Please forgive me if this gets a little lengthy but I will try and keep it as brief as possible. I am 38 and happily married for 7 years with a 3 year old boy with a newly diagnosed autism. I just graduated from a local school with my practical nurse certificate degree and will be pursuing the RN transition program in the fall with very little left to finish. I am an addict in successful recovery for the past ten years. Prior to that, I collected two possession of marijuana charges and two DUI's. I successfully completed a recovery program and and truly on the other side. Since my recovery, I have worked in residential treatment programs with adolescents in a psychiatric hospital setting dealing with addictions as well as a variety of other issues and have enjoyed most every moment of it. I worked side by side with the unit nurses and, after beginning a pursuit toward a Psych degree, changed two years ago and went into nursing. Now I am looking toward taking the NCLEX and find a job, however, maybe I should feel a little stupid here, but the positions that I have applied for have shut down rather abruptly when the issue comes up about substance abuse. I realize it is a legitimate concern for an employer but I have worked in a hospital or residential treatment center for the past 9 years, both with random drug screens and have never been relieved from a job or relapsed since my recovery. Is there maybe some suggestions or stories of people that have been able to go into this field with a tainted background that might be encouraging to me or should I look in another area, possibly the health department or something that does not deal directly with meds to get some experience? Please give me some pointers here. I need a job pretty soon here and feel a little foolish that I had not even considered this.