, and will always support a person's decision to take this path out of the world of addiction.
- Apr 20, '11 by elkparkQuote from mona1023(That's the way it used to work in every state until comparatively recently -- if you were found to be diverting or simply abusing any kind of drugs/alcohol, you simply lost your license forever, no other options, career over, end of story. The various "impaired nurse" (and other health professionals) programs in all the states are an attempt to be more understanding and flexible than that, and recognize that people can recover from addictions and the opportunity to continue in your chosen career is a powerful motivation to pursue treatment.)If anything, I believe that the standards will get MUCH stricter - that eventually nurses with a history of addiction will not be allowed to practice- period (regardless of the American With Disabilities Act).
- Apr 20, '11 by mona1023I do agree that it is like a pendulum-years ago there was no monitoring offered, licenses were lost, etc. Then monitoring programs were introduced in most states and now, since 1996, boards of nursing have the power to place individuals on the OIG list-at their discretion of course,(anyone who has had discipline on his/her license) making it impossible for an individual to gain ANY kind of employment in any facility that accepts Medicaid in any capacity. Those individuals can't even work for $7/hr as a custodian. I guess that is why I see things as much more punitive. Don't misunderstand me-I do think we addicts must be accountable for our actions. I just think it may be naive to assume that a long term methadone maintenance plan for an addict won't be an issue with the BON. Best of luck to you.