Nurses General Nursing


do nurses have a higher incidence of drug diversion and dependence than people in other fields. how about doctors and pharmacists. does anyone have any statistics. i haven't seen any one at either of my jobs engaging in drug diversion, has anyone else. if so, what did you do.

PennyLane, RN

1,193 Posts

I have heard about this, but not specific figures about drug abuse among medical professionals. I'd imagine a sneaky doctor or nurse could pull it off by not giving the correct amount to a patient and taking a bit for themselves?

Don't know any stats. Have you tried looking on a search engine?

I have worked with a few (2) nurses in diversion programs. Those are the 2 that I know of. I'm sure it's not something people want to spread around. One of the nurses I worked with, had to reveal her secret to me b/c she couldn't give narcs, so whenever she worked, one of us had to help out with her assignment in that regard. She was a great nurse & very open about trying to address her addiction. I have also heard tales of RNs "shooting up in secret in the bathroom" on one unit (I heard it second hand) and another who was trying to sneak PCA cartridges of demerol home in their backpack (again 2nd hand account). It's scary to think that patients are being deprived of meds, let alone that nurses are practicing under the influence.


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

I have read that this is NOT true...drug abuse is no more or less prevalant among health care providers than the "general public"...what does vary is the types of substances abused. Access obviously determines what they use.

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