I am wondering, of the nurses who are currently battling addiction, how many of you became addicted by accident (such as, having surgery and unable to wean yourself from pain meds) vs recreationally using drugs and then discovered that you couldn't put them down.
I have always thought (and then, realized that it's an assumption) that people that become addicts do it to themselves and that nobody should feel sorry for them.
Then again, I have never read this anywhere, or surveyed people who did have addiction problems.
I would just like to know, from people who are currently battling addiction..what got you from one point to another?
I live in an area where drugs are a huge problem. I have only been in nursing school for a year, and have personally met 4 nurses that have lost their licenses permanently, due to addiction.
I am curious as to the stories behind the people that are courageously dealing with this every day, and want to either be or remain drug free.
They teach us in school how to recognize addiction, what to teach addicts, but knowing what causes addiction to me, is an important part of the healing.
Aug 1, '08
I myself have been a lifetime drug users (different things on different levels.) I lived in a very small town growing up and started drinking in middle school. I did it every weekend, like most of the kids I knew. We justified it by being bored. Then I started moving often due to my dads job and I suppose I just always found "those kids". I continued that through high school and included pot around age 17. It caused some issues like getting in trouble with my parents and kissing to many boys, etc. But there was never any need behind it. In my senior year of HS I found speed pills for a bit but they were only "fun" in small amounts and rarely. I was "smart" enough to realize that the dizzy, rushing, out of control feeling (racing pulse and increased resps) was probably not healthy. I went to an outpatient ETOH tx by the force of my parents to manage some of the negative effects of my continued choice to drink. I still didn't have withdrawls or anything so I never thought I was an alcoholic (neither did my folks actually) I just figured out that I do stupid **** when I drink and that while I may not need to drink, I certainly couldn't stop at one. So I just stopped taking that one. But I kept smoking pot. It was not a problem really in my mind since it didn't cause me to black out or lose my inhibitions. It was just a peaceful escape. I met my now ex husband in my pot circle and we smoked recreationally for years. Then I had a tooth pulled and found Lortabs. Still not a huge deal b/c we only took them when they came around. The script after my son was born when I was 20, when he got his wisdom teeth out at 22. My wisdom teeth out at 23. My sister had a baby when I was 23. Etc.... It was growing, but I still didn't see it. Then when I was 26 my ex ruptured a disc in his back. Our dr. wrote a script for Lortab 7.5mg #30. Take 1 q 4-6hrs prn pain. And he refilled it easily 2x a week for almost a year. By the time his RN starting kicking up her heels insisting there was a problem it was past to late. That was enough "legit" easy access to take hold. It was like 8 months before the first time we ended up not getting the refill done on Friday afternoon (so none for the whole weekend) and to my surprise (yes I was surprised...I had always been able to choose not to do something) I was HORRIBLY sick. And then we found other ways to get them. My ex found a dealer, he would take his injury to various ER's and I hopped around some dentists. Life was hell. And just b/c I was wrong about my presumed ability to control everything.
Aug 7, '08
That is a great question and I believe it needs to be discussed more. I used recreationally for nearly twenty years. I was never a big drinker but marajuana was. I used basically everyday I do not know why I started it just my way of finding peace. It kept me calm and believe it or not I felt more calm in my hectic life. I did get in trouble with my nursing license and still trying to get it back but I have been clean for eight years now and I work through it everyday.