Help my wife got caught diverting

  1. I NEED advice. My wife an RN of 10 years was confronted and admitted to drug diverting of fentanyl . It has been going on a few months due to chronic pain. No excuse but shes been seeking help from pain management for a long time with no relief . A car accident set off the latest bout that pushed her to the stupid decision to divert(steal) and self medicate.... She admitted use and asked for help they gave her a drug screen and suspended her first she did fail a drug test and was fired. She did enroll the day she was suspended into out patient and completed the 30 day plan and is going to 2 or 3 aa/da meeting a week. She has passed every drug test since the day she was suspended. That was 6 weeks ago. She just got the letter from Board giving 30 days to respond in writing. She has talked to a few lawyers and is to retain one next week. My question is..will she go to jail? can she work while under investigation? How mych will lawyers fees and fines be? She just got a new rn job will the y fire her? Anyone tell me what to expect? I am trying to be supportive to rehab and her working. I feel stupid for not seeing the signs. I am worried because we do have kids and bills to deal with . I just don't know what to do ...Help in Missouri
    •  
  2. 50 Comments

  3. by   DRossy
    I highly doubt she would go to jail for this, I've personally never heard of it; I wouldn't worry too much about jail time unless she was diverting then dealing the drugs or something of that nature. The board will likely suspend her license and she will probably have to do inpatient treatment which, without insurance can be as much as 60k. Lawyers fees quickly become astronomical because they milk you and bill you for every phone call, every email, every letter and it generally costs around 5k to retain an attorney; our lawyer ended up costing about 15k when it was all said and done and to be honest, I don't think he helped at all; I think the outcome would have been the same with or without an attorney. The board in Oregon suspended my license then had me be evaluated by a counselor and I had to follow his recommendations before my suspension would be lifted. After lifting my suspension I was placed on probation which restricts where I can work and how many hours, what shifts, etc. From what I've read on these posts finding a job while on probation can be very difficult and a lot of nurses end up having to walk away from their license due to not being able to find work. A lot on the other hand are able to successfully find work. I don't really know what to tell you, I have no words of encouragement because I am currently struggling with feelings of hopelessness myself. Good luck- I don't think you have to worry about jail time though.
  4. by   got_nurseing73
    Thanks for the response. She already did the 3 day a week 30 day out patient program clean and all. Would they still make her go to inpatient even after that? Doesn't sound fair everything I read on here is its all about money but if you cant work as a nurse how the heck do you pay for it all... good luck with your situation.
  5. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    I hope they feel that the outpatient therapy does the trick. It wouldn't here I don't believe. As far as not being able to afford it I've seen no evidence that they care at all. Sad but true. Many nurses here lost their license because they couldn't afford to pay for all this "treatment" after losing their livelihood and insurance that goes with it
  6. by   Lisacar130
    Jail is extremely unlikely at this point, it is rare for the hospital to press charges but when they do, it's right away like the day you're caught. My lawyer (not a criminal lawyer, but a lawyer that deals with the board and specializes in nurse licenses) was $1500 (I got the cheapest one here in illinois). The second cheapest one I could have used was $3,000 and the most expensive one I know of in Illinois is $5,000. My lawyer charged a flat fee so I didn't have to pay per phone call or anything. I found it extremely helpful myself.
    These things are very state specific as far as how they handle these things. Some states have a voluntary program where you self report but if she hasn't done that yet it may be too late to qualify. What will probably happen is she will end up with a mark on her license so she may have a hard time getting a job in the future. There will possibly be restrictions too, like no job that deals with controlled substances. I don't know what kind of job she has right now but if it deals with controlled substances it will look bad when she does go before the board and they will probably give restrictions, making her have to quit. Her best bet is to try to get a job now that will be most likely to work with her if she ends up with restrictions or a mark on her license. Hospitals rarely do. Dialysis clinics, on the other hand, are known to work with nurses in this situation. I wouldn't tell them anything about it, get the job, then reveal only after the board hearing. Good luck. She should look for nurse recovery meetings in your state so she can get more support and job advise too.
  7. by   DRossy
    From my experience they could care less if you end up homeless... You do what they say or your license is gone. They expect you to find a way to pay to jump through their hoops. Basically, from my experience- what SpankedinPittsburgh said is 100% true. After the treatment, when they start the monitoring, you have to call in everyday, for years, to a random drug testing site. You could be asked to test twice in a week, six times a month- whatever, totally random for $40 a test. I don't know how most people can afford that without having a job. It's pretty awful.
    Last edit by DRossy on Nov 4 : Reason: grammar
  8. by   got_nurseing73
    Thank you for input. She has been going to meetings for recovery. She got a nursing home job...guess the lawyer can say if she need to tell them anything or quit. She meets lawyer meeting in a week. She just got letter wanting response in 30 days. It did say it would take months to investigate and review..My question is will they suspend once the 30 day letter is returned or can she work until the final review by board. Again it takes nursing money to pay for all this...I called around and most wanted 10k up front found one in the field said 2k down and monthly payments . I read 5-20k is normal but if she can keep license its worth it but I fear all the red tape and trying to find a job while on restrictions. If she cant keep working we have talked about her just finding something else to do I suppose. Without a nursing job there's no way we can afford another treatment program and lawyer and everyday bills too. She was wrong to do it but man they make it so hard. If they really care about theis issue why don't DR.s and nurses get drug tested regularly ?
  9. by   got_nurseing73
    If that's the case as long as jail isn't an issue she would be better off just doing something else..
  10. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Ultimately that's the question for every nurse to answer. "Is this worth it?" If it is the nurse will put up with the nonsense. If its not the nurse will do something else. Many of us see no other way than to continue on with that which we have invested our lives in but I'll be honest if I saw another way I'd take it.
  11. by   got_nurseing73
    Question: these test I see everyone talking about. Are they random drug tests? What's the issue with those you have to take one immediately or at a specific location or something?
  12. by   got_nurseing73
    The tests your talking about what do they do call you and say go immediately or something?
  13. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    I check in every day and when they tell me I go get tested. I have several testing facilities in my area. I get tested 3-4 times a month at totally random times. The cheapest test I take is $44 ($15 dollar collection fee + $29 test fee). The most expensive I've taken is about $200 for a blood (PeTH) test. Usually its a couple hundred a month. In addition I have to pay for my weekly support group meeting I must attend no matter what (work is not an excuse for missing) at $25 per week. In addition I had copays for inpatient / outpatient rehab, evaluation fees. Also I lost much income due to not being released to work and then work restrictions. Between lost wages and all this other stuff it came to about $30K this year. I was OK financially and now I'm drowning in debt and looking at a bankruptcy. Factor all this in. No easy road but I'm doing it miserably
  14. by   Recovering_RN
    You check in every day by calling a phone number or checking online on a website or phone app. That check in will tell you if you have to test that day. You can call in as early as 4 am, as late as 2 pm. But the test has to be done that same day. If you call at 4 am it gives you a chance to plan your day. Some people arrange with their managers to leave work around lunch time to go to the lab when they find out they've got to test that day. Some programs allow a little leeway in regards to which testing center you use. I can go to quest, for the regular fee, but they close at 4 pm. If I pay an extra $15 I can go to a number of other places like Care Now, and they stay open until 10 or 11pm.

close