New to monitoring land

  1. Hello all! New here and I'm thankful for this group.

    I started ISNAP (Indiana) the beginning of January. I was diverting pain meds from work. I am 90 days clean, going to group and individual therapy, NA meetings. This is all expected and I understand these requirements, I even understand the random UDS but what is frustrating me is this ETG test.

    Although I understand the concept of total abstinence, I'm not sure why that should include abstinence of certain foods, body spray, cleaning products, mouthwash, deodorants!! My favorite powder fresh deodorant has alcohol in the ingredients!

    I can't afford to "prove wrong" a positive UDS. I don't even drink, yet my biggest concern is the alcohol testing!

    I haven't even been picked to test yet, so my question is, how sensitive is the test? I know hand sanitizer, mouthwash with alcohol and soy sauce are a no, but my lotion or deodorant?? If I hold my breath, squirt on body spray and run, would I be ok?? I actually read somewhere that Ibuprofen could cause a false positive!

    Could I please, please get some advice from people who are going through it. What is safe to use/eat? Do I have to give up my Secret powder fresh deodorant??

    Thank you all so much
  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   catsmeow1972
    An awful lot of what goes around with these programs is 3rd hand ‘I heard about someone who....' information or scare tactics. The programs tend to traffic in plain non information. With them you get referred to that "Talbot Recovery list." In plain English that means they aren't going to take responsibility for saying anything.
    That being said....unless you are huffing your deodorant (ewww..) I doubt it's an issue. Alcohol mouthwash is a definite no no for obvious reasons. I have used body spray and regular doses of ibuprofen since day one and never had a problem. In fact if you consult that almighty bible that they refer you to (that Talbot Recovery thing) Ibuprofen is on the generally considered as safe list.
    I have heard incredibly idiotic things like that 1/4 tsp of vanilla in a cake will make an ETG positive. Now drinking the bottle, yes. Pretty much use common sense and read labels. When going out, though, remember that in something for example, a bourbon glaze, the alcohol does not all burn off and you are risking trouble.
    I've used the hand sanitizer nonstop and not had an issue. I'm honestly not sure how one is expected to practice as a nurse and not use it. I don't get that one to be honest.
    The best advice I can give is common sense and feel free to ask. This forum will give you some good advice. Many of us have been through the stupider facets of these programs and don't traffic in the ridiculous rumors that are out there.
  4. by   Indiana RN
    Thank you so much! I swear, the internet is full of so much BS! sifting through it is tough! Lol you have definitely made me feel better!!
  5. by   unreal
    I completed a 3 yr contract with ISNAP a little over 5 yrs ago. I was tested for ETG with every UDS. I continued to use the hand sanitizer at work and did not change any of my hygiene products. I have always used alcohol free mouthwash. I did not change my diet at all. The only thing I did differently was I didn't drink alcohol. I never had a positive UDS. I wouldn't stress too much over it
  6. by   Indiana RN
    Thank you so very much! I was beginning to think I wouldn't make it 3 years!
    How has life been after you were done, job wise?
  7. by   No-soy-sauce-until-2019
    To echo what was said here I've found similar experiences above plus one other thing. While I was doing outpatient we had 2 people blame their positive ETG on random things, one was toothpaste and the other was use of hair spray. In both cases they later admitted to drinking, but I feel like that could be how some of these rumors start. People are freaked out in treatment in general, then you hear XXX causes a positive, and how would we know exactly? (and are of course afraid of that false positive).

    The thing I've found useful is to just use common sense and if the generalized worry is not worth that Chicken Marsala, then choose accordingly. I also use hand sanitizer at work, take motrin, and other similar things and in two years never had a problem. That being said, I've also been at holiday parties or at someone's house and chosen not to risk eating a food because I wasn't sure.

    Once you start having some negative screens under your belt, your anxiety around this will likely decrease and become more manageable.
  8. by   Indiana RN
    Thank you! I agree, once I get going and know what t o expect I should be able to relax.
  9. by   unreal
    Things have been great! It's nice to pick and choose what job(s) I want without having to explain my ISNAP situation.
  10. by   catsmeow1972
    I'm looking forward to that day. As I have satisfied all the requirements of my contract except for the time, I am choosing not to work because I am tired of explaining the situation to every potential employer. So here I sit peeing $$$ away (literally) and watching my career drain away while still having to be ever so wary of the dreaded *FALSE POSITIVE* and other assorted detritus.
    If these programs truly advocated for the nurse like they claim to, the OP would not need to be asking questions like she was. She would be able to go to her case manager for help. Sadly, she likely can't because none of these programs have any real care about advocacy and recovery. It's all about money, control and power.
    We do what we can to support each other here, but it is a sad statement that we are doing so against groups of our own who claim to be helping or who subscribe to incredibly outdated modalities and straight up ignore evidenced based practice in the face of everything we were taught in school. None of it makes any sense and if you try to make sense out of it, I can garuntee you will give yourself a stroke. These programs were set up for a small sector of people and for those folks have likely been a lifesaver and a way back into safe practice. For the rest of us.....nope....a destructive, expensive, highly possibly career ending nightmare.
    All most of us can do at this point is to put our heads down and open our wallets and try to make it through. I personally vent (a lot) here. As I said above, in spite of the raging stupidity, use common sense. Also keep very careful records (screen shots of contacts with case manager, records of times of phone call, copies of P test results, etc.) and do not think for a second that anyone in any program has your back. Don't be afraid to defend your self if you know you are in the right.
    It does end eventually. There are employers out there (more and more, I think) that know that these programs are mostly a money sucking crock and are willing to give a person a chance.
  11. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Welcome Indiana:

    Yeah the fear of the false positive lives in my mind like sick little demon. You will hear all kinds of things about false positives and the harsh truth is that most are going to be BS. If a person tests positive for drinking or drugs most likely they were. Having said that, I live in fear of a false positive. It took me months to switch from cigarettes (a very nasty habit reacquired in rehab) to vaping because I was worried about a false positive due to internet garbage. I vape now using the logic that ETOH is not on the label and if I worry about unlabeled ingredients I'll literally never put anything in or on my body. So I try to comply the beast I can. One of the many ill side effects of this program is paranoia. It has affected me along with straight up depression at times. The programs themselves were probably well meaning at their incarnation but now (for most of us they are just plain mean and destructive). I loathe my involvement in this hellish nonsense but the reality of the situation is that I either go along with this garbage or lose my career. So everyday that passes I get closer to the end and some milestones start to pass. Truthfully, the very best thing I can say about this program is that I will end someday. I have met wonderful folks here on this site. They are in the same situation as you and will support you. We disagree in good faith about recovery and other issues but for the most we respect and value each other's opinion.
  12. by   hppygr8ful
    When it comes to EtG, I was told there is no such thing as a false positive. There is however "Incidental Exposure". I had two positive EtG's during the five years I was in diversion. Both were determined to be incidental exposure and no further action was taken. Both were very close to the cut-off level. I am pretty sure one of them was from a cooking spray that contained grain alcohol (for product clarity) the other I never did figure out.

    Still you can't drive yourself crazy over this stuff.

  13. by   catsmeow1972
    ‘‘tis be very true. I think (don't hold me to this one) is that at some point there was some kefluffle about just how low the cut off levels were and that they were raised because all kinds of things (like cooking spray) were triggering people as positive when they had done nothing wrong and there went the money train of having to defend oneself against the results of a test that even the manufacturer states to not use in isolation of other symptoms.
    So no, near the cutoff is not a false positive, it is a positive, it's just an incidental exposure. As much as we scream ( and yes I certainly do my share of screaming) the tests are run by giant lab companies where we are even more of an anonymous number than we are with the programs. A line is drawn somewhere and once an error by the lab is ruled out (contamination, break in COC, etc.) this is where our well kept records and previous record of non-issues like missed testing/check ins comes in to play.
    I suppose what I am saying is if you play thier game by thier rules, as dumb as they may be, should you have one of these incidental, near the line exposures, it is less likely to be any problem at all.
  14. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Yeah you gotta play by there rules!!! Do everything you are told when you are told to do it. Its like "mother may I". If you actually get something out of this experience except abject misery is up to you. Following the rules is not. I go to a weekly nurse support meeting I loathe with the force of a nuclear detonation. However, I attend every week. I have been going for a year and have never missed or even been late. I do express my opinion when asked (forced) to provide input. I have gone so far as to ask the "counselor" if I should lie and say I love this so I don't get in trouble but she said that its not necessary but if she told me to sing the company song I would have. I recognize that I have no leverage and my opinion means nothing in monitoring land. This is simply about serving a sentencing for violating my nursing vows of pureness and fidelity to the spirit of Florence Nightingale and the rest of the dead nursing saints from a zillion years ago. As I said in group this is about retribution and not recovery.