Nurses Who Are Drug Addicts - page 16

by jill48

46,205 Views | 215 Comments

I work with a nurse who I suspect is using drugs, and I think she is stealing them from the facility. Of those of you that have encountered this problem, what were the signs and symptoms? Thanks.... Read More


  1. 3
    Quote from earle58
    i'll tell you where my skepticism comes into play.

    i have someone in my family who has been a user for most of their adult life, starting in their teen yrs.
    for more than 20 yrs, i have watched this person go to the meetings (even twice/noc), continual contact with their sponsor, therapy, finding God, family involvement/support and abstinence for yrs at a time.

    then relapse.
    sometimes for only a day;
    other times, would start using for months.
    and then the whole process of recovery would start over.

    i know this person is totally focused on recovery.
    but how does one know that they won't use again?

    as much as i love this person, it's hard to trust they won't relapse.
    now, being a nurse, don't you think it is even more dangerous to potentially slip?

    i very much honor those who are committed to their recoveries.
    yet i don't think anyone can honestly say that they'll never go back, even if it is temporary.
    just as anyone else who struggles with other types of addiction....gambling, eating, smoking, etc.
    to say that one will never go back to their old ways, just seems unrealistic.

    any thoughts, input, insight?

    leslie
    I don't know that one day I won't relapse, but with a good recovery program the odds are with me not my disease. I have to take my "medicine" (meetings, read, call sponsor, pray) EVERYDAY just like I take my blood pressure medicine everyday.

    I stay honest with the people around me, I let them help me now. Before I thought I could save the world all by myself.

    I did relapse when my dad died 4 years ago, I got a migraine headache and took pain medicine I was not supposed to (my own script from a few years ago). I have never taken pain meds from a pt. or from a place of work. I always managed to get them from my doctors and took lots of benadryl to numb the pain. Little did I understand that the pain was still there when I got clean and I had to learn to deal with it.

    I don't say I will never relapse. I am clean JUST FOR TODAY!

    Theresa
  2. 0
    thank you, theresa.
    and i know all too well, the "one day at a time".
    after living w/repeated relapses, sometimes my life gets consumed with "what ifs?"
    as i've stated already, it's a journey for all involved.

    thanks again.
    i appreciate your thoughts.

    leslie
  3. 0
    Wonder what what would happen if all nurses were drug tested right now? Just a thought. I was reading these posts and thought I would tell my story. I have been an LPN for four years now. I started out on probation because I had a third DUI in 2000. I don't drink or use anything now. I have been sober for three yeaes and one month now, not a drop ever. I went through the probation with the LPN board, satisfied everything with the courts did my time had counseling and satisfied all stipulations. It was tough to get a job with the background, the state mental facility was the only ones understanding to give me some work. I worked for them while on probation two different imes, they hired me on permanent and I was able to finish out my probation while employed there. I was in the middle of an RN program that I just graduated from in May. My LPN license is unencumbered and current, free and clear. Since submitting application to test for RN, back in May I have watched my classmates take their tests and work as RNs. The RN board is placing my license on monitoring for one year with random drug screens and a $1,000 dollar fine along with alcohol education. I still haven't been issued a temp license. So I know what it's like to go through the recovery an the answer no to job apps because I was on probation and all the red tape. While I realize and do agree with discipline for prior convictions. I do wonder why I should have to do it twice. I wonder why it is taking so long to process the paperwork, but I do realize it is the state board and will take months. In the meantime the state mental hospital is wanting me to come back to work, they think I did a good job and they can't wait to get me back. I can't go to work as an RN till the BON is done bumbling with the paperwork. They have already told me that I have been approved to test, but no temp license yet. I can go to work as an LPN without stipulations, but I am waiting to pay a $1,000 fine and be monitored as an RN. I'm just glad the mental hospital believed in me and give me a chance. And by the way the rehab has worked for me and made me a stronger person. These things happened prior to me going to LPN school, I worked them out and about to pay double when the RN license comes through. I just thought this would be a good place to share this.
    Last edit by edchunt on Jul 1, '07
  4. 0
    Quote from Cattitude

    So... say your suspicions are true... Please go to your manager first. She will know what to do. In most states ther are programs designed to assist nurses with substance abuse/alcohol problems. Whatever you do, please do NOT report this to your state's BON. If this is needed, your manager/facility will do this.


    Beez
    i am only beginning to read the start of this thread and so, am responding accordingly.

    cattitude, even though one would think tptb would handle these situations appropriately, it is simply not the case.

    i am thinking of a nurse i worked with, who all the other nurses were complaining about (re: diverting, being high).
    i too had strong suspicions.
    the final straw was when i came to work one morning, and she was totally incoherent, eyes half closed, unable to hold herself up, slurred speech...and a couple of pts whose pain had been well-controlled but were audibly crying out that morning.

    i wanted to report her to the BON but instead, told the DON.
    long story short: this nurse was pulled from our floor and switched to another.
    i was the only one who spoke up so i ended up being treated like the bad guy.
    2 patients even had a talk with the DON, about this nurse.

    if this ever happens again, i will know to go directly to the BON.
    you don't need to have proof; just reasonable suspicion.

    leslie
  5. 0
    Quote from earle58
    i am only beginning to read the start of this thread and so, am responding accordingly.

    cattitude, even though one would think tptb would handle these situations appropriately, it is simply not the case.

    i am thinking of a nurse i worked with, who all the other nurses were complaining about (re: diverting, being high).
    i too had strong suspicions.
    the final straw was when i came to work one morning, and she was totally incoherent, eyes half closed, unable to hold herself up, slurred speech...and a couple of pts whose pain had been well-controlled but were audibly crying out that morning.

    i wanted to report her to the BON but instead, told the DON.
    long story short: this nurse was pulled from our floor and switched to another.
    i was the only one who spoke up so i ended up being treated like the bad guy.
    2 patients even had a talk with the DON, about this nurse.

    if this ever happens again, i will know to go directly to the BON.
    you don't need to have proof; just reasonable suspicion.

    leslie
    Yea Leslie you're right. As I learn more and hear scary stories I have changed my mind as well. It does seem that TPTB are NOT all doing their jobs.
  6. 1
    I am not the one with the problem...the drug addict is. I divorced my husband over his drug problems and have never seen him since and he didn't mind if he took me down with him either. I certainly don't want to work with that kind of person. He lied to cover up his problem like I am sure most addicts do so how are we to ever trust them again? Then they play the poor me card , I have so many problems or I have so much pain but when confronted with tough love or the truth or worse yet they get their fix, there is no living with them they turn into some kind of monster. I have seen the pain med seekers in the ER come in for a fix, when you tell them they can't have the medicine until the doctor sees them oh how they suffer but the minute they get their fix out the door treating you like a piece of trash cussing and cursing leaving AMA. I bet if these addicted nurses saw themselves in their times of need they wouldn't want to take care of themselves. i am so sick of the deaths that drugs have caused, the teen overdoses that died just this year at my childrens school. Yes I am sick of drug addicts and their self inflicted problems. I don't want to treat them at the nurses station as well as the bedside.Give me a break. Poor woe me.
    Last edit by Tweety on Jul 1, '07 : Reason: referenced deleted post
    vickynurse likes this.
  7. 0
    A NOTE FROM YOUR FRIENDLY MODERATOR Please note that several posts have been moved off and several posts edited. Don't let this bother you as it's for the good of the entire thread. Thanks.

    We would like to not make this topic personal by talking about each other and making presumptions about each other. Please stick to the topic at hand.
    Last edit by Tweety on Jul 1, '07
  8. 0
    Quote from burn out
    I am not the one with the problem...the drug addict is. I divorced my husband over his drug problems and have never seen him since and he didn't mind if he took me down with him either. I certainly don't want to work with that kind of person. He lied to cover up his problem like I am sure most addicts do so how are we to ever trust them again? Then they play the poor me card , I have so many problems or I have so much pain but when confronted with tough love or the truth or worse yet they get their fix, there is no living with them they turn into some kind of monster. I have seen the pain med seekers in the ER come in for a fix, when you tell them they can't have the medicine until the doctor sees them oh how they suffer but the minute they get their fix out the door treating you like a piece of trash cussing and cursing leaving AMA. I bet if these addicted nurses saw themselves in their times of need they wouldn't want to take care of themselves. i am so sick of the deaths that drugs have caused, the teen overdoses that died just this year at my childrens school. Yes I am sick of drug addicts and their self inflicted problems. I don't want to treat them at the nurses station as well as the bedside.Give me a break. Poor woe me.

    Drug addicts do indeed bring a lot of their problems on themselves.

    However, I don't see any "woe is me on this thread".

    No one wants to work along side a practicing drug addicted nurse.

    I also would hate for you to judge good RECOVERING nurses based on your nightmarish experience with one person or your drug seeking patients.


    As Leslie states, it's a bit hard not to. I left my ex-spouse because of relapsing alcoholism. No one held a gun to his head and told him to relapse time and time again. He made that choice, the same as a drug addicted nurse makes the choice one day to illegally take a drug.

    However, a nurse that steps up to the plate, or is forced up to the plate, and says "I have a problem and I need help" deserves our understanding and compassion, and our help. If they indeed enter into recovery under strict guidelines, I'm all for working beside them and giving them a chance.

    That's just me. I certainly respect your right to your thoughts and I challenge others to allow you to have your opinion as well.
    Last edit by Tweety on Jul 2, '07
  9. 0
    Hi Ed-

    Hang in there and don't get discouraged in the process, it will get better. I'm a bit confused as to why the BON would be asking you to pay a $1000.00 fine now? Did they say what the fine is for? I'm assuming they have reviewed your LPN and court records, so they are aware of what transpired previously.

    Debbie


    Quote from edchunt
    Wonder what what would happen if all nurses were drug tested right now? Just a thought. I was reading these posts and thought I would tell my story. I have been an LPN for four years now. I started out on probation because I had a third DUI in 2000. I don't drink or use anything now. I have been sober for three yeaes and one month now, not a drop ever. I went through the probation with the LPN board, satisfied everything with the courts did my time had counseling and satisfied all stipulations. It was tough to get a job with the background, the state mental facility was the only ones understanding to give me some work. I worked for them while on probation two different imes, they hired me on permanent and I was able to finish out my probation while employed there. I was in the middle of an RN program that I just graduated from in May. My LPN license is unencumbered and current, free and clear. Since submitting application to test for RN, back in May I have watched my classmates take their tests and work as RNs. The RN board is placing my license on monitoring for one year with random drug screens and a $1,000 dollar fine along with alcohol education. I still haven't been issued a temp license. So I know what it's like to go through the recovery an the answer no to job apps because I was on probation and all the red tape. While I realize and do agree with discipline for prior convictions. I do wonder why I should have to do it twice. I wonder why it is taking so long to process the paperwork, but I do realize it is the state board and will take months. In the meantime the state mental hospital is wanting me to come back to work, they think I did a good job and they can't wait to get me back. I can't go to work as an RN till the BON is done bumbling with the paperwork. They have already told me that I have been approved to test, but no temp license yet. I can go to work as an LPN without stipulations, but I am waiting to pay a $1,000 fine and be monitored as an RN. I'm just glad the mental hospital believed in me and give me a chance. And by the way the rehab has worked for me and made me a stronger person. These things happened prior to me going to LPN school, I worked them out and about to pay double when the RN license comes through. I just thought this would be a good place to share this.
  10. 0
    Hi Burn Out-

    Thanks for sharing your experience (truly). Living with a practicing addict/alcoholic is it's own private hell. Good for you for putting your foot down, and getting out when you knew he wasn't going to change. I have seen too many folks stay alot longer than they should have, hoping against hope that things would change. Being manipulated and lied to hurts. You have every right to be angry.......who wouldn't be? There is no justification for his behavior-absolutely none. I'm sorry that it happened to you, and I wish you peace and happiness in the days ahead.

    Debbie


    Quote from burn out
    I am not the one with the problem...the drug addict is. I divorced my husband over his drug problems and have never seen him since and he didn't mind if he took me down with him either. I certainly don't want to work with that kind of person. He lied to cover up his problem like I am sure most addicts do so how are we to ever trust them again? Then they play the poor me card , I have so many problems or I have so much pain but when confronted with tough love or the truth or worse yet they get their fix, there is no living with them they turn into some kind of monster. I have seen the pain med seekers in the ER come in for a fix, when you tell them they can't have the medicine until the doctor sees them oh how they suffer but the minute they get their fix out the door treating you like a piece of trash cussing and cursing leaving AMA. I bet if these addicted nurses saw themselves in their times of need they wouldn't want to take care of themselves. i am so sick of the deaths that drugs have caused, the teen overdoses that died just this year at my childrens school. Yes I am sick of drug addicts and their self inflicted problems. I don't want to treat them at the nurses station as well as the bedside.Give me a break. Poor woe me.


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