Drug Abuse/Nurses/Kristi - page 6

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   esdrn
    Hi Dianee.A very professional an intellectual attitude.The reason more nurses or other professionals don't seek help is because of the stigma attached to being an addict/alcoholic. Since I am in recovery myself, I guess I am just more empathetic to addicts/alcoholics. As far as the cost; Someone had posted that they were paying the tab for my past abbuse. HA! HA! They will never know how much it cost the alcoholic/addict to live a low-life. I PAID FOR MY MISTAKES MYSELF!!! My family suffered, but certainly not the person who posted such an unintellectual remark as that. H*%#, if it weren't for sinners, we wouldn't need churches. LET THOSE WHO HAVE LIVED A PERFECT LIFE CAST THE FIRST STONE. Thanks for your insight Dianee.
    Originally posted by dianee:
    This has been a very thought provoking discussion. I don't use alcohol or drugs, and I never have, but I also think we need to have policies that encourage nurses to seek and get help, rather than to punish them. I can't imagine how terrifying and isolating an adictive disease must be. Do we have a responsibility to safeguard the safety and well-being our patients? Of course we do. But we also have a responsibility to each other. We need to be more concerned with being fair and compassionate, than being on a moral crusade. There will always be nurses who are addicted working with us. The question is
    are we going to be part of the solution in trying to get them help, or are we going to push them further into the closet, and have bigger problems in the long run? I choose to be the first.
  2. by   PPL
    Hi esdrn and other posters. Yes, I hear what you're saying. Also, this nurse's career of which I speak HAS been cut short, after many attempts to clean up their act. That "hitting bottom" point you mention, which I prefer to call "the motivating point," at which a person begins to turn their life around, is different for each individual. Some will reach it when they have a few rounds in court, some after they've killed someone while driving impaired, and some never seem to reach it. I do think substance abuse costs us all, but I also agree that it's the addict and their family who pay the dearest price. Thanks for posting.
  3. by   bunky
    PPL! PPL! PPL! I agree. I get frustrated with the idea that my tax dollars are paying for others mistakes. I get sick of the unwed mother thing, especially when it happens more than once. But, and maybe it's the Canadian Commie side in me, I have to remind myself that while that mother is a screw up, the child did nothing wrong! Why should the child be punished for the sins of the parents? Look at what goes on in countries like Ethiopia where the people are starving while their warlord leaders own private jets. Can we turn our backs on those people just because we disagree with their government? I think to be fair we have to look at the fact that we are talking about human beings. While you and I may not dip into the narcotic cupboard, or sneak a flask of Jack Daniels into our lockers, the people that do are still human beings. I truly don't know how I feel on what should be done with a nurse who is found to have an addiction, but we have to keep in mind that we are talking about real people. And you know, I think I would turn them in! If I found out that someone was coming to work high on something, I'd turn them in! I wouldn't confront them myself, I'd go right to the supervisor and turn them in. For the safety of the patients, I'd do it. Not so that they'd seek help. That'd be up to them. I tend to believe that if they felt that they needed the help they would turn themselves in.
  4. by   AJACKT33Z
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    I tried e-mailing to you DC but it was "undeliverable" so here:
    I work at a very nice hospital in Southern California that has hired nurses in the BRN diversion program. They have (all but one I heard of) been very good nurses who are willing to help, reliable, and glad to have been given the chance.
    This good hospital does not want employees saying where they work so, for instance my opinion won't be misconstrued as the hospital position. If you want to relocate e-mail me and I will tell you the name. If not I'm sure there is another facility that is willing to give you a chance. In this shortage I think the gratitude of a good nurse would be worth more than the "stay a year for the bonus" many get. The hospital that acts on that may be an ideal place to work. Nursing is difficult enough without the disrespecful employers many of us have.
    Bless us all.
    For information of the BRN program in California go to www.rn.ca.gov/


    [This message has been edited by spacenurse (edited October 16, 2000).]
  6. by   Iam46yearsold
    Some very good points brought up in here.
  7. by   Magsulfate
    You're right, however, I would love to see these same people posting today. If they are still here, I'd love to see a new thread started. It has been 8 years since this thread and attitudes have changed TREMENDOUSLY. Not only on this board, but in the nursing practice and medical community in general.

    So, here is my invite to the origional poster. Come back and start a new thread. I am positive that it will be totally different if you pose the same topic and type it again word for word.

    As far as nurses getting off with a slap on the wrist, that is by far the furthest thing from the truth. I don't have to explain it here, go to your states peer assistance website. Read the rules and regulations. That is NOT a slap on the wrist. It is closer to what the OP called a 'gun to the head'.

    That's all I have to say for now.
    Last edit by Magsulfate on Dec 23, '08 : Reason: typos
  8. by   nurseboudin
    Thank you for your honesty.

    Even though I am a recovering alcoholic, I get frustrated with active substance abusers. It's hard not to. I believe anyone who screws up at work (theft or working under the influence) should probably lose their license for a minimum amount of time - and then once they have a proven track record in recovery, become eligible for re-instatement.

    I have compassion for anyone dealing with substance abuse problems. It's a lonely, frightening, terrible place to be. I never could have gotten sober without experiencing great losses. Unfortunately, this is what makes most of us seek recovery in the first place.

    Negative consequences were necessary for me to see that I had a problem. I am a proponent for a hard-line stance regarding how we should deal with substance abusers in the workplace. The truth is... I have to care more about my recovery than my license.

    If I ever show up drunk - I hope someone turns my butt in. My patients deserve better. And so do I.

    Just remember - good recovery can make a great nurse. A little more tolerance wouldn't be terrible on your part. The stigma you are perpetuating might keep someone from asking for help. Fear of judgement keeps a lot of people using in secrecy.
  9. by   sallyrnrrt
    Quote from PPL
    Man, I'm reading all this, and it sounds like some of you would like to tar and feather me, for what you believe to be my narrow-mindedness. I read your many different possibilities as to how/why you became an addict, but I see NOTHING to indicate choice as one possibility. This makes me a little suspicious, because you can't argue about the compassion and understanding that nurses are supposed to possess, without also speaking about the ethics, choices and responsibility that goes with our training. So, you think I should choose to be MORE compassionate and understanding toward your "disease" but let YOU totally off the hook re any ethics, choice and/or responsibility re your usage? Maybe, but I think not. As far as my Loaded Gun Theory, I'm not suggesting that we blow any addicts out of the water. What I AM trying to suggest, is that theoretically, if a loaded gun were held to the head of an addict, "disease" or not, then we would REALLY begin to see who is motivated by what, and just how much choice is involved in taking that next drink and/or using that next drug, dig? As for those of you who suggest that I'm ignorant and unknowledgeable re the true nature of addiction; so say you. I won't try to change your mind, as your plate is already too full. I will however, attempt to suggest to you, that you reach into your deepest selves, and try to tap into what I believe exists in each and every one of you; the ability to be honest, the ability to know right from wrong; and the ability to CHOOSE the right thing. Thanks to all.
    You are far too "out there" to have an informed educated opinion. I would take some of these formerly actively impaired nurses as my health care advocate, over you hands down. I can see your reasoning related to hypertension, diabetes, obesity, CAD... there are human contributions to those diseases. I wonder if your treatment plan would with hold insulin or nitroglycerine?
  10. by   Magsulfate
    Quote from nurseboudin

    Just remember - good recovery can make a great nurse. A little more tolerance wouldn't be terrible on your part. The stigma you are perpetuating might keep someone from asking for help. Fear of judgement keeps a lot of people using in secrecy.
    You're right. You are soooo right. Your best nurses are going to be the ones in good recovery. Think about it... I've said it before, and I'll say it again: A nurse has to really be a good nurse to be able to make it through recovery and all the hoops of fire she has to jump through to recover and save her license. A bad nurse, or one who is half minded would not even BEGIN to bother with the obsticles that are presented to a recovering nurse.
  11. by   Tweety
    Sally, and others. Remember this thread was bumped up from 8 years ago. No need to engage people any further. Of course, the topic is still relavent today.