Drug Abuse Among Us?? - page 10

Am I that nieve?? A nurse on my unit was arrested for"drug diversion" Is this rampant among us?? I know we have all taken the occasional tylenol from work, but controlled substances ??... Read More

  1. by   teeituptom
    Quote from bail
    I disagree that "euphoria" creates an "impaired" nurse. Some people are on a natural "high" because they are happy, love their jobs, and their own endorphins have kicked in. An induced "euphoria" from drugs, yes, that probably could cause "impairment", but not necessairly.


    No Comparison in being stoned from drugs as opposed to be euphoric due to happiness in life.

    Druggies are druggies and should not be allowed in the field of nursing

    Diverting meds is still theft and against the law and they should be busted and dragged from the facility in handcuffs.
  2. by   steve0123
    A common theme throughout the replies to this thread seems to be that one of the "warning signs" for drug abusing nurses is that they dose their patients up frequently with narcotics, etc etc.
    I totally disagree with this line of thought and am horrified at what my colleagues could think of me, being one who proactively seeks to resolve pain and "argues with doctors" for dose increases, etc etc.
    The fact is that most of the time pain goes either unrecognised by nurses or is inadequately managed. A script for 5mg morphine here and there does nothing for people with serious pain. Sure, there are people out there who enjoy taking narcs, but who cares. Is it our job to regulate access merely because we suspect they aren't in as much pain as they say they are? Please don't automatically suspect a colleague of abusing narcs just because they are being diligent with their pain management.
  3. by   shawng007
    Your phrase druggies are druggies and should not be allowed in the field of nursing is quite insensitive and downright WRONG. I am an alcoholic, so by that i am a drug addict, aka druggie. i went to rehab and got cleaned up and went into nursing. i am a very proficient LPN and many units love to have me there, often i uncover med errors and other problems that the RNs do not, or that were made by RNs. to say that because i am a druggie i should not be in this profession is blatantly unprofessional, perhaps you should do some research on addiction. yes, being impaired and on the job is wrong, as is stealing or diverting drugs, but all in all, once you are an addict you are always an addict, whether or not you are in active addiction. i have been sober for three plus years, does that mean i will never use again, i nor anyone else can ever guarantee that, but for the time being it isnt in the picture. what you are saying is that i and people like me should not be allowed in nursing. Shame on you, ignorance is what causes problems, and surely you are ignorant of the facts about addiction. Ignorance has no place in the nursing profession, so perhaps ignorant people should not be allowed in the field. Also, busting someone and dragging them from a facility if they are in active use, while legally legit, is not necessarily the best way to approach the problem. give them a chance to come clean, to admit the problem and to get help, then provide alternative treatment, in new york we have SPAN which is peer assistance for addicted nurses. perhaps the only way to really understand addiction is to actually have one, which is why most good counselors have been in the same shoes.
  4. by   nursy swat
    Quote from shawng007
    Your phrase druggies are druggies and should not be allowed in the field of nursing is quite insensitive and downright WRONG. I am an alcoholic, so by that i am a drug addict, aka druggie. i went to rehab and got cleaned up and went into nursing. i am a very proficient LPN and many units love to have me there, often i uncover med errors and other problems that the RNs do not, or that were made by RNs. to say that because i am a druggie i should not be in this profession is blatantly unprofessional, perhaps you should do some research on addiction. yes, being impaired and on the job is wrong, as is stealing or diverting drugs, but all in all, once you are an addict you are always an addict, whether or not you are in active addiction. i have been sober for three plus years, does that mean i will never use again, i nor anyone else can ever guarantee that, but for the time being it isnt in the picture. what you are saying is that i and people like me should not be allowed in nursing. Shame on you, ignorance is what causes problems, and surely you are ignorant of the facts about addiction. Ignorance has no place in the nursing profession, so perhaps ignorant people should not be allowed in the field. Also, busting someone and dragging them from a facility if they are in active use, while legally legit, is not necessarily the best way to approach the problem. give them a chance to come clean, to admit the problem and to get help, then provide alternative treatment, in new york we have SPAN which is peer assistance for addicted nurses. perhaps the only way to really understand addiction is to actually have one, which is why most good counselors have been in the same shoes.
    I believe you sent this reply to the wrong nurse. I did write a comment on this subject but it did not imply anything evenly remotely similar to what you just wrote to me. So you should probably go back through and write it to the right person. Thanks
  5. by   shawng007
    Your phrase druggies are druggies and should not be allowed in the field of nursing is quite insensitive and downright WRONG. I am an alcoholic, so by that i am a drug addict, aka druggie. i went to rehab and got cleaned up and went into nursing. i am a very proficient LPN and many units love to have me there, often i uncover med errors and other problems that the RNs do not, or that were made by RNs. to say that because i am a druggie i should not be in this profession is blatantly unprofessional, perhaps you should do some research on addiction. yes, being impaired and on the job is wrong, as is stealing or diverting drugs, but all in all, once you are an addict you are always an addict, whether or not you are in active addiction. i have been sober for three plus years, does that mean i will never use again, i nor anyone else can ever guarantee that, but for the time being it isnt in the picture. what you are saying is that i and people like me should not be allowed in nursing. Shame on you, ignorance is what causes problems, and surely you are ignorant of the facts about addiction. Ignorance has no place in the nursing profession, so perhaps ignorant people should not be allowed in the field. Also, busting someone and dragging them from a facility if they are in active use, while legally legit, is not necessarily the best way to approach the problem. give them a chance to come clean, to admit the problem and to get help, then provide alternative treatment, in new york we have SPAN which is peer assistance for addicted nurses. perhaps the only way to really understand addiction is to actually have one, which is why most good counselors have been in the same shoes.
    __________________
    Quote from teeituptom
    No Comparison in being stoned from drugs as opposed to be euphoric due to happiness in life.

    Druggies are druggies and should not be allowed in the field of nursing

    Diverting meds is still theft and against the law and they should be busted and dragged from the facility in handcuffs.
  6. by   shawng007
    yes, you are so right nursy swat, i hit the reply button but somehow it went to you instead of teeituptom, i am sorry for that. guess even the computers got problems with identity...lol. hopefully it got to the right person. this time
    Quote from nursy swat
    I believe you sent this reply to the wrong nurse. I did write a comment on this subject but it did not imply anything evenly remotely similar to what you just wrote to me. So you should probably go back through and write it to the right person. Thanks
  7. by   TracyB,RN
    On a personal note, like MattsMom?, I have been living with the pain of a herniated disc, eating Advil like Pez, just to get through a day at work, would come home & take my legally prescribed Vicodin & Valium, as soon as I walked in the door & wouldn't take anymore until the next day after work. Does that make me a "junkie"? I think not. Tried the steroid injections to no avail... now I am off work & taking my meds around the clock, just to get some damn relief from this pain. My hubby drives me around as I am too afraid to drive anymore, partly b/c of the numbness in my leg & partly b/c I don't want to drive while taking this crap. The meds are the only way for me to get through the day. I am awaiting my call to see when my surgery will be scheduled, then off work for probably another month. Does that make me a bad nurse? No, it just makes me a nurse that is truly in pain & suffering.
    On the other hand, I have personally worked with 2 nurses who had abuse problems, one was a 24 yr old male, who I would consider one of the best nurses I had ever worked with. He started acting weird, I asked if he was alright & he downright went off on me. I was stunned, told him I thought he needed help.....he started falling asleep while charting, his pts would ask for me instead of him, saying they weren't getting their meds, even though they were signed out. Duragesic patches on pts that had an acceptable date, but just looked older than the date, pointed out to unit manager... the other nurse blames another co-worker, he said she was taking the drugs from Pyxis... Both tested, both positive (one for pot) & both terminated. The young guy ended up dead a month later.... OD'd in his kitchen. She is still a nurse, who on her own, went to a program & is clean & doing well.
    The other nurse was my hubby's best friends ex-wife.. still on good terms, but she job-hopped from LTC to LTC. I asked her what was going on that she was job-hopping so much, she blew it off., saying she didn't like the way the LTC's were scheduling her. Believable enough, right? Her kids found her dead in the bathroom at home... she OD'd on Duragesic patches that she had stolen from LTC's....
    Both sad, sad, sad stories about 2 nurses, that at the time, I wouldn't have hesitated to vouch for. Neither nurse had been offered assistance to get clean. I just wonder if their employers would have sent them to rehab, if either one would still be alive today. In hindsight, I doubt it.
    Last edit by TracyB,RN on Nov 20, '04
  8. by   teeituptom
    Quote from shawng007
    Your phrase druggies are druggies and should not be allowed in the field of nursing is quite insensitive and downright WRONG. I am an alcoholic, so by that i am a drug addict, aka druggie. i went to rehab and got cleaned up and went into nursing. i am a very proficient LPN and many units love to have me there, often i uncover med errors and other problems that the RNs do not, or that were made by RNs. to say that because i am a druggie i should not be in this profession is blatantly unprofessional, perhaps you should do some research on addiction. yes, being impaired and on the job is wrong, as is stealing or diverting drugs, but all in all, once you are an addict you are always an addict, whether or not you are in active addiction. i have been sober for three plus years, does that mean i will never use again, i nor anyone else can ever guarantee that, but for the time being it isnt in the picture. what you are saying is that i and people like me should not be allowed in nursing. Shame on you, ignorance is what causes problems, and surely you are ignorant of the facts about addiction. Ignorance has no place in the nursing profession, so perhaps ignorant people should not be allowed in the field. Also, busting someone and dragging them from a facility if they are in active use, while legally legit, is not necessarily the best way to approach the problem. give them a chance to come clean, to admit the problem and to get help, then provide alternative treatment, in new york we have SPAN which is peer assistance for addicted nurses. perhaps the only way to really understand addiction is to actually have one, which is why most good counselors have been in the same shoes.
    __________________



    HHmmmmm is someone implying that Im not overly sensitive to druggies

    and that Im not sensitive to people STEALING drugs

    Well I admit I am not

    When you see someone actually caught stealing drugs and then they start crying about their addiction, Yes I feel they should be cuffed and dragged out

    Someone who out of the blue voluntarily steps up and admits they have a problem gets my sympathy...
  9. by   mattsmom81
    Quote from TMPaul
    Check your state's Nurse Practice Act. Tennessee's states that if you know about a colleagues drus use/abuse and fail to report you are just as liable as they are and the BON can take your license as well. :uhoh21:
    The same here in Texas and it is why I will take nothing stronger than Advil. Now that I've had my fusion surgery, luckily Advil controls my arthritis pain. BUT I do not share with my coworkers my chronic pain issues...it is just best to not open yourself up for ANY suspicion in the area of narcotics or analgesic use.

    Yes this is an 'old' thread but very pertinent...and new members come here everyday so by all means, post away.

    As one can see by reading the previous posts, many nurses automatically feel nurses have no right to be on the job should they need anything stronger than Advil. All I can say to them is: perhaps someday you will have chronic pain issues yourself..from arthritis, etc...but you will still need to work...and not have any clear cut permanent answer to your pain. Understanding will likely come then.

    Nobody here justifies diversion of narcs...that is unethical and ilegal. Taking a 1/2 a wasted narc 'thrown away' is too IMHO. Justifying taking that 'waste' is likely how drug diverters get started on their slippery slope of addiction.

    But I work with some older supervisors nearing retirement with awful knees 2 arthritis...and I certainly will not judge them if they need a properly prescribed RX of Vicodin to walk the facility. I understand only too well where they are at.
  10. by   shawng007
    Quote from teeituptom
    HHmmmmm is someone implying that Im not overly sensitive to druggies

    and that Im not sensitive to people STEALING drugs

    Well I admit I am not

    When you see someone actually caught stealing drugs and then they start crying about their addiction, Yes I feel they should be cuffed and dragged out

    Someone who out of the blue voluntarily steps up and admits they have a problem gets my sympathy...
    yes, most addicts will not admit right away that they have a problem, or some may cry about it when confronted, these are both normal defense mechanisims of denial. either way, they should still be given the opportunity to come clean and get the help they need. most addicts dont seek help until it is considered too late. i was homeless by the time i admitted i needed help. understanding of the addiction process is imperative today. many of the nurses who become addicts may in fact be their first time, and so when they are caught it puts up all of the defense mechanisms at once, and that leads to shame and guilt which are almost as intolerable as getting caught. cuffing and dragging someone out may do more to ruin their reputation in the long run than taking them into a private office, sitting down preferably with a good addictions counselor, and having a nice long, possibly emotional and heartfelt chat with them. by doing this, you remove part of the stigma, if this were to happen to me and my patients or family members saw me being taken out that way, i would never live it down. yet if the person is given every opportunity to get help behind closed doors, then follows through, the results will be far better. then, if they get help and stay clean they can still function, if then they mess up again, perhaps the cuffs would do the job. to ruin a nurses career the first time around is cruel, because we are all capable of being addicts, we may be one and not even know it. it can happen in a short time or over a long period. someone who goes home and has one or two drinks every day may not be an addict, but the potential is definitely there, and it doesnt always take much to break the bubble.
  11. by   lifeisbeautiful
    It was mentioned in several previous posts to check your state's Nurse Practice Act. If you know about a colleagues drus use/abuse and fail to report you are just as liable as they are and the BON can take your license as well. I personally, would approach reporting a coworkers poss. use/abuse of drugs very, very carefully. I would have to see them actually take the narcotics and also prove that their ability to function on the job has been affected by the drugs. Nothing worse than 'suspecting' abuse, reporting it, then finding out that person is innocent. Not only will it ruin that person's reputation, but mine as well. To add, that person could turn around and slap me with a slander and harassment suit. I wouldn't blame them either! If someone accused me of something like that and I was innocent, I would not let that go quietly.
  12. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from luanne101
    Am I that nieve?? A nurse on my unit was arrested for"drug diversion" Is this rampant among us?? I know we have all taken the occasional tylenol from work, but controlled substances ??
    I work in a small rural hospital with only med/surg 40 beds. 3 RN's that were hired during the last 6 months were all fired for stealing narcotics. Xanax and Lortab being the most commonly stolen. One stole so much that they absolutely knew it was her because the drugs were only missing on the days that she worked. They asked and she admitted. Another came to work high, they took her to the lab for a drug screen. The CNO then asked her to come back with the RX bottles proving that she had prescriptions. She then fessed up. Another ended up in the unit OD'ing on Lortab. It absolutely amazes me that someone would steal what they know will be missed. That's why they are locked up and why they are counted. What the hell are they thinking? I guess the power of addiction is stronger than we know. We are allowed to take non-prescription drugs. We only have to write down on a log what we have taken. We can have prescription drugs also but we have to go to the pharmacy and pick them up. i.e. I forgot my BP meds one morning and they gave me one tab and once gave me an Imitrex when I had a migraine and couldn't drive home to get my own. Many of our doctors will bring us RX samples of meds if we ask. I think they are very liberal where I work. It's a shame so many take advantage. I hear there are 2 other nurses that they now have their eyes on. :uhoh21:
  13. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from psnurse
    How about this one....

    Worked with a nurse who called and asked that we save, not waste, unused portions of narcotics for her 'headaches'.
    Wow, that nurse has balls of steel ! She was just asking to get fired!

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Drug Abuse Among Us??