Recreational THC = now starting IPN!

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    Well...... hello new friends!

    As a "new" Registered Nurse of 2 1/2 years @ 43 years old, a part of my "previous life" did not fall away as completely as it should have. A phone call was made ( and I strongly suspect this was by a co-worker who knew too much of my personal life, and who was increasingly aggressive and confrontational with me at work over the last several months.... regardless of that fact, however, I OWN this now and here I am.... )

    This occured last Thursday. I was escorted to HR by mgmt., and then went to give blood & urine. Prior to this, when asked by HR if I "thought it could be positive" I simply, honestly stated, "Yes, it's possible." I did this because I truly feel I have nothing to hide, and I have already been fussed at for #1.) Admitting this - - but if my credibility is all I have, it MUST remain intact!!!! and #2.) For not resigning before submitting to testing. Hmmm...... never occured to me, and seems a wee bit shady anyway......

    I know the test will come back (+) and have already made initial calls to IPN to self-report and to an attorney who advised me and told me to call her if things with IPN get bad.... (((( ?!?!?!?! )))) I am fully trusting this process and HOPE I am not naive in doing so....... All that is in my head is "BE HONEST! BE HONEST!! THIS HAS HAPPENED AND YOU HAVE TO OWN IT!!!!

    I see alot of good & bad posts about IPN but what gives me hope is the people that say, "Do what they tell you & you will be OK" or "It's hard, but it becomes a way of life and you can do it" or "you will be stronger" or "the time will pass anyway"

    The journey and success of becoming an RN changed my life in many profound ways and I will do everything in my power to protect & preserve my license!!!! NOTHING matters more.... I am NOT struggling with concerns of withdrawal or replacing my "buzz" in any way...... I am not sipping wine as I write this!!!

    I am also pretty hopeful, as the attorney stated if I am diagnosed at a level that is a need for "Education" and is not addiction/dependancy, that this is taken into consideration.....

    Is anyone else in a similar situation?!?!?! A first-time offender, recreational user, no polysubstance use...... I would love to connect with those in a similar situation........... I know this is going to take months to start and years to end...... I would appreciate any and all feedback.......!!!!!

    Thank you for listening to my story and I wish you well!!!!!!!!
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  4. 83 Comments so far...

  5. 2
    Don't depend too much on the education route. It is something that IPN "offers", yet in my year and a half experience with the Nursing Board (of Florida), IPN and IOP programs...i have yet to see it come to fruition with ANY nurse.

    Who knows...you may luck out!

    But, if you don't...just take the hand that IPN deals you. Do it with a smile. You put yourself into this position...so you might as well own it. I went into IPN with a really crappy attitude. But, now that I am in my final week of IOP...I am almost blessed for having had the experience. I learned so much about myself in IOP...not just about addiction and substance abuse, but myself as a caring and concerned individual. I have definately learned to be a more compassionate listener and I am definately less judgmental.

    This Friday is my last day. Don't know what the nursing board is going to do with me after that or what sort of contract that IPN will offer me now. Whatever it is...I'm just going to roll with the punches and know that in 10 years from now...this will all be a memory. A faint memory.

    I am continuing to go to the therapy center where I went through IOP. These people, after 3 months, have become like family to me. While I won't be going 9 hours a week like IPN mandated...bet your backside I will still make it to at least two meetings a week.

    I hope you have a positive experience with the Board and with IPN. Keep us updated.

    Good luck!
    lifeistweet and jackstem like this.
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    Thank you sooo much for posting....... I am glad to hear you feel this was ultimatley a positive experience for you...! Congrats on this Friday & I wish you the very best with the program... can you please clarify a few things for this Newbie??

    What is IOP - I hear that term alot versus IPN..... also, you mentioned a year and a half.... did you work during that time?? If you are "done" on Friday, what is the "contract they offer you now"...??? The attorney I spoke to did tell me that when you emerge from IPN that your license is intact with no permanent record of discipline, etc..... versus the disciplinary actions/investigations by the BON directly if you do not enter IPN or do not self-report... You mentioned it will be a memory in 10 years.... I understood this could be a 5 year contract at the most..... what is or will be your TOTAL time in IPN?? Have you been able to work?? Got the final results from work last night, and I will be calling IPN to start the process today!!!! TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF MY LIFE!!! Lastly, yes, I do own this and that is why I am staying as positive as possible..... with all due respect to you, you mentioned going in with a "crappy attitude" and I just can't let myself go there, because I am afraid that is where I will go to those scary places in my head and I have to trust this process, for I believe this to be my ONLY option now....

    Please expand on whatever you feel comfortable with, because I really appreciate your honesty!!!! I am nervous and freaked out, but am finding humor & love & support in every day, and want to move thru this as smoothly as possible....

    THANK YOU!!!!!
  7. 6
    I have an acquaintance who was escorted to HR, dropped dirty on her urine, immediately lost her job and started the process you describe above. She just went back to work last month...had been unemployed as a nurse for the past year. She is unable to work in some areas (like field hospice) where she would have access to opioids and other abusable drugs like ativan. She is a bit bitter that a personal problem with a co-worker ended up in a drug screen and termination for her. Of course, I don't know exactly what happened in the situation, only her side of the story, but she seemed to be a competent nurse and her patients were generally well managed. She came to the team meetings well prepared and collegial.
    I guess that I don't really care how my co-workers relax when off duty...not much difference to me between martinis or marijuana and I feel bad for those who are struggling with these issues.
  8. 1
    I know it's tough to come to grips with all that is coming down on you now,
    but one day at a time does help! Start the IPN process,get the eval,and be totally honest!
    Since you didn't divert you probably won't get a narcotic restriction,which makes finding work much easier!
    And I have met people in IPN with 2 or 3 year contracts,
    It depends on their use and circumstances.
    It will get better,and all is not lost.
    I will keep you in my prayers!
    Honest&Hopeful&Hurt likes this.
  9. 0
    THANK YOU! Thanks everyone for all of your WONDRFUL feedback and SUPPORT so far!!!! A new kink - - spoke to IPN, started the process, & they THEN asked if my employer reported me to the BON...?!?!?! I thought if I voluntarily self-reported, I would by-pass that!!!!! Now awaiting a call from my (former) HR to verify if so or if not!!! Initially HR discussed termination, but NOT reporting!!! My Med Review Officer & Employee Assistance counselor have not mentioned this - or to expect this - as any part of this process whatsoever....!!!! Thoughts?!?!?
  10. 6
    You seem to be ready to get this going and ready to start your life without recreational use of marijuana. Congratulations, hopefully in the next few weeks you will get the help that you need.

    I want to stress to you that it is important to be honest with YOURSELF and as far as being honest with everyone that does not include telling everyone about your addiction and IPN participation. Tell only the people who are the "need to know " list.(except this anonymous forum and very close recovering friends) Anymore than that and you are setting yourself up for some serious hurt. A lot of people still see addicted healthcare professionals as being evil, nasty , ugly people who live to hurt their patients and steal all their pain medications... and leave the patient laying in the bed in terrible pain while they're high running the unit drunk on whatever they can steaal from everyone.... SO, like I said,, keep a "need to know" list and stick to that.

    Another thing that I learned while I was going through this process of health care peer assistance is that most people feel like what I stated above and that I should keep my mouth shut, no one really wants to hear my story,, unless of course we are in group and/or it is my counselor. I know that I never fully told my story to my manager, and she never asked. Most professionals will never ask,, unless they are nosey and thrive on your psychological pain.(in this case, they are not professional at all, are they?!)

    I don't mean to sound rude or mean,, but I am just giving you a little down to earth, hard to hear, advice that you may not get,,, hopefully I can come up with some positive advice in a few minutes. lol.

    When it comes time to start interviewing and going back to work... come back here, there are a few threads on how to interview and how to find a job... and when to tell the interviewer. Some very very good tips and tricks. Many of us have went on literally dozens of interviews before even being considered for a job. All of that interviewing leads to lots of experience. This group is full of such experience and most of us will gladly help you if you need it.

    This post seems like a it is more negative than most of my other posts, but like I said, I just wanted to be realistic. Right now it sounds like you are happy, and ready to give this your best shot. You want to save your license, but what about saving "you"? Think about that for a minute. You may or may not have had an addiction, but everyone has issues that they need to work on, and almost 100% of the time when drugs are involved, it is to help relieve some other sort of pain or emotion that is bothering us. Most nurses become addicted because they are "super nurses' and do not want to fail. They don't want to fail their patients and do not want to fail themselves and their family. Therefore they turn to narcotics/drugs/whatever that improves their performance or mind set temporarily fixing the problem only to make it a GAZILLION TIMES WORSE.

    Use this time to do some serious soul searching. And I agree with other posters when they say, just do what IPN tells you to do. I totally agree with this. BUt being HONEST with everyone.. that may be the right thing to do,, but I don't think it is the best thing to do. I'm not saying for you to lie to people.. not at all.... just think about it.

    Feel free to private message me anytime,, anytime really. I promise to be more positive next time.

    In my recovery, and other recovering addicts will tell you this also,, I have to fullfill an obligation to my recovering self.. and that is to help other recovering nurses who need help.. those who need advice and a shoulder to lean on. It definitely keeps my addiction/recovery in check.
  11. 5
    Magsulfate said
    "I want to stress to you that it is important to be honest with YOURSELF and as far as being honest with everyone that does not include telling everyone about your addiction and IPN participation. Tell only the people who are the "need to know " list"

    The being honest with yourself is probably the hardest of all to accomplish intially, but in time it does come a lot easier. The "need to know thing is kind of trickey sometimes, because you just want to get your story out, I would not discuss ANYTHING with my coworkers about this. Nothing , Nada, zilch and No way! If you do it will come back and bite you hard. Keep quiet and just listen, you will figure out at time, place and whom to tell and on what level to tell.

    Mark

    PS. Mag..your not rude or mean!! just realistic, been there done that..saw the movie......
    ariel7777, SuesquatchRN, jackstem, and 2 others like this.
  12. 5
    Ok, Im stupid, what does IPN and IOP stand for????
    I don't smoke, tried it, hated it, but still, to this day, I have MAJOR issues with the fact that grown adults can't go home after work and have a smoke. So sad that governments feel the way they do about it. While hundreds of people die every year related to drunk driving accidents, it's still legal and socially acceptable to get ripped roaring drunk on the weekend but people get fired for having some bud. Such a ****** up system we have here....
    Last edit by sirI on Nov 12, '09
    catebsn25, amybeets05, smily nurse, and 2 others like this.
  13. 0
    Quote from NeedchangeofPace
    Magsulfate said
    "I want to stress to you that it is important to be honest with YOURSELF and as far as being honest with everyone that does not include telling everyone about your addiction and IPN participation. Tell only the people who are the "need to know " list"

    The being honest with yourself is probably the hardest of all to accomplish intially, but in time it does come a lot easier. The "need to know thing is kind of trickey sometimes, because you just want to get your story out, I would not discuss ANYTHING with my coworkers about this. Nothing , Nada, zilch and No way! If you do it will come back and bite you hard. Keep quiet and just listen, you will figure out at time, place and whom to tell and on what level to tell.

    Mark

    PS. Mag..your not rude or mean!! just realistic, been there done that..saw the movie......
    Yeahh the same movie that we could have won an academy award for our part... GLad that is all in the past,, this is a new movie!


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