Drug Abuse/Nurses/Kristi - page 4

I tried posting a reply directly to your post, but when I typed in my ID, etc., it just flipped me back to your topic, and didn't let me post, so I started a new topic, but on the SAME topic. I can't... Read More

  1. by   karent
    Originally posted by PPL:
    Actually, Karen, I'm ALWAYS in favor of folks making good choices, and I have a good deal of education re addiction; I just don't happen to buy into it, lock, stock and barrel. Are you inferring though that addicts are NOT exceptional at deception? Because, if you are, I disagree. The MAJORITY of addicts I have known are MASTERS at it. Of course, once their habit consumes every living moment, they eventually make mistakes, get sloppy, etc. What would YOU have done if you encountered these two? I mean, they weren't exactly TEAM PLAYERS! By the way, I checked out your web site. I am not averse to listening to the opinions of people who take a different approach; I'm just not in agreement that there is ONLY one approach. Thanks Karen.

    There is never just one approach, my friend. It comes down to what seems appropriate
    at the time.

    What are the policies in your hospital? What does your state Nurse Practice Act say?
    Ours says we are breaking the act if we suspect someone of abuse and don't report it.

    In Louisiana, we document to the hilt and then report to the Recovering Nurse Program.They send in an investigator and if there is a problem, (more often than not there is) the person is sent for an inpatient evaluation.

    You don't wake up one day and decide that so and so has a problem...right? If you suspect someone has a problem, they probably do. Our doubt overlay can keep us from taking action. Sometimes talking to a professional will help.

    Most times, when I encounter someone who bashes reovering nurses it's because they hit too close to home. Someone in the family has the diseaseor the basher themselves. When there is a lot of anger, you will always find fear underneath.


    <A HREF="http://www.tktucker.net/nir/
    " TARGET=_blank>http://www.tktucker.net/nir/
    </A> Nurses in Recovery
    <A HREF="http://www.tktucker.net/
    " TARGET=_blank>http://www.tktucker.net/
    </A> Tina's Place
  2. by   BJA
    What a great topic! Obviously very near and dear to the hearts of many.

    I went through a drug and alcohol treatment program 10 years before I started nursing school. I have now been clean and sober for almost 20 years.

    I believe that nurses who are addicted need our support IF they are willing to seek help. They absolutely must have an interest in their own recovery. Forcing a person into a treatment program is often a waste of time. In fact, the success rate of most treatment programs is a whopping ONE OUT OF TEN!! This is probably a generous estimate.

    There is already a mechanism in place in most states for dealing with this issue. Of course it involves random drug tests, limiting access to drugs, etc. I agree that the addict always finds a way around these sanctions. I don't have any great answers, just more questions.

    I think part of the reason I have stayed straight for so long is because of the rather unique approach of treatment center I was involved with. Suffice to say that I carry a medallion with the motto, "LIFE IS CHOICE."

    I hope that everyone will work on their compassion for addicted nurses and that any currently "using" nurses will realize that they do have a choice. Chose to seek help.

    God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.
  3. by   PPL
    iKelly, thanks. I was able to access the article and read it, along with most of the others, so now I'm cross-eyed, on top of being opinionated! It interests me that I am considered cruel, angry, etc., because of my point of view, when the addicted posters who have written seem really angry to me.
  4. by   PPL
    Sorry, I submitted my reply, without meaning to. The last poster, BJA, seems the most open and without anger in her/his post. What also interests me is when people say they had no choice and/or did not realize they had a choice; then when "confronted" to get treatment, or lose their license, all of a sudden they recognize choice? Now, we all move along the self discovery road at a different speed, and some are more able to look inside themselves deeper than others. Some however, seem more interested in pointing a finger at me, for my "anger" and "fear" and "cold, calculating" ways; oh, and did I forget "ignorant" and "shallow"? Who's angry here? Some of you have had a hard way to go since you chose to get clean and/or sober, and while I believe you, I am not responsible for that. Am I allowed no feelings for having worked along side of you when you were using and/or diverting drugs? Thanks.
  5. by   Joankim
    You are certainly entitled to whatever feelings you have, as well as your opinions. You stated several times in your posts that the replies were something you expected.Yet again you sound hurt by some of the things expressed here. However,it seems no matter what anyone replies to you have a retort!! While I can't stick up for anyone else this has been a very heated topic.
    You have obviously had some very bad experiences with impaired nurses and can think what you want and may feel your feelings are very substantiated by all your experiences.
    You asked questions and were given answers, many of which you did not seem to like or accept. Unfortunately, addiction goes on, some recover and grow , and some do not.
    As far as your opinion of choices goes... I will try one more time.Yes,all addicts( and everyone else) has a choice. However in my active addiction I was not aware that I had a choice.You express that we knew we had choices and just continued to make bad ones until we were forced into making different choices.I am having a difficult time expressing what is was like to someone who is not as addict. I knew I was doing wrong things,but was afraid if I admitted how bad off I was and exactly what I was doing to anyone I would lose my license and would be shunned by society, a society that included my nursing peers. I did not know there was a way out.I lived a life of pure hell the last year or more of my active addiction. I honestly could not see a way out. I considered suicide as a viable option at one point, and if I had not lost a brother in a car accident , killed by a drunk driver I probably would have killed myself. I knew what it would do to my parents however, so I just kept doing what I was doing because I could not stop. It wasn't until I was caught and had to admit there was a problem, went thru detox and treatment that I learned all these things.
    And to be honest,if I was not recovering, I would be uneducated about this whole stinking disease and probably think just like you; that is that we are all scum, and we are not worthy to function as nurses, and maybe not in society.
    I do have a different view of addiction now, but find that there are MANY more nurses out there with views like yours versus compasionate and willing to overlook the addicive parts of our selves.I am not slamming you or trying to put you down, as I stated you are entitled to your opinion and that is OK.When it comes down to it, I have to remind myself daily, that we are all children of God, and we have some lost and floundering souls out there
    Forgiveness and love based thinking help me to be a better person, then when I am all emotional, angry and wanting to fight.So at any rate there have been many interesting things posted here and this has been an enlightening topic.
  6. by   BJA
    Joankim, Your comment about choice reminded me of some things I hadn't thought of in a while. I was in a treatment program before I realized that I had a choice. It was a hard lesson. It can be very refreshing and enlightening to realize that there is a choice involved in life. A funny aside: There was a man in treatment with me who was at the time a successful businessman/alcoholic. He related a story about working in a meat packing plant and being told that he should eat his lunch next to a dead cow. He said it was an unpleasant experience. The counselor told him that he could have chosen to eat somewhere else. His eyes lit up and he said, "You mean I could have decided to eat my lunch somewhere else?!" In realizing "choice" he found his freedom. I know that was a weird story, but it is just to demonstrate that yes, we all find our way at different times and different ways. Be patient, some of us are slow learners.
    I must agree too, that those of us who work with "using" nurses have an obligation to the patient, first and foremost. If that means reporting a co-worker, then so be it. Hopefully, that will be the first step to recovery. Nurses, like others, need to be given an chance to recover without such severe sanctions that they can no longer work in the profession. But, I must reiterate, protect the patient.

    I think I have done quite a fine job of talking in circles, so I will quit for now.
  7. by   PPL
    JoanKim, I don't know what to say, because now you have added "hurt" to all the other things said about me. For me, hurt does not enter into this topic. I put those things in quotes because they were stated, and I believe they were stated in anger. Another thing, I have never referred to anyone as scum, so where is that coming from? I did expect some strong responses, and it's not whether I like and/or accept them, but I am after the truth, which obviously, is very different for you, than it is for me. Indeed, the truth can be very painful, but I seek it, from myself and from others. You said you knew you were "doing wrong things" but are you saying that in doing so, that doing wrong things was not CHOOSING to do wrong things? I believe you KNEW right from wrong, but are you saying you couldn't CHOOSE the right thing? That is what I hear. If so, that is where I'm having trouble, I think, because any time I have done wrong, I knew I was doing wrong, and I knew I chose it. Also, I knew when and to what extent I was rationalizing why it was OK to do wrong. Then, when you got caught, you WERE able to make the right choice, even if it WAS mandated, so you felt there WAS no choice, but there was. Thank heavens you didn't CHOOSE that other option, which was to continue to do drugs! On THAT, I think we can ALL agree!
  8. by   Joankim
    LOL!! That is apparently all we will ever agree on as far s this topic goes!!! It amuses me that you asume when I post things they are all directed at you! I was the person who referred to myself as scum, in the context that that is how many people perceive addicts. We are thought of as pond scum, part of the very lowest chain of living existance. Regardles of what you or anyone else thinks, we are not bad people. My intentions when I was not using were not to harm other people, especially fellow nurses, You and others here think that you were used on purpose. Many addicts hurt the ones closest to them and everyone else... but I doubt you understand that concept.... Making bad choices is not rationalizing, but I am not going to attempt any more esplnations.There have been many people posting here, attempting to explain what is ws like for them. You challenge every post ... ...
    I think you would have to be an addict to truly understand.Not just about choices, which really seems to baffle you but the entire relm of addiction.
  9. by   karent
    Originally posted by PPL:
    I did expect some strong responses, and it's not whether I like and/or accept them, but I am after the truth, which obviously, is very different for you, than it is for me. Indeed, the truth can be very painful, but I seek it, from myself and from others. !
    Sometimes I forget that my truth/reality may be way different from yours. Today I try
    to accept that others have their own reality which actually gives me quite abit of freedom.

    Be well,

    <A HREF="http://www.tktucker.net/nir/
    " TARGET=_blank>http://www.tktucker.net/nir/
    </A> Nurses in Recovery
    <A HREF="http://www.tktucker.net/
    " TARGET=_blank>http://www.tktucker.net/
    </A> Tina's Place
  10. by   nurse46
    i just read your post i have been in recovery for 4 years and have been working for 2 years i became addicted during the care i received during a hosp. stay from an M.I. we do recover the constrihts from the P.A.P. in n.y. are strict bt the support is great i used my pain meds for 3 ,omths before i realized it was a problem i have never had a drink so or been around people who had substance abuse prblems i wonder with you remarks if you ever take a drink to "just relax" if so you have the potential to be an abuser of substances there are thousands of people in recovery who do very well and then are people in recovery who relapse but under no circumstances does that mean they can not try again i stayed out iof work for 15 months to deal with all those old ghost from the past and the present at the tie to make sure i would not succumb again and by the grace of god i have not i wonder if you look at your patients that are chemically dependent and think i would never do this let me tell you never say never because you could fall just like anyone else
    no one is beyond falling from grace not even you a nurse is compassionate no matter what the dx. is are you?
  11. by   Paula Wilson
    The State Board of Nursing in South Carolina added to the RN Licensure fee (either $7 or $12-can't remember-last Nov. seems so long ago and it really didn't matter how much was added there was no choice) to help addicted nurses. I hope when the application comes for 2001 they include how many have been helped.

  12. by   PPL
    Hi Paula. How do you feel about this practice? I don't know what if any portion of our state's fee goes to treatment for impaired nurses. One case I am familiar with, the nurse was responsible for the cost of treatment, or at least what the insurance didn't pick up. Also, there was no real enforcement of the restrictions that I could tell. It may make a difference as to how one is treated if they admit they're impaired and ask the state for help, then if they're caught and then forced into treatment. To nurse46, I had a little trouble following your post, but your situation sounds unusual in that people don't as a rule become addicted through the use of pain meds during hospitalization. I agree that as humans, we all have the potential to become addicted to one thing or another. Do you think a person can choose to become addicted to a healthy lifestyle as well as unhealthy? To answer your question, I treat my chemically impaired patients, and all my patients, with respect, unless they are very disrespectful, in which case, I get in and get out and spend as few heartbeats as possible.
  13. by   esdrn
    Bunky, Does progressing from CAD to Acute MI to cardiac arrest require a psychiatric diagnosis from you. I am a recovering alcoholic. However, I got out of treatment on friday and started college on a monday. This was in 1993. By the Grace of GOD and the help of a 12 step program, I have not had a desire to drink or drug since. This was July 24, 1993. I don't see how you can be a compassionate nurse with all of your biases (or ignorance) whichever the caase may be. Alcoholism is a disease. It is usually familial in nature, like a lot of the diseases. If I were you, I would exam my on family tree before I started shaking everyone elses. I had much rather be a recovering alcoholic, than an unrecoverable dumb@#$.
    Originally posted by bunky:
    But whatever your reason for using, you knew when you took the demerol that it was against all the rules of nursing. Do you think that a prexisting mental illness caused you to do it? A lot of people toked up in highschool, but it doesn't mean that they went on to cocaine. This is the part I am trying to understand. Was there a prexisting condition in you that caused you to escalate your useage? In time it takes more and more to catch a buzz, and I understand that, but the escalation from pot to coke, to demerol and morphine seems to suggest more a psych issue.