Getting ready to self report

  1. 0
    First le me start my saying i am a addict. i know this and cant control my behavior sometimes. I go on benges every two or three weeks that last two days. then i would get myself all cleaned up for work. I went to rehad twice. No dice just small times of recovery. My addiction is to cocaine by the way. I am not in trouble at work. the board is unaware. My job s great i just scare because its a new job and n still in the 90 Days. I talk to my jobs recovery program and they have a crap load of people in it. i means well over 150 in the system. Im in michigan so i will be going through HPRP. I been off work for a couple of days . i checked myself into the hospital under dehydration and stayed for two days the rehydrated me well andgot me back on my feet. im just sick of this marry go round. I think that if i had some accountablity i would get and stay clean. Just here looking for woords of encouragement and advice. Any people here currently of HPRP or have been through it.

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  2. 15 Comments...

  3. 4
    If you are still working as a nurse, then take this opportunity to quit now and take a job working in a coffee shop while you sort our your priorities. You clearly see that you are out of control and heading for a huge train wreck. I'd say, even if you feel powerless over nothing else, stop working as a nurse until you know you can do it without drugs. This will protect you and those who might be harmed by the influence drugs have on you. Even though you think you are cleaned up enough to work, it takes the mind several weeks to return to normal functioning after taking serious mood altering drugs, perhaps not from a single time of using marijuana, but definitely from anything as hard as cocaine.

    You probably can't quit all by yourself. Few can. You need to be in a program, or at the least have lots of support and a strong will to stop. But foremost, remember you duty as a fellow human being to not make others pay for your own problems. If you must be drunk or high, at least limit the damage to yourself and those that who will suffer because they love and care about you. Don't make an absolute stranger pay the price for your weakness.
    LilRedRN1973, tila.12, jackstem, and 1 other like this.
  4. 1
    I agree STOP working as a nurse NOW before you have much more to regret such as killing or injuring a patient. Think of someone you love,would you want an impaired nurse taking care of them. Next get yourself into treatment immediately. They have learned so much more about the addicted brain and there are many new treatments. You must try to keep your insurance as long as you can. My understanding is that the BONs are their to protect the public . Can you get off the cocaine without self reporting and while not working at all as a nurse until you are clean?
    jackstem likes this.
  5. 2
    My advice is to request a leave of absence NOW, and after you're granted leave, THEN self report. I know that recovery involved honesty, but I was honest when I self reported, and I lost my job, and now I'm a 50 yr old single woman, with no job, no savings, and soon, no home. So protect your patients, and protect yourself. Get out of there before you kill someone, but use common sense and protect yourself, too.
    Nursewendy2000 and catmom1 like this.
  6. 3
    A FMLA is a great idea. Go to treatment as it is extremely difficult to quit on your own. Seek the counsel of an experienced license defense attorney before reporting to the BON.

    The American Association of Nurse Attorneys referral page.

    Remember all of the Rights you hear on "Law and Order"? Well, you have them in this situation as well even though most BONs won't tell you that, although some actually do ("you may want to consult with an attorney" is the wording in one of the letters a client received). Dealing with a licensing board is an adeversarial relationship, not one of advocacy. It's the way the law works. This is dealt with under administrative law (if criminal charges are filed that will obviously be dealt with under criminal laws). By self reporting without legal advise you would be giving self incriminating information to the BON who might hand over the information to the Attorney General for prosecution. The 5th Amendment says we cannot be compelled to incriminate ourselves.

    Get legal counsel. If you have your own liability insurance check to see if there is a license defense clause. If there is no other reason to obtain your own liability insurance upon graduation, this one clause would be reason enough.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    MichelleRN34, tila.12, and catmom1 like this.
  7. 2
    I agree with the above posters. STOP working as a nurse now. Stop the access to drugs, stop putting yourself and others at risk of dangers from impaired practice. After you resign or take a leave of absence, seek a rehab facility or treatment program. You so not have to self report. You do not have to stay in the cycle of drug abuse. You do not have to endanger yourself and your patients. You do have to go get clean so you can have a chance ever again. I wish you luck. Though I have never been an addict, I have family members who have, and one has succeeded in sobriety, one has not, simply because they deny the problem. You have succeeded already in acknowledging the addiction. Now you can fix it. My heart goes out to you. Thankfully I have never diverted narcotics but I know how easy it would be.
    all_over_again and TXRN2 like this.
  8. 4
    I agree with everyone here who said "GET A LAWYER FIRST." I totally understand wanting to be honest after all the lies but do NOT shoot yourself in the foot by thinking that it will help you to self report. I was crucified by my BON and had 7 years clean and sober last December in spite of them, not because of them.

    Good luck & please let us know how you are doing.

    all_over_again, TXRN2, JZ_RN, and 1 other like this.
  9. 2
    I am a recovering alcoholic. At the time I realized I had a problem (1989), my insurance did not provide coverage for any type of treatment. I started going to AA meetings several times a day & was able to get & stay sober. I never did work impaired so was not reported to BON. In 2007 I was working in MI & had some problems at work (personality conflicts) which got myself & 2 other nurses reported to BON. We all had to report to HPRP for a year, including random drug screens. If I had not had an attorney it's very possible my license would have been revoked. As it is, I just never renewed it because I had moved out of MI by the time the probation ended.Get a good attorney ASAP!
    Getting clean has absolutely nothing to do with will power & I hate it when people who know nothing about addiction say that it's just a matter of will. Addiction is an illness just as much as any other chronic illness & can be managed but never cured.
    TXRN2 and jackstem like this.
  10. 4
    Don't self report on the premise that it will somehow "keep you accountable". You need to be held accountable to you for success. If you are binge cocaine user, it is still in your system when you go to work. You realize this, and that you no longer have the control. Cocaine is a nasty drug, and so hard to stop once starting. (like most all of them). I would take a leave, "for a personal matter" and start going to meetings.(if you have that option just starting a new job). Add some outpatient therapy to it. Start the process with an inpatient detox stay if you must, but the key to this is follow up. One of the worst things is that when you are recovering, the dealers will call you with freebies, etc. that sucks you right back in. This is a disease process that needs continuing care. Get help, change your phone number, change your routine. I wish you nothing but the best.
    LilRedRN1973, TXRN2, all_over_again, and 1 other like this.
  11. 1
    Jade I hope everything goes in your favor, but in recovery sometimes you have to hit bottom before you can bounce back up. I am not addicted to coke but been in AA for years for alcoholism. It is not fun always but much better than drowning! I think you have gotten some good advice!
    TXRN2 likes this.

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