what happens after a positive drug screen is reported? - page 3

As I was interviewing for my first job another person was in the next room taking their drug screen. It came back positive for amphetamines. I know they send it off again to another lab to be tested,... Read More

  1. by   BostonTerrierLoverRN
    P.S. Benlop, I can totally empathize with you on the wisdoms! Hope you recover well, No Straws!!
  2. by   catmom1
    Hi BostonTerrierLoverRN-

    I am happy for you that you had such a positive experience with having your recovery supported by your BON. For myself, my recovery is in spite of, not because of, the punishment and prejudice I was and am subjected to because of diverting meds for a short time when I was a new grad nurse back in 2000. The diversion lasted such a short time because I was so obvious about it.

    I was so messed up back then that the only way to describe my behavior is "a boiling pot of crazy." I am also a compulsive gambler and was gambling like mad back in 2000 when I caused the world to come crashing down on my head. My license was suspended for 6 months and I was so extremely ashamed that I did not return to nursing until 2005. At that time, I took a required refresher course and started 5 years of probation. In my state, there is no alternative to discipline and even though I self reported (more quickly than my employer had a chance to), my dirty laundry and then some is posted online for anyone who cares to read it.

    I say "and then some" because there were lies included about what a lousy nurse I was etc. in my charges but since I was a gambler & had no money for a lawyer, I could not contest the other allegations. In fact, the paperwork told me I had a right to a hearing before signing it but warned me that my license could be revoked if I asked for a hearing. So I signed.

    Anyway, I was able to get a job as an MDS coordinator pretty quickly back in 2006 when I finished my refresher course and thought I would be able to complete the required work, meetings, UDS's, etc by 2011. Unfortunately, I lost the MDS job at about the same time the economy took a nosedive and have had trouble finding a nursing job since 2010.

    I was caught in the Catch-22 that I needed a job to clear my license but I couldn't get a job because no one would hire a nurse on probation when the job market is tight. I have posted here about the reaction of contempt I got when daring to apply to another nursing home for an MDS job. It was really an ugly situation.

    Just this September, I successfully petitioned my BON to remove the discipline from my license after 6 years and 3 months (but who's counting, lol) on probation. Now I am still very unsure if I can even get a nursing job with the clear license. My old dirt is still easily found at the licensure website in my state.

    In spite of all this, I have been drug and gamble-free since December 2004. I did finally find a low paying non-nursing job but even after all I have endured, I wonder if it was worth it in terms of employment. I am no longer as fit as I was back in 2000 and my body can't handle the hard floor nursing that I did in med/surg back then.

    I am afraid I still struggle with the shame, even after all these years. I guess if I had been able to find an employer who was willing to give me a chance to work off my entire probation, it might be different. I don't know.

    I guess I just needed to vent. Thanks for reading this.

  3. by   BostonTerrierLoverRN
    I totally hear you Catmom, and my story was just the outline.

    I know I was blessed not to divert- and I know I had the possibility of doing it had I not gotten help. So, please don't think I have a superiority complex there- what I did was probably more horrific than many- as I practiced under the influence, I watched over my niece and nephew impaired, and I might have passed you on a highway(with your kids)-yes-impaired. I am still haunted and disgusted by what I did.

    I waited in line many a mornings, like a Black Friday outside Wal*mart, in line at my Liberal Narcotic Showering MD's office. Everyone who was there was there for the same reason. I was too clueless to know I was destroying my life and marriage because I was bringing home the big bucks, and always appeared happy, as anyone would under the influence of opioids like me. I am still ashamed to meet the Physician's Nurses, him, or receptionist's in town(small town), and all the pharmicist's who would have to put up with me coming 3 days early for a refill.

    I do have to stand by my Board for their Awesome, Compassionate, and nonjudgemental handling of my case; but, I am very sorry you didn't have the same experience. Perhaps they could see the desperation in my face, or the way my eyes were puffy and swollen, or the diaphoretic/shaking boy in front of them who walked in to hand over his license without asking their help. I don't know, but if they hadn't treated me with heart, or if they had berated me, I was so near suicidal that I will spare y'all the details. I owe them my life- even had they revoked me, getting me help that really helped (and cleaned out my savings, Lol, would guarantee me that I still had a second chance at life.

    I went through the same hurdles, jumped the same hoops, and faced the "naked under a microscope feeling" for years. Perhaps they do that for a reason as relapse is 75% within the first year.

    I also have another (only funny now) story. During the initial 24 hrs following the test (that was called "random" but was given because they suspected an LPN on days, was that due to my turning myself in, resigning, and not answering their calls- they feared I was the one who was diverting(though the LPN later admitted it, in detail, and cleared my name. But here's how it happened.

    She disappeared after UDS. I resigned, refused to make a statement other than I would be at State Board's Office on Tuesday when they re-opened, and would communicate through them or my attorney. They agreed, but I was supposed to return by Wednesday to do that-which Detox prevented me from doing. To add to the confusion, State Board didn't notify them, and they bypassed our Nurse Practice Act that requires Suspicious Narcotic Related Scenarios to be reported to State Board, and just called police on both of us.

    So, five years later, clean, and just after grad school, a sheriff's deputy knocks on my door to take me back to the County it occurred in, in my pajamas with my "bedhead," to wait one week in jail for my arraignment with no bail set(longest week of my life, Scariest week of my life, and most shameful week of my life!). I was cleared when they found the LPN who admitted to everything-get this, at work in my county!!

    So, then I was determined to return to my normal life, get an NP position, and forget this nightmare ever happened. I found out that this all occurred in an election cycle, where they picked up my case out of an old dusty box, and sent it to Grand Jury as a "Recall" all because their third party privately run jail needed beds filled for funds.

    I was also put on a "Most Wanted" list on the County's Sheriff Webpage. Because he was elected out (and later arrested for "Corruption and Embezzlement" in jail related cases- my face still decorates the "Most Wanted" page, and yes, people tell me quiet often I am Wanted in that County. No telling how many times I have been reported to them where they can find me. Our Governor has even tried to strike down the page, but until it's own author gets released I have little hope.

    It is embarrassing, degrading, and shameful to walk our walk, but we have to forgive the hardest person to forgive- ourself. I created this chaos in my own life through my own poor decisions- and I believe one day I will be released from it. But, I don't think we are truly healed until we find forgiveness in ourself.

    I live with the fact that I am potentially one bad decision from that nightmare again, but the road I walked has let me help numerous lives, and hope numerous more! Remember, though our memories be dark, and tomorrow may bring rain, today is the only day we have ANY control over, and NOW is more important than any time in the past or future.

    You stay clean, keep fighting, and Serenity will come if you seek it. Thank you for sharing, and please remember this too shall pass
    Last edit by BostonTerrierLoverRN on Nov 19, '12 : Reason: iPhone formatting
  4. by   poppycat
    Wish me luck
    Recovery isn't really about self-control. It's about surrendering & admitting powerlessness over alcohol/drugs or whatever. Once I took that step, life became much more manageable because I didn't have to rely on will-power to keep me from drinking.
    Last edit by poppycat on Nov 20, '12
  5. by   wish_me_luck
    I don't know. I admitted powerlessness and then, decided to learn self control. I am around people who do drink and if I just admitted powerlessness and didn't learn to say "no, I don't need this" and find other ways of coping, then I would be drunk every night.

    My parents still drink, my brother drinks, and I have friends who drink. I live at home, and yes, there is alcohol in my house. I can't throw it away, it's not mine. So, I deal with seeing alcohol every time I open the refrig. There is a point where you have to learn self control when you see alcohol. I do think about it, dream about it, but I can't control my thoughts, I can control my actions. I don't know how else to put it.

    This isn't a "me" world, just because I don't drink doesn't mean everyone else will follow suit. I can avoid bars and places where people are drinking, but when someone in my house does still have wine and such, it's not so easy to avoid. That's what I mean "self control".
  6. by   poppycat
    wish me luck

    I'm sorry I misunderstood what you meant by self-control. I completely agree that we can't stop others from drinking around us. I've been in recovery so long that I don't really think much about it when people are drinking near me. I just go on with whatever I'm doing. Sometimes in early recovery it's pretty hard to be around people drinking and have to "bite the bullet". My husband is also in recovery (we met at an AA meeting) and his favorite thing to say is, "I joined AA, not the temperance league".

    As far as thinking about alcohol or dreaming about it, that's really pretty common. In January, I'll have 24 years sobriety and, once in a blue moon, I'll have a dream about drinking. About 2 months ago I was going through some major emotional upheaval and before I even realized what I was doing, I was getting in my car to go to CVS and get something alcoholic. This is how powerful the addiction is & how sneaky it can be.
  7. by   BostonTerrierLoverRN
    Lol, yeah the cycle. I would sneak to the doctor, get my secret supply, and then when I ran out and the withdrawal symptoms started(flu-like stuff)- everyone said "You need to go to the doctor