Nursing Student with a Drug Addiction

  1. 0
    Hi guys:
    I have already asked this question on the Friends/Family of Addicts forum I belong to, so I thought I would get your opinion as well.
    My husband is a 3 1/2 years clean, recovering addict. His good friend (I'll call him J), who he met in AA, recently got accepted into nursing school for this coming fall 2011. J was clean for 3 years when he relapsed this past fall 2010 (heroin, pills, alcohol). J continues to use, is refusing to go into rehab, and as far as I know plans to start nursing school in the fall, clean/sober or not. I have three main concerns: 1. the waiting list is very long and he will be taking a spot from someone who would better take advantage of the program, 2. J will be impaired and having patient contact, and I worry about the patients he may be responsible for, 3. At some point he will have access to narcotics that he will be able to steal.

    Now, the F/F of Addicts people mostly just said to let the situation be, and that J would fail out on his own anyways. But I feel as if I should contact the nursing school to let them know (I went to the same nursing school). Because who knows how long it will take him to fail on his own, and how many patients/narcotics he will have contact with, besides the fact that someone else will have to wait another semester to get into the program if he takes the spot.

    So what do you all think? Should I contact the school?
    (Feel free to move this to another forum topic; I didn't think it fit great in the Nurses in Recovery forum since he is not yet a nurse, or in recovery).
    Thanks everyone!
    Vanessa
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  3. 60 Comments so far...

  4. 6
    Does the nursing school do drug tests? We were all drug tested at orientation. Just a thought ...
  5. 5
    I agree with the members of the other forum -- leave this alone and let his bad karma catch up with him on its own. "Ratting him out" to the school can only create problems for you.
  6. 0
    I have tried to remember if I was drug tested when I started school there, but I can't remember. I do remember being drug tested at all my other hospital jobs, so I am thinking I was not tested when starting nursing school. I am sure they have the right to drug test, which is why I think I should let them know, so they can test someone they otherwise might not.
  7. 3
    don't be a snitch.
  8. 1
    I know that at least some schools in my area drug test before you start. I think you should say something to someone... maybe not call the nursing school immediately but I think you need to do something because you are right - he is taking a spot away from someone who is more capable and he could harm patients and/or himself along the way. Try talking to your husband, he may more successful if he tried to talk to his friend directly. If that doesn't work, I would call the school, but make sure you've got some good evidence for suggesting to them that he's not clean...
    lindarn likes this.
  9. 15
    Quote from brandon2011
    don't be a snitch.

    I don't think that advocating for all of his future patients/coworkers is cause for being labeled as a "snitch"


    Having said that, he will most likely encounter drug testing somewhere along the way (our school didn't require it, but several of our clinical facilities did)
    Nurse_Diane, neverbethesame, suanna, and 12 others like this.
  10. 0
    As someone said earlier, if the school doesnt require it (drug testing) - some hospitals may. I was going to say students arent usually alone with meds, but than again an addict could find a way, Im sure. If he is really addicted to drugs, I dont know how he will be able to survive the demands of nursing school. I dont know how to advise you on this. He obviously needs help, but isnt ready yet. GOOD LUCK TO YOU.
  11. 5
    Quote from Turd Ferguson
    I don't think that advocating for all of his future patients/coworkers is cause for being labeled as a "snitch"
    Thanks, I agree. And for anyone who knows anything about drug addiction, keeping things a secret is one of the most powerful tools an addict has in continuing to use.
  12. 0
    my school drug tested on admittance to the program and before every new hospital we did clinicals.


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