"Addiction" Nursing is an outdated term.

Posted
by havenrn havenrn (New) New

I just wanted to suggest changing the name of this specialty. "Addiction" is a dated term. Currently the term Substance Use Disorder or SUD treatment nurse would be appropriate. The history of the word addiction denotes a mental/moral failure and not a disease. More and more research is bringing a better understanding of the brain and substance dependency. Changing the title of the specialty would discourage further use of the word "addiction" and the misconceptions of substance use disorder in the nursing community. Just a suggestion...

canoehead, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience. 6,837 Posts

Every twenty years we change the words used, but it's all the same, with the same stigma once people become familiar with the nomenclature.

Guest757854

Guest757854

498 Posts

On 10/27/2019 at 7:32 PM, canoehead said:

Every twenty years we change the words used, but it's all the same, with the same stigma once people become familiar with the nomenclature.

As I always say....... Same soup?, just RE-HEATED!

radab1

radab1

8 Posts

Same with co-occurring and dual diagnosis. I'm a CARN...I wonder if they'll eventually change the name of the certification too.

DAL2010

DAL2010

35 Posts

I remember a while back we were told to not say PTSD but to say PTSS (replacing Disorder with Syndrome). The goal was to improve patient participation in care with the thinking that no one wants a Disorder, but hey, a Syndrome, not so bad, anyone could have one of those!

Yeah. Didn't last long because the terms don't matter.

Orion81RN

Has 7 years experience. 962 Posts

On 2/13/2020 at 5:35 AM, DAL2010 said:

I remember a while back we were told to not say PTSD but to say PTSS (replacing Disorder with Syndrome). The goal was to improve patient participation in care with the thinking that no one wants a Disorder, but hey, a Syndrome, not so bad, anyone could have one of those!

Yeah. Didn't last long because the terms don't matter.

PTSI (injury) now. It does make sense actually.

Serhilda, ADN, RN

Specializes in Cardiac Telemetry, ICU. 290 Posts

Disagree. Until there is no longer any moral component to addiction/substance abuse/substance use, it will always be a controversial topic.

Luke79AU

Luke79AU

Has 6 years experience. 9 Posts

It depends how you look at it. I see "addiction" as actually laying less moral responsibility on the user, as the substance is inherently flawed by having addictive properties. Whereas, substance use/misuse means to me that the person is in control, and continues to make unhealthy choices.

Edited by Luke79AU
mistake

Words Matter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psychiatric Mental Health, Addiction, RN-BC, CARN. Has 7 years experience. 21 Posts

I am also a CARN, 5 years in psych dual diagnosis and mood disorders, though now I have the opportunity to focus on inpatient detox. The term "addiction" does not solely encompass substances. There is gambling, sex, relationships, food, sugar, drama, etc. Evidence shows the same parts of the brain are engaged when the individual is partaking in their drug of choice, even when it comes in the form of a donut. Naltrexone is being used for craving management in prevention of opiate use (IM-Vivitrol), alcohol abuse (PO-Revia), and binge eating disorder (PO-Contrave). Similar interventions and therapies are used to teach our patients no matter what they are recovering from. Why do you think you can find a 12 step recovery program for alcohol, narcotics, overeating, gamboling and sex? Because people have successfully learned a different way of life through the same concepts. Words only have power we give to them as a culture. In my experience, "addiction" is a condition, period. "Addict" can carry the same stigma as "alcoholic" or "dope fiend", and whether or not to identify with the label is up to the individual who is living the experience. Do some research on the use of person first language. I believe you are correct in a clinical "PC" or diagnostic regard of using SUD over the term addiction. I'm uncertain there is a DSM-V diagnosis for addiction, though I do know SUD and AUD are in the DSM-V. But, when we are talking with our patients, we use the terms they prefer. For many, it will be addiction. 

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 30 years experience. 2,776 Posts

On 3/30/2020 at 11:23 PM, Luke79AU said:

It depends how you look at it. I see "addiction" as actually laying less moral responsibility on the user, as the substance is inherently flawed by having addictive properties. Whereas, substance use/misuse means to me that the person is in control, and continues to make unhealthy choices.

You can't completely remove ALL moral responsibility from a disease process that chiefly manifests through behavior and is highly likely to hurt other people. If that's the case and you want to do that, everyone should be committed and have substituted judgment/guardianship in place because, hey, they can't be held responsible- it's the "disease's fault". 

All rights and no responsibilities does not make for a functional society.

Luke79AU

Luke79AU

Has 6 years experience. 9 Posts

On 10/13/2020 at 4:54 AM, Jedrnurse said:

You can't completely remove ALL moral responsibility from a disease process that chiefly manifests through behavior and is highly likely to hurt other people. If that's the case and you want to do that, everyone should be committed and have substituted judgment/guardianship in place because, hey, they can't be held responsible- it's the "disease's fault". 

All rights and no responsibilities does not make for a functional society.

Respectfully, I suggest that this is the exact archaic attitude that causes patients suffering drug and alcohol addicts to be treated so poorly. They are often seriously undermedicated for anxiety and pain, in the hospital, and physician office setting. "Oh, that junky/addict just wants to get high, even though they may be in actual serious 9/10 pain.

The addict HAD a choice. They made the wrong one. Once that physical and mental addiction started, with drugs like heroin, that can take a remarkably short period of time, they then have zero choice. These people often despise themselves, as they are well aware of the pain they are causing to family and friends. Do you know that well over half of this population are also suffering mental illness or serious mental illness? 

Talk to them! You'll often find a common theme, serious mental illness and/or serious childhood trauma. And THAT is why they made that first initial bad choice, because the pain they were experiencing, all day, every day overwhelmed their coping skills.

Please reflect on this: Would you and other nurses with similar attitudes take such a moralistic viewpoint/treatment position for the 50 year old MI patient, who has trashed his or her life for the last 30 years with a diet of McDonalds and no physical activity. That's no different at all. In fact, if you can't stop eating rubbish food, you'd have ZERO chance of quitting hard drugs. 

We are nurses. Try to treat everyone with compassion. Addicts always have a reason why they are addicts.

Words Matter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psychiatric Mental Health, Addiction, RN-BC, CARN. Has 7 years experience. 21 Posts

29 minutes ago, Luke79AU said:

Please reflect on this: Would you and other nurses with similar attitudes take such a moralistic viewpoint/treatment position for the 50 year old MI patient, who has trashed his or her life for the last 30 years with a diet of McDonalds and no physical activity. That's no different at all. In fact, if you can't stop eating rubbish food, you'd have ZERO chance of quitting hard drugs. 

We are nurses. Try to treat everyone with compassion. Addicts always have a reason why they are addicts.

AMEN