Quote from dph1965
Why, if suboxone or methadone is being used by a nurse, under the supervision of their MD, and they have been on appropriately low "maintenance doses" for years, without any abuse of this or other meds, would any board disapprove. I mean, I know they will, but... One could argue that the med would impair the nurse, but tolerance is achieved rapidly and easily on these drugs and there is documentation proving that they do not have the euphoric, clouded sensorium effects on long term users that other opiates have. Is a diabetic nurse considered impaired? I mean, her insulin dose could cause her to bottom out or her unmonitored, super-high glucose could affect her judgement. Same goes for those of us on Ritalin or antidepressants. Monitored, medically supervised, symptom-appropriate prescription drug use is NOT drug abuse! When does it end? I do consider someone on suboxone, IF they have not used in any other context, clean. Just because they chose to treat the god-awful, relapse inducing withdrawal symptoms, is no reason to consider them as "using".
To the OP, my personal advice to you is that you can enter the HC field and be successful, as a recovering addict, I know people who have done so. I also know people that have relapsed after yrs of recovery, when they became nurses. I would not encourage nursing to any recovering addict, just based on the reality that nursing is stressful and is emotionally and physically hard, the hours are irregular, and the availability of meds is always there.
As far as disclosing this info to the BON, I personally would not do so. This is not their busienss and if a person is able to recover without incurring any criminal records and on their own initiative, this is private medical info that is protected by HIPPA laws. It would only be used in a negative way by any BON and is discriminatory.
As far as suboxone use... too many "recovering" people object to it, and think that people using it are not in recovery....I personally disagree with this, and base recovery on how a person lives and acts, and the people I know using maintainace drugs are NOT the same as addicts trapped in the hells of active addiction. They don't lie, steal, or behave in ways that addicts do, instead they are working, responsible, and looking for ways to grow and change for the better.
I cannot see how people can make a determination about someone elses recovery based on what they read online, and the idea that people automatically label a suboxone user as a red flag, and are concerned about them soley due to the use of a medication is unjustified to me.
There are some states that do allow sub use, IN is one for sure... and there are some states like FL that is definitely against it. All states differ, most don't address this in their NPA.