How did I get here?!


Specializes in RN. Has 15 years experience.

Hi, I was caught in a narcotic diversion at work. I was compliant with the employer and am pending urine results and official word on employment status. I can not believe I got into the mess but I am willing to fix it. I do admit there is a problem and can probably benefit from the restrictions and monitoring. However, I am absolutely terrified of what lies ahead. I called today to IPN to self report. I had consulted a lawyer and he advised that self reporting was probably my best option but not to disclose to IPN the details of why I was referred in the first place. My questions are then: 1) how to do you get through the evaluation, etc without being forthcoming if you are in fact guilty? 2) how honest do you need to be and at what point? 3) What if I play it off like I don't have a problem but my hair follicle test is positive, then what?

I am not afraid to admit to myself of my problems, or do what it takes to help myself. I just do not want to get stuck in a lengthy and costly rehab and am trying to make this the least painful as possible. I am currently supporting my family and have small children and I worry how we are going to make it through. If I can get back to work as soon as possible, the better. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Hey! Everything is going to be okay :). Just take it day by day, step by step, but so far your lawyer has given you great advice. As far as how honest, do not talk to anyone about your addiction unless your lawyer is present. It will be kind of costly to have a lawyer, but it was the best decision I ever made! Honestly is your best policy. You do not have to admit to every single time you diverted, at least I didn't, but they were interested in how much and for how long. I just kept it vague like "I started in June of 20xx and it slowly got worse and harder to control." Which was the truth - but again, all this was reviewed by my lawyer before I submitted it to the board. The board will likely do an investigation since you reported, but it is really good that you reported yourself! Be honest with the evaluator. Own your mistake and your addiction. It will go a long way, but let your lawyer represent you! I cannot say that enough. I am back to work now and life is mostly back to normal. You will survive it 🙂

Edited by bboy45

AbbeyR, ADN, BSN

Has 22 years experience.

hi Hey! You will get through this, there is a lot of support on here. Definitely get an attorney, this might get removed but Chapman law is a really good firm, they only deal with licensing professionals, check out their website.
be honest but never over share, remember this is a monitoring program, they are there to make sure you’re compliant and safe to the public, admitting smoking pot in high school 20 years ago will label you a “moderate user” with theses evaluations so just stick to the issues that get you in trouble. Social drinking twice a year is the acceptable answer for ETOH history anything more they’ll say you have a problem. Also is limited your mental health history saying your stressed, depressed anxious b/c of covid could land you a dual diagnosis contact.
please look up that law firm I mentioned!

best of luck... we’re here for you

Definitely second not mentioning past substance abuse with evaluator. Stick to the present time period. But do not lie. For example, if they did do a hair test and you have smoked weed in the last 3 months, then your credibility will look bad if you said you never smoked. That's kind of what I mean by being honest. Certainly don't volunteer information or give your life history and that one time you took an Adderall in college etc, but if you have been a habitual user of a drug recently - best to just be honest in case they do test you. I never had a hair test or anything to "prove" or see what drugs I was on. Just the dirty urine test at the time of the diversion

Oh and just a suggestion. If you can get in with a substance abuse doctor in the meantime and NOT wait until you are ordered by the board or IPN, that would bode well for you. It would show that you are taking it seriously and that Dr. could also speak with your evaluator when you do the IPN eval and possibly vouch for you. In the mean time, stop all drugs and alcohol. Show them you don't need rehab to get sober. Ideally you will get put into an outpatient group.


Specializes in RN. Has 15 years experience.

Thanks for the advice. I will be praying that there is no hair test up front and will try to keep it short and sweet 😉

On another note, I have been blessed! My employer is not terminating me and said that they want to help me get through this and get paid in the process. What a relief! That's what years of excellent work has gotten me and being honest with them. They have every right to shut the door in my face, I committed a serious offense but I am so fortunate to work for a compassionate organization....I can not screw this up

My employer said the same and they held up their end of the bargain. I got my short term disability and cashed out my PTO. On top of that, they put me on a medical leave of absence and they payed for my treatment. I was blessed too! Do NOT take it for granted!


Specializes in RN. Has 15 years experience.

Will they request medical records? I have no issue from my primary but beyond that I don't want them to know, may have incriminating info

Not sure, but I know my addictionologist has always been on my side and my biggest cheerleader. She would never do anything that would hurt me professionally.

Edited by bboy45

Hello, I read your post and was struck by how similar it is to where I was 4 years ago. Some background about me, I was caught diverting and ended up in a psych ward (at my own hospital no less) and was then referred to a rehab program for professionals. Upon completion of rehab, I was fired from my job but eventually found work in an infusion center where I had limited exposure to controlled substances. I was not required to tell my new employer of my history. The next 3 years consisted of attending weekly Aftercare meetings, random drug screens, and quarterly reports. I also had to see a therapist and get placed on suboxone by an addictions doctor. I followed every recommendation and found that my journey through the last 4 years was probably the mildest compared to other people who were less voluntary. This is not to say that you must share everything about yourself with the Board. As others have stated, you were wise to get an attorney. I did not get one but, for some reason, I didn't feel the need to do so and I don't have any regrets. I recently completed my contact with the Board and let me tell you that you CAN do it. It's a hassle but once you get through the initial interview and any required rehab, you'll be fine. The humiliation of getting drug tested every month will pass. You will adapt to the costs and may even be able to get help with some of it, depending on your state. Most states have voluntary alternative to discipline programs that are non-punitive and confidential. I'm happy to answer any additional questions!

Hi, it’s nice to read about a positive  experience with the program. What state are you in ? Also, how expensive is this? My intake is on Monday and I’m freaking out. Thanks


Specializes in general.

Thinking about ya- hope your intake went well and you are moving forward in your recovery!