Nurses Who Are Drug Addicts - page 19

by jill48

44,353 Visits | 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


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    Not only am I an addict but my Mother has been in active addiction for 25 years.

    How have I trusted anyone in 25 years when my own mother has stolen from me? Lied to me? Used drugs when pregnant with my baby sister?

    I had to sleep with my money stuffed in my pj's or it would be gone in the morning. She stole every piece of jewelry I had when I was a teen. My mother even went into my bank account.

    Again, how do I trust anyone?

    Because I can't judge the world based on the actions of one person. Even if that person is the one that I am supposed to be able to trust with anything.

    I can't judge another addict by my mother's disease. And this was even before my own disease. Mine started 4 1/2 yrs ago so I had 20 years of Mom's addiction under my belt. I certainly put trust into people in that time.

    Some let me down, but I have no regrets. I don't want to live in a sheltered cave. I want to FEEL. Sometimes, you have to leap. Just look first!!!
    sissiesmama likes this.
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    All I can do is,,, do my very best. At work I help out other nurses when they need help, and if they are busier than me, then I will offer my help to them. They are grateful for that. The nurses that know I am in TPAPN, so far have not outwardly judged me because of it.. I try to keep a positive attitude. I think it is helping me. That is all I can do. It will take time for the other nurses to trust me. OF course, they didn't work with me when I had my problems. They only know me now, the recovering nurse. I don't have access to narcotics, which is a good thing because even though I KNOW that I would not risk my career like that again,,, I also want to make sure that everyone knows there's no way that I took any of the narcotics. It is a safe feeling.

    I have been working for a little over a month, and it didn't take long for me to recognize my symptoms and actions in another nurse i work with. I just don't know what to do about it now. I'm afraid to tell our manager. However, I did tell the charge nurse my suspicions. Here's the deal............ Nurse goes from med room straight to bathroom, on two seperate occassions I have witnessed this. Also, on two seperate occassions, on my day off she would have my patient. She would give my patient Morphine every 3 hours. I NEVER EVER gave him anything more than a tylenol, and he never complained of pain or shown any signs of being in pain. A very calm man, a little demented, doesn't really know whats going on. He also has vicodin ordered but she went straight for the Morphine. I don't think she's giving it to him. She's taking that morphine. The other day, she was in the med room for a while, and then she called someone in there to witness a morphine waste. Well...... she made sure to say,,, stay here and watch me waste this. It was a 1cc vial of morphine, she drew up 2 cc's out of it. I have a feeling she had replaced NS in the vial and already taken out the morphine. There was also another day where she had a patient that was literally crying in pain,, a patient not known to cry out in pain after given demerol. SHe gave her demerol 3 times that day... and she cried out all day. It was sad and pathetic. I Felt bad for the patient. But what could I do? It was charted that she gave the med. I told the charge nurse about it and she said she would watch her. Things just keep happening that point directly toward her diverting. But I am scared to tell the manager. I am scared because I am on TPAPN and I don't want to bring any attention towards myself. Can anyone give me any words of advice or encouragement to do this?
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    Hey easttexasnurse31!! I hope I have your name right, please forgive me. My name is Anne and I am an addict. I am also an RNC with 16 years experience, and a mother of two boys. First, congrats on youir recovery, and I am impressed that you are in the Texas program, TPAPAN??? I have heard a lot about it and it seems tough! Hang in there!!! Your suspicions are probably right, it sounds nlike the nurse is using, and in my opinion, you need to, as my hubbie says, who is also an RNC and in recovery, go up the food chain. If I talked to the DON since the charge nurse hasn't helped much, I might mention the fact that it would be nice if it could remain anon. because all they have to do it call her for a drug screen to get the ball rolling. It shouldn't come back on you because even though you may **** her off, you may save her life. Also, those patients need their pain meds. Please just take this with a grain of salt, I am no expert!!!!! Just an addict! Please pm me or email if you would like!!!

    GOOD LUCK!!!!! Anne, RNC
    Magsulfate likes this.
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    Hey Easttexasnurse I am very proud that you are so honest especially with yourself. It is not everyone that can admit their weakness to be around narcotics..when you can trust yourself around them then others can trust you too..I think you are on your way to recovery. As for trying to help the other nurse you will need to document her every move..what time she gets a med out and where she goes with the med..who the med was for, then follow up with the patient to see if the pain is relieved or if they in deed got the medication then turn it into your manger or DON.
    Magsulfate likes this.
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    Quote from burn out
    Hey Easttexasnurse I am very proud that you are so honest especially with yourself. It is not everyone that can admit their weakness to be around narcotics..when you can trust yourself around them then others can trust you too..I think you are on your way to recovery. As for trying to help the other nurse you will need to document her every move..what time she gets a med out and where she goes with the med..who the med was for, then follow up with the patient to see if the pain is relieved or if they in deed got the medication then turn it into your manger or DON.

    Thanks, I have started jotting things down, but I should write down more specifics like you say. My only worry is... if they do call her in for a UA, then she tests negative, I feel like I would look like a tattle tale and they won't believe me anymore. I also feel like I can see it because I've been there... whereas the other nurses don't really have a clue as to what's going on.
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    You may or may not even be mentioned. Once you give them something to go on to start an investigation they will be very thorough in going back and pulling all her charts and medication records from the narcotics list etc. They will be quit certain of what they are doing when they make the charge and you do not even need to be brought into it. Good luck. But the simple fact that you saved yourself does not mean you have to save the world ..You have made tremendous progress, if you simply want to notify your supervisor of your suspicons
    then you have met your obligations and can go to bed knowing you did what was expected. If nothing comes of it you know you did the right thing. You have integrity..be proud.
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    Quote from easttexasnurse31
    Thanks, I have started jotting things down, but I should write down more specifics like you say. My only worry is... if they do call her in for a UA, then she tests negative, I feel like I would look like a tattle tale and they won't believe me anymore. I also feel like I can see it because I've been there... whereas the other nurses don't really have a clue as to what's going on.
    First of all congrats om your recovery, one day at a time!

    Next, you'll be doing the right thing by reporting your suspicions but dn't jump into it further by being the detective and "documenting", that is the hospitals job. AND you don't need to be called in to testify either. Just let them do their job. I am quite sure that you're suspicions ARE correct, we don't get that feeling for no reason. Even if by some small chance she tests negative, sooner or later she'll out herself.

    Good luck and rest assured that you are doing what is best for everyone, even the nurse...
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    I also agree regarding false accusations, you have to be careful. I worked on a floor where a nurse was accused of taking medications from the pixis and not being able to account for them. She was terminated without any warnings or notice. The administration claimed that the pixis can never be wrong. Does anyone have any instances where the pixis was in error or someone used another nurse's password to get into the pixis (is that possible?) Can you lose your license just based on records from the pixis showing discrepancies or unaccounted medication? This nurse even offered to undergo a drug screen and body search (for track marks) but the administration refused. She is a friend of mine and might lose her license and I really think it is unfair. her patients never complained of not getting their medication or that they were ever in pain.
    reallyoldnurse likes this.
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    I have one question. What is a nurse. I was under the impression that we are true caregivers. I can't believe how judgemental,mean and condescending nurse's behave to nurses with drug problems. I was stupid enough to believe that I would receive compassion,respect,kindness and my coworkers extend themselves by offering a sympathetic ear.possibly offer a lending ear if a colleague in that situation needs to talk. "NOT" No one cares,in their eyes we are scums, period. I don't know why. I'm a great nurse!! Believe me,don't believe me but i'll tell you..Some of the nurses I have worked with I wouldn't let take care of my dog. If it was a loved one of yours, you would want me as their nurse. I've never harmed a patient or let them remain in pain so I could take their drugs(NEVER) Why can't our fellow colleagues offer support and encouragement and show respect for the nurse who is working their butt off to rebuild their life? I can say with certainty that if the tables were turned the person who wants to spit on a nurse with a drug problem actually had A drug problem would feel the same way. Some of the nurse's I have come in contact with were viscious. It makes me cry,as a matter of fact I am crying right now. It's so not fair and it makes me sad. It's hard enough to look in the mirror and push the shame away. I don't understand it. I wish it will stop,it will never be more than A wish because people only care about themselves and will remain judgemental forever. We are caregivers,aren't we? Nurse's aren't supposed to be that way. It's like a person who takes a job as a recepcionist bet hates dealing with people.
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    Quote from sara62
    I have one question. What is a nurse. I was under the impression that we are true caregivers. I can't believe how judgemental,mean and condescending nurse's behave to nurses with drug problems. I was stupid enough to believe that I would receive compassion,respect,kindness and my coworkers extend themselves by offering a sympathetic ear.possibly offer a lending ear if a colleague in that situation needs to talk. "NOT" No one cares,in their eyes we are scums, period. I don't know why. I'm a great nurse!! Believe me,don't believe me but i'll tell you..Some of the nurses I have worked with I wouldn't let take care of my dog. If it was a loved one of yours, you would want me as their nurse. I've never harmed a patient or let them remain in pain so I could take their drugs(NEVER) Why can't our fellow colleagues offer support and encouragement and show respect for the nurse who is working their butt off to rebuild their life? I can say with certainty that if the tables were turned the person who wants to spit on a nurse with a drug problem actually had A drug problem would feel the same way. Some of the nurse's I have come in contact with were viscious. It makes me cry,as a matter of fact I am crying right now. It's so not fair and it makes me sad. It's hard enough to look in the mirror and push the shame away. I don't understand it. I wish it will stop,it will never be more than A wish because people only care about themselves and will remain judgemental forever. We are caregivers,aren't we? Nurse's aren't supposed to be that way. It's like a person who takes a job as a recepcionist bet hates dealing with people.
    I like the way you try to turn the your problems onto the nurses who worked with you and trusted you. Yes they are judgemental. You violated a trust. Trust that has to be earned, not given to you just because you cry and feel like we are not offering you support. They trusted you while you made a concious decision to abuse drugs. You are right it isn't fair. It isn't fair to your coworkers who trusted you and relied on you to begin with. You can cry all you want, but do not try to blame your problems on your coworkers.
    vivacious1healer likes this.


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