Nurses and alcohol

Nursing Students General Students


One thing I'm learning is that nurses can drink! They talk about drinking their entire shift, and then go out for drinks after. But I can't blame them! Nursing is a very stressful job. I heard addiction is a problem with nurses. What's your take?

Specializes in Forensic Psych.

Some of my favorite party animals are hard, play hard :)

Specializes in L&D.

I think what people do on their own time is their business(unless it's illegal).

Im sure the stress of nursing does have something to do with them becoming addicted though.

I don't drink(well maybe 2x per year) and have no plans to increase that when I am working as a nurse(I already had one stressful career with child protection, and it didn't cause me to drink, so Im fairly certain nursing won't either).

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

I'm a dual-diagnosis RN (alcoholic/bipolar) who got sober years before I became a nurse. While there certainly are times when I find myself craving ETOH because of work and personal stress, I've never given into it in 20 1/2 years. In fact, some of the stuff I've seen other alcoholics do in the throes of DTs makes me grateful that I never had to go through's not worth it!

It's the same with teachers! My hubby is a teacher, and most of his buddies are drinkers.

The same can be said for those who work in social services, especially the D&A Treatment realm. I remember when I first came onboard my boss told me that she never drank a day in her life until she started working in social services and working with the D&A population so pretty much it was "if you don't drink now, you will before you hit 6 months here". My coworkers and I used to walk past each other in the halls and asks "Is it Happy Hour yet?!?"

Hahha that's funny.

Specializes in retired LTC.
It's the same with teachers! My hubby is a teacher, and most of his buddies are drinkers.
I think law enforcement personnel have the same issues. Many years ago, I did a paper for a class where I did a comparison of the 2 professions - nurses and police. VERY SIMILAR statistics, lifestyles and issues (good & bad).

It's all about how you handle the stress, I know people who go out after work and I know people who go to the gym....

I don't see anything wrong with having a drink or two with friends or coworkers after work. I've never been a heavy drinker. I can buy a six pack and it'll last me a week or two. It's when you are binge drinking and/or have addiction issues that it can become a problem. After all a drink a day can be good for you :cheers:

This is just my opinion, but I think if people want to drink in any field, they are going to. There was equal talk of drinking when I worked retail to when I started in a medical office. I think having a stressful job is a really good excuse for people that feel they have to excuse their drinking. I drink. I don't feel the need to excuse it. I would write more, but I have to go grab a micro brew from the fridge now that I am thinking about it.

I'm still a CNA but am often sitting one-on-one for 12hr nights with suicidal people detoxing --alcohol, heroin, narcotics, meth, etc-- and yeah... It does make me want some sunny morning mimosas. You kinda need to clear their sad faces from your mind enough that you can be patient and compassionate for the next one. I prefer being on the floor but parts of one-on-one is rewarding...

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