Drug Abuse/Nurses/Kristi - Page 2Register Today!
- Jun 15, '00 by DCPsych related???Interesting, I think many many nurses become interested in a helping profession because they were from some type dysfunctional family/home situation or for whatever reasons, they felt the need to fix/help others with their problems. Many nurses neglect themselves and place everyone elses needs ahead of their own. They have trouble saying no and feel like they can handle a multitude of things before realizing they are overtaxed, not coping well or causing problems for themselves. Nurses tend to be perfectionists and often feel like they have failed if they can't handle these crazy demands or if everyone around them isn't doing well. What is the issue is why certain nurses become addicts and others don't. Perhaps it's coping mechanisms at a given time. Maybe it's a predisposition to addiction much like alcoholism or depression. Maybe it's lack of support systems for themselves. Maybe it's their inability to ask for help. I think this is one of the reasons other react so badly to a nurse's addiction, somehow we should be above this, too strong to succumb , almost beyond being a real human being, vulnerable just like everyone else??So, yes ther'e psych related issues, but they are as different as the nurses who end up abusing drugs. For whatever the reasons, I think the issue is how to help these folks, how to save their careers and how to decrease the horrible, ignorant stigma that follows them for the rest of their lives. Any ideas?
- Jun 16, '00 by PPLMan, I'm reading all this, and it sounds like some of you would like to tar and feather me, for what you believe to be my narrow-mindedness. I read your many different possibilities as to how/why you became an addict, but I see NOTHING to indicate choice as one possibility. This makes me a little suspicious, because you can't argue about the compassion and understanding that nurses are supposed to possess, without also speaking about the ethics, choices and responsibility that goes with our training. So, you think I should choose to be MORE compassionate and understanding toward your "disease" but let YOU totally off the hook re any ethics, choice and/or responsibility re your usage? Maybe, but I think not. As far as my Loaded Gun Theory, I'm not suggesting that we blow any addicts out of the water. What I AM trying to suggest, is that theoretically, if a loaded gun were held to the head of an addict, "disease" or not, then we would REALLY begin to see who is motivated by what, and just how much choice is involved in taking that next drink and/or using that next drug, dig? As for those of you who suggest that I'm ignorant and unknowledgeable re the true nature of addiction; so say you. I won't try to change your mind, as your plate is already too full. I will however, attempt to suggest to you, that you reach into your deepest selves, and try to tap into what I believe exists in each and every one of you; the ability to be honest, the ability to know right from wrong; and the ability to CHOOSE the right thing. Thanks to all.
- Jun 16, '00 by DCTo PPL, wow! I have just read another one of your letters and again your arrogance floors me! It sounds as if you may have had some lst hand experience with addiction to be so cynical and sarcastic.Maybe someone in your family or a close co-worker that tried to burn you to protect themselves? I may be wrong, but your strong opinion came from somewhere. As much as I don't like your attitude, some of it is correct. Yes, all of us did have a choice, and I think we all knew right from wrong. You may think my ethics were in the toilet, but believe me, i'm far from off the hook!!!!!I am being punished in the worse way, my career is destroyed. What I loved most in my life, no longer accepts me. I have been outcast, thrown away by people like you that thinks my total selfworth is contingent to one huge dumbass attack in a 20 year career.I can't fathom that in your career, you have never made a mistake, poor judgement, or wrestled with your own conscious in a care issueregarding eithics, morals, etc. If you say you have not, then I don't see how you could be a nurse. I'm sure you think you have it all figured out, but read what these other folks are replying to you. Are they all wrong and you're so brilliant that you're the only one that understands this? The statement you made about my plate being too full was beyond cruel, and, I am saddened that a person could be so cold, calculating and still be involved in healthcare. You are a scary person with some issues of your own. Atleast I am addressing my issues and trying to do something about them. I hope something or someone is able to help you understand your shortcomings before they backfire and cause you some serious problems.I am angry at myself for allowing someone like you to upset me. You do have the right to your own opinion whether I like it or not.Look in the mirror, I think your halo is slipping. Goodluck, i's pretty sure your coworkers are weary of your self-rightengous????
- Jun 16, '00 by traumaRUsWhew, what a lot of info and such a heated topic. However, my two cents worth is that I worked with an ER nurse that had me (among others) signing off the wasted narcotics that was really normal saline or water!! So, I too am bitter and not even a little tolerant with this issue. Don't come work with me!! We're just getting a little touchy-feely for me. My sympathy lies with the patients who continued to be in pain after being given normal saline!!
- Jun 16, '00 by bunkyThe reason I am trying to make some sort of a prexisting psych connection is because I am being asked to believe that this is a disease. I don't. You are giving me an eye opener as to the pressure you felt to perform, but not why it got so out of control for you. I have been closely affected by addiction, it destroyed my family. I am trying to decide if maybe addiction is not merely a symptom of a psych problem, a way to cope with a psych issue that was there but hadn't escalated until drugs came into it and masked an underlying problem. I don't understand how a person can let it get that far out of control without having an underlying psych problem. Not being a psychatrist I wouldn't hazzard a guess at a dx, but if things like anorexia, and gambling are treated as a psych problem, then isn't addiction too? Judging by my own experience with it, I'd be tempted to think it was more a personality disorder simply because the cure rate is not that great.
- Jun 16, '00 by Joankim
Recent research indicates that addictive substances change brain chemistry in ways that persist long after a person stops taking drugs. And, the medical, social and job difficulties that often accompany drug abuse don't necessarily end when drug use stops.
Despite significant strides in the behavioral sciences and in understanding how the brain works, misunderstandings about drug addiction and treatment remain.
"At times, it can seem like a simple, straightforward, obvious condition that one gets into by irresponsible behavior and one should be able to change by willpower and ‘just saying no,’" says Robert M. Morse, M.D., a psychiatrist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester Minn.
"On further study, however, it seems increasingly complex, elusive and frustrating with no defining concepts and unclear treatment approaches," says Dr. Morse.
– Last Updated: Sept. 17, 1998
PPl go to one of the many sites for alcohol or substance abuse and read what many doctors have to say about this DISEASE.
I for one am not going to engage in any more time trying to explain to people who do not care about, or think that addicts are the scum of the earth. That is an opinion I cannot change, and I know that this is not true about me. I am a person who made some bad choices, and am now recovering from the results of things that happened due to my addiction. Peace to all!!
- Jun 16, '00 by KIDSRNYour outline of a Nursing personality if bang on. I am a recent graduate and lasted three years when I called it quits in January. When I knew I had enough - I could really understand how Nurse's could be drawn to the drugs so readily available to them. If I had a previous Psych condition or didn't have the strong character or support at home - it could have been very tempting.
Off the subject - I really miss nursing and want to get back into it but I know the conditions at the hospital have not changed and I am not going back into their bad scheduling, overworked floor. Any suggestions on careers where I can still be nursing but am not front line in a hospital and can get decent pay?
Originally posted by DC:
Psych related???Interesting, I think many many nurses become interested in a helping profession because they were from some type dysfunctional family/home situation or for whatever reasons, they felt the need to fix/help others with their problems. Many nurses neglect themselves and place everyone elses needs ahead of their own. They have trouble saying no and feel like they can handle a multitude of things before realizing they are overtaxed, not coping well or causing problems for themselves. Nurses tend to be perfectionists and often feel like they have failed if they can't handle these crazy demands or if everyone around them isn't doing well. What is the issue is why certain nurses become addicts and others don't. Perhaps it's coping mechanisms at a given time. Maybe it's a predisposition to addiction much like alcoholism or depression. Maybe it's lack of support systems for themselves. Maybe it's their inability to ask for help. I think this is one of the reasons other react so badly to a nurse's addiction, somehow we should be above this, too strong to succumb , almost beyond being a real human being, vulnerable just like everyone else??So, yes ther'e psych related issues, but they are as different as the nurses who end up abusing drugs. For whatever the reasons, I think the issue is how to help these folks, how to save their careers and how to decrease the horrible, ignorant stigma that follows them for the rest of their lives. Any ideas?
- Jun 17, '00 by Smitty,RNFrom one opinionated and unknowledgeable nurse to another- PPL I agree with you and have the same strong feelings. When I first learned of the Impaired Nurses Program- back in nursing school- I was shocked that you could actually be under the influence caring for patients and basically get a slap on the wrist. For all of you addicts reading this, I am ignorant of your personal situation- I only know what has gone on in my facility- where a nurse was caught stealing ALOT of Demerol. She was out of work about a month or so- now she is back to work as if nothing happened. Oh, I forgot- she can't sign out narcotics. BIG DEAL!
I don't care what the AMA says about addiction being a disease. I see it as a weakness. As far as taking care of addicts-
I give them the same care and compassion as I give my other patients- I treat all my patients with the best care no matter what they do in their personal lives- The difference? Theyre not making decisions or administering medications to me or my patients! Thats the problem. If you have a difficulty controlling the urge to be high for whatever reason- YOU SHOULD NOT BE A NURSE! End of story.
- Jun 17, '00 by DCHey guys, it's dc again. For ppl and the nurses who share her feelings, what do you think should be done to impaired nurses? Should there career be over? Should they be arrested? How would ya'll handle us? Every state board is different, I know they are alittle more progressive on the coasts. I live in the mid-west where the board is very out-dated and backwards in their thinking. The punishments here anyway are very harsh. I guess it's too bad I didn't abuse drugs somewhere else hugh?A paramedic and an MD was also caught where I worked. Neither one of them were reported to their respective boards, and the MD is back to work at that facility. I think that everyone should atleast be treated the same.Should nurses who get their licenses restricted for other things alos lose their career? Or should it just be for drug users?? How about alcohol or rx drug abuse??
- Jun 18, '00 by PPLGood questions. I addressed this in my original post, as it wasn't clear to me exactly WHAT happens to impaired nurses. Some seemed to get a slap and others just disappeared period. Does it make a difference if they're caught red-handed, then if they seek help themselves? The only case I am familiar with, the person sought help through the state program, and was allowed to work off the floor. They signed a last chance contract with the facility, went through rebab, etc. I believe the state program was a joke. The individual was quite able to work around their "restrictions" including their "random" drug screening, and was using during the program, and that's a fact. This type of thing creates a dilemma for nurses who feel as I do. I received much flack about my use of the word betrayal, but I believe that when you deceive and misrepresent yourselves to your co-workers, your patients, family and friends, etc., plus put others in a situation of conflict, that is certainly a betrayal. I'll turn it back to you. I ask you, what would YOU have us do?