Did I do the right thing?

  1. Did I do the right thing? I have a close friend.....and that person has been denying they have a alcohol addiction problem. They made me feel guilty for even asking if they had a problem. Things got worse....they refused to get help.They drank...daily. At times to the point of passing out. They have kids involved, young kids. They wouldnt get help ....got angry when asked to get help. It was just a bad situation. He saw no problem with drinking up until he clocked in to work. he denied it until he was in a position and got caught red handed. It was affecting their health, their kids emotional health and they felt they were in "complete" control of their addiction. They are divorced and their ex lives several states away and is not involved in their kids lives. He tried to stop drinking on his own and it didnt work out well.....he had an adverse outcome something like a seizure. So...with him still refusing to get help,...or even admit he had a problem....I called his state peer assistance program to try and get someone to intervene. I felt like my hands were tied.....like if I didnt do something he would die and his young kids would have no one. I still....feel horrible. It was .....difficult to make that call. So...did I do the right thing? Could I have done something different...was there another way?
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    About Keysnurse2008

    Joined: Sep '00; Posts: 581; Likes: 164
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    13 Comments

  3. by   CrufflerJJ
    Thank you for being such a good friend. You did what was needed, even though it was far from easy.
  4. by   GOMER42
    Quote from Keysnurse2008
    he denied it until he was in a position and got caught red handed.
    What do you mean he got caught red-handed?

    Quote from Keysnurse2008
    .....he had an adverse outcome something like a seizure.
    You either have a seizure or you don't


    It is hard to say whether or not you did the right thing. But one thing is for sure, you did it with the best of intentions. Our idea of what an addiction is or a problem is subjective. If he is visibly impaired there is a problem, however, if he is having a couple drinks I see no big deal.
    Realize that in trying to help him, this may also be putting his job in jeopardy and could possibly have his kids placed with CPS, so be sure that his drinking is a true problem.
    It is nice that he has such a concerned friend. Don't be intimidated by his anger. Try to be supportive rather than accusatory and perhaps he'll be more open to hearing your thoughts.
  5. by   Keysnurse2008
    Quote from gomer42
    what do you mean he got caught red-handed?



    you either have a seizure or you don't


    it is hard to say whether or not you did the right thing. but one thing is for sure, you did it with the best of intentions. our idea of what an addiction is or a problem is subjective. if he is visibly impaired there is a problem, however, if he is having a couple drinks i see no big deal.
    realize that in trying to help him, this may also be putting his job in jeopardy and could possibly have his kids placed with cps, so be sure that his drinking is a true problem.
    it is nice that he has such a concerned friend. don't be intimidated by his anger. try to be supportive rather than accusatory and perhaps he'll be more open to hearing your thoughts.
    to answer your question. i am trying to be vague about what happened so he will not be identified. but...yes it was something just as severe as a seizure at work . someting associated with occassional dt's. i am trying to be vague to protect him. and when i say he was caught redhanded...he was. he showed up to work and took report on some very very sickkk....sick patients. he was dog drunk...slurred speech...whiskey on his breath. he was told to clock out and one of us would drive him home. i drove him home....and when i got there....his whole place had botlles everywhere. the kids acted like it was no big deal. they didnt look at their dad like anything was different. this was " normal" to them. i feel llike a dog. i know cps could be called in. i knowit. i know it and i am sick. i keep thinking wth did i miss? i feel like i should have seen something taht gave me concrete proof before this. everytime i asked i wasnt accusatory...i keep thinking...i should have seen something before this. i should have known. now ...i keep thinking....maybe i could have done sometiing different. i keep asking myself...did i do the right thing? he refused help....he said he could " handle it". i didnt want him killing one of our patients...or his own kids finding him dead. dont you think i know what this is going to do to him? i know it. i feel horrible....i do. i feel like i should have seen that there was a major problem before he showed up dog drunk so bad he couldnt walk. wth did i miss? when i asked...i wasnt accusatory. he knows i was his friend no matter what. now...i think ...i should have been more accusatory...maybe then it wouldnt have got this bad. maybe if i had come to his house more often to hang out it wouldnt have happened or he wouldnt have gotten this bad off...or maybe i would have seen before it got this bad. i dont know....did i do the right thing? the hospital is only worried about reporting him to the board. i am worried about his kids finding him dead. i didnt know what to do. i dont know.....i hope i did the right thing. i just dont want those kids finding him dead.....and that is a real possibility.
    Last edit by Keysnurse2008 on Jun 24, '09 : Reason: to be vague about persons idenity
  6. by   leslie :-D
    i'm not even sure the peer assistance program will be able to help him...
    will they report him to the BON?

    unless something is mandated, i have no idea where this will lead...
    as to your question, i honestly don't know if it's a 'right or wrong' scenario.
    it is more about ethics...
    and what you did was ethical and honorable.

    i hope he wants to get the help he needs.
    fwiw, his denial is par for the course.
    most alcoholics/addicts indeed, deny til they're blue in the face.
    but just for the fact that he attempted to quit, shows he is aware of a problem.

    wishing your friend, much strength, peace and success.

    leslie
  7. by   GOMER42
    You are being too harsh on yourself. You are doing what you can to help him. You did not do this to him. It is likely that if you hadn't stepped in now, someone else may have or it would have taken a tragedy to occur before anyone did anything. It does not matter if you visited him more or less, spoke to him nicely or spoke to him harshly, addiction progresses. He can't kick a habit on his own, so be there for him and try to find resources to help. I was just hoping that there was objective proof rather than subjective feelings behind your actions and it sounds like there is. I am sorry to hear this, but be proud of yourself for being a caring friend. Many people forget addiction is a disease with a biochemical basis and abandon family and friends in times like this when they need them most. Don't beat yourself up.
  8. by   Keysnurse2008
    Quote from gomer42
    you are being too harsh on yourself. you are doing what you can to help him. you did not do this to him. it is likely that if you hadn't stepped in now, someone else may have or it would have taken a tragedy to occur before anyone did anything. it does not matter if you visited him more or less, spoke to him nicely or spoke to him harshly, addiction progresses. he can't kick a habit on his own, so be there for him and try to find resources to help. i was just hoping that there was objective proof rather than subjective feelings behind your actions and it sounds like there is. i am sorry to hear this, but be proud of yourself for being a caring friend. many people forget addiction is a disease with a biochemical basis and abandon family and friends in times like this when they need them most. don't beat yourself up.
    i do feel bad. like i should have seen before it got this bad. i am still going to be there for him,...no matter what happens. i hate it. i do. he has kids....but i dont want them finding him dead. i dont know how to help him...i do know the facility has turned him over to the bon. so this peer assiatance group is suppost to work on his behalf to help him get help....and keep his liscense and work with the bon. i dont know how i could have missed it. i dont know. his boss called me to his unit the other day....and when i walked in his bossess office he'd had him in there for quite awhile talking and the place smelled like a brewery. his boss told me he was drunk...and he so obviously was and said i could either take him home or he'd have to call security and they' dturn him over to the police . he came in, clocked in...and was taking report and then started asking ridiculous questions loudly with slurred speech. that made the nurse stop and take notice. she thought his blood sugar was out of whack...( he is not a diabetic). did a fingerstick on him...and it was in the80 range. then he started laughing at her.....and she then smelled his breath and took a close look at his eyes. glassy eyed....etc etc. he refused a alcohol level and drug screen. i do feel bad. i feel like i should have seen something concrete before it got to this point.
  9. by   Kringe38
    What would you have been able to do if you had "caught it" before it got this bad? IMO that's not your fault or your responsibility. You can only do so much. IMO he should be reported but why are you beating yourself up about not catching it sooner? If you had noticed sooner and said something to him, I'm sure he would have denied it then, too. It's not like you could make him stop earlier any more than you could make him stop now. You can report it but it's out of your hands, it depends on whether he wants to quit or not.
  10. by   Keysnurse2008
    Quote from leslie :-d
    i'm not even sure the peer assistance program will be able to help him...
    will they report him to the bon?

    unless something is mandated, i have no idea where this will lead...
    as to your question, i honestly don't know if it's a 'right or wrong' scenario.
    it is more about ethics...
    and what you did was ethical and honorable.

    i hope he wants to get the help he needs.
    fwiw, his denial is par for the course.
    most alcoholics/addicts indeed, deny til they're blue in the face.
    but just for the fact that he attempted to quit, shows he is aware of a problem.

    wishing your friend, much strength, peace and success.

    leslie
    [bthe facility actually reported him to the bon. it seemed like no one was worried about him. the bon works to protect the public, not necessarily for the nurse.. what i found out after all this happened is that the peer assistance group works with him to help him get help, if he will take it. if he accepts help...then they go to bat for him at the bon and help him retain his liscense. so they woory more about him. but to answer your question...the facility had already reported him to the board. and....i dont think what i did was honorable......bc i feel pretty crappy right now. [/b]
  11. by   GN Dave
    What you did was very honorable... you put your friend, his family, and his health first, and worried about how you felt later. He may not thank you now, but I'll bet that he will in the future. You are a good friend, stop beating yourself up over things that were not your fault!
  12. by   Keysnurse2008
    Quote from zap lpn
    what you did was very honorable... you put your friend, his family, and his health first, and worried about how you felt later. he may not thank you now, but i'll bet that he will in the future. you are a good friend, stop beating yourself up over things that were not your fault!
    easier said than done.
  13. by   CrufflerJJ
    Quote from keysnurse2008
    easier said than done.
    true, but then again, the most worthwhile things in life are seldom easy.

    you cared enough about your friend & his family to do what you did, knowing that he'd probably hate you for it.

    that took a lot of moral courage, and a lot of kindness on your part. the easy thing to do would have been to ignore it, hoping that somebody else would "do something."
  14. by   Keysnurse2008
    Quote from crufflerjj
    true, but then again, the most worthwhile things in life are seldom easy.

    you cared enough about your friend & his family to do what you did, knowing that he'd probably hate you for it.

    that took a lot of moral courage, and a lot of kindness on your part. the easy thing to do would have been to ignore it, hoping that somebody else would "do something."
    i just got a call from his mom. he went into a 6 week inpatient program near houston. his mom has the kids. so...maybe this ends up working out for him. he is a great nurse,...just a great guy....that got off track and needed help by people trained in that area. i am in hopes it all works out.....he has 2 great kids that hopefully will be young enough to not remember alot about all of this. his mom is moving out to help with the kids and with anything else he needs till he gets back on his feet. but..he is in a well known treatment program.....so i am saying a prayer for him and his family.

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