sorry, hit the wrong button...It is hard, physically and mentally. It's disheartening to see the same ones time and time again. But when you get new unfamiliar patients, you can have hope again that you are making a difference in somebody's life. There are so many who come in the hospital just to get detoxed for the next binge, pacify the judge, trying to get a check (this is the one I hate the most), etc., but every once I awhile, I get someone who says "I have to change my life or I'll lose everything--my job, family, home and my life, I'm sick of living like this and I need help". The trick is to not let the rest of the patients jade that new patient before you can make your impression. I've even had patients tell me "I don't see how you can keep doing this, with all that you have to put up with" (This coming from patients who were admitting they gave me a hard time). I try to get past all of the nasty personality disorders that are so ingrained in addicts, and if I can see one person a month that I 've made a difference in, I'm pretty satisfied. That being said, I work in a short term, acute care, stand alone psych hospital, 45 beds divided up into 2 adult psych units, 1 adolescent unit, 1 dual diagnosis/detox unit. Now the treatment we get from management is another story, harder to deal with. We do get lied to, short staffed, poorly equipped, etc. all to make that almighty budget look good. It all comes down to how much you can deal with in a healthy and constructive manner. Keep your options open, look around, do some networking. Chin up!