Former drug addicts becoming nurses?

  1. A relative of mine struggled with drug addiction for years. She was in and out of rehab in another state. Now she's suddenly pregnant, married, and going to nursing school, having moved back to her home state.

    I'm pretty sure she's concealing her past struggles. I'm torn between hoping for the best for her, and fearing that nursing is not a good choice for a recovering drug addict.

    Thoughts?
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    About Emergent, RN

    Joined: Dec '13; Posts: 2,381; Likes: 17,418

    49 Comments

  3. by   EGspirit
    Love hopes all things. If you don't love her enough to have hope for her, then just stay out of her way. Everyone has the right to take a shot at redemption. That's what I think, anyway. And being addicted and in rehab, even multiple times, is not a crime. If she has a criminal record, that will prevent her, if she doesn't...then she doesn't.
  4. by   Penelope_Pitstop
    Sounds like she's earned a fresh start. You never know, some of your most successful coworkers could be in recovery, or have a "past" that is less than savory.
  5. by   MunoRN
    So longer as she is truly a "former" drug addict then nursing might actually be an excellent choice. Those with a history of something tend to be better at dealing with those with the same problem than those with no experience with that problem. And in nursing you'll certainly be in the position of caring for people with addiction issues.
  6. by   VivaLasViejas
    I am a recovering alcoholic with 26 years' sobriety under my belt. At the time I first started looking into nursing school, I'd only been sober a couple of years and was worried that the board of nursing might have a problem with me becoming a nurse. But a very wise professor told me "If it's no longer a problem for you, it won't be a problem for them." It wasn't. Neither was a minor criminal record (failure to appear in court on a couple of traffic tickets). For goodness sake, if nurses had to be perfect little angels there wouldn't be any nurses.
  7. by   TriciaJ
    Nursing may or may not be a good choice for her. All you can do now is wish for the best for her and trust that she'll make course corrections as she needs to, just like we all do.
  8. by   klone
    My thoughts: this post seems catty, gossipy, and poorly concealed judgyness under the guise of "well-meaning concern".
  9. by   Sour Lemon
    How long is "for years"? I think that makes a huge difference. Age probably matters quite a bit, too. People tend to do stupid things when they're young and figuring it all out.
  10. by   EGspirit
    Quote from klone
    My thoughts: this post seems catty, gossipy, and poorly concealed judgyness under the guise of "well-meaning concern".
    Yeah...that's called "social media."
  11. by   Emergent
    Quote from Sour Lemon
    How long is "for years"? I think that makes a huge difference. Age probably matters quite a bit, too. People tend to do stupid things when they're young and figuring it all out.
    About 10 years.

    To the person who called me names, I'm bringing this up as a general subject, with my relative as an example. This wasn't just a little partying, this woman was in rehab at least 3 times for addiction and abuse of hard drugs.

    Is nursing, with its frequent handling of controlled substances, a good career choice for a recovering drug addict? Alcohol seems to be a different beast in my mind, but I may be wrong.

    I'm wondering if there's any hard data on this subject, or only emotive speculation?
  12. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from Emergent
    About 10 years.

    To the person who called me names, I'm bringing this up as a general subject, with my relative as an example. This wasn't just a little partying, this woman was in rehab at least 3 times for addiction and abuse of hard drugs.

    Is nursing, with its frequent handling of controlled substances, a good career choice for a recovering drug addict? Alcohol seems to be a different beast in my mind, but I may be wrong.

    I'm wondering if there's any hard data on this subject, or only emotive speculation?
    Well, I'll go against the grain here and say that it might not be a great idea. It's one thing to salvage a career in progress, but if she's starting over, there are probably safer choices. Marriage and a baby sound great, new, and happy. How will her coping skills hold up when things go wrong? ...which inevitably, they do for everyone.
  13. by   pixierose
    Quote from Emergent
    About 10 years.

    To the person who called me names, I'm bringing this up as a general subject, with my relative as an example. This wasn't just a little partying, this woman was in rehab at least 3 times for addiction and abuse of hard drugs.

    Is nursing, with its frequent handling of controlled substances, a good career choice for a recovering drug addict? Alcohol seems to be a different beast in my mind, but I may be wrong.

    I'm wondering if there's any hard data on this subject, or only emotive speculation?
    Oh boy. I don't think this thread is going to go over well.

    Hop onto the Recovery forum. Read.

    You do sound judgmental, OP ("now she's suddenly pregnant, married and going to nursing school ..."). It sounds like she turned her life around. How about you support that, or perhaps even talk with her about it (rather than blast it over AN)?
  14. by   Libby1987
    Quote from Emergent
    A relative of mine struggled with drug addiction for years. She was in and out of rehab in another state. Now she's suddenly pregnant, married, and going to nursing school, having moved back to her home state.

    I'm pretty sure she's concealing her past struggles. I'm torn between hoping for the best for her, and fearing that nursing is not a good choice for a recovering drug addict.

    Thoughts?
    Are you able to do both, or even more? Hope for the best, be mindful of the struggle and realize that neither need, nor would be productive, to be more than a fleeting thought with plenty on your own plate to manage and improve?

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