Sober 140 days and dealing with TPAPN

  1. I have reading this forum for a few months now. I got addicted to Norco after being managed for migraines. I went to work impaired and was discovered. I went to rehab and intensive outpatient treatment. Despite seeing a counselor weekly, I still have so much shame. I have chosen not to return to work for at least a year. This is taking a chance that I will not be able to find work later. However, going back to my old job just for the sake of having a job is not an option. The nurses that I work with are very judge mental and thrive on gossip and tearing other nurses down. I feel like a criminal as I participate in TPAPN. Any advice welcome or just sharing experiences would be helpful. I don't talk to any of my friends, I feel so guilty and ashamed. I have been a nurse for 25 years and am afraid that this is the end of my career.
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    About RNMSN51, MSN

    Joined: Jun '13; Posts: 76; Likes: 72
    from US
    Specialty: 25 year(s) of experience in Na


  3. by   MichelleRN34
    In the beginning it is really hard to wrap your head around all that has happened and is happening. I'm almost two years into this whole process.. I still feel ashamed... But yes it is better.. Keep your head up..we are here..
  4. by   HunnieBadger
    I think the shame and guilt are natural, what you have to remember is that you're not a bad person or a bad nurse. Things happen in life to all of us, nobody is immune to addiction. The nurses who act like they are above that are maybe the most ignorant. This will make you a better person and nurse. I know it sounds unreal right now, but it's so very true. It opens us up to something that most of society is closed off to, typically by choice. I lost people who I thought were my "friends" in this whole process, some didn't want to associate and others thought ill of me. Now I know who my true friends are, they love me the same no matter what has happened. You will find with time the pain will ease, and maybe a better therapist? Either way know that you have a whole area of nurses who care and want to uplift and do what nurses are supposed to do.... Support one another! My thoughts are with you, you can do this!
  5. by   nowim clean
    Remember this if you work the steps throughly the shame and guilt will leave. You will become the person and nurse youre suppose to be. No this program isnot easy but it is doable. Load up on your meetingswork the steps find a sponsor, hopefully one who is also a nurse who understands what you are going through and for petes sake dont drink or drug. Good luck.
  6. by   VivaLasViejas

    Your pain is palpable, and I feel awful for you! I'm so this case, the punishment is far worse than the 'crime' IMHO.

    Be that as it may, please don't allow this mistake to define YOU, either as a nurse or as a person. You are not a criminal; you merely used poor judgment in taking a narcotic at the wrong time, and were found to be impaired at work. There but for the grace of God go a LOT of us who take controlled substances for one condition or another (I'm on Klonopin for anxiety; however I take it only at night so that I can face the next day clear-headed and not anxious!).

    It's just a shame that BONs seem to have this thing about punishing, rather than assisting nurses to get (and stay) clean and sober. I'm a recovering alcoholic and have bipolar disorder on top of that, and I don't know how well I could've maintained my sobriety for over 21 years if I'd been treated like something scraped off the bottom of a shoe. All I can say is, I wish you the best and hope you continue to see your therapist to try to get past the's hard to heal when all you feel is revulsion and anger toward yourself.

  7. by   RNMSN51
    TPAPN question. Has anyone had to give UDS on a weekend. If so, how do I find a testing location open on weekends? I live in Austin.
  8. by   celesteanne
    I have never had to test on a holiday or weekend. I'm sure there is probably a place somewhere that would be able to process a specimen, but in my state we are not expected to do so on a weekend. I think they feel fairly safe in that, as they have told us that they can detect alcohol in urine for up to 8 days. No clue if that is totally accurate, but I'd never put it to the test.
  9. by   RNMSN51
    Thanks for responding.
  10. by   TXRN2
    @ Sober- i did TPAPN- never got called to test on a weekend or holiday- as all facilities are closed on those days. however, it was almost a given that you will be tested immediately after all holidays! once- because of job hours- i had to test "after hours"- cost $75 more that usual, but was worth it at the time. best of luck to you!!
  11. by   RNMSN51
    Txrn2,Where do you go for after hours ?
  12. by   TXRN2
    @ Sober- i am through with TPAPN now. but i found out about the after hours testing by asking one of the clinics where i went. i would say call the places you can go & ask them if after hours testing is available.