Nursing Student with a Drug Addiction

  1. Hi guys:
    I have already asked this question on the Friends/Family of Addicts forum I belong to, so I thought I would get your opinion as well.
    My husband is a 3 1/2 years clean, recovering addict. His good friend (I'll call him J), who he met in AA, recently got accepted into nursing school for this coming fall 2011. J was clean for 3 years when he relapsed this past fall 2010 (heroin, pills, alcohol). J continues to use, is refusing to go into rehab, and as far as I know plans to start nursing school in the fall, clean/sober or not. I have three main concerns: 1. the waiting list is very long and he will be taking a spot from someone who would better take advantage of the program, 2. J will be impaired and having patient contact, and I worry about the patients he may be responsible for, 3. At some point he will have access to narcotics that he will be able to steal.

    Now, the F/F of Addicts people mostly just said to let the situation be, and that J would fail out on his own anyways. But I feel as if I should contact the nursing school to let them know (I went to the same nursing school). Because who knows how long it will take him to fail on his own, and how many patients/narcotics he will have contact with, besides the fact that someone else will have to wait another semester to get into the program if he takes the spot.

    So what do you all think? Should I contact the school?
    (Feel free to move this to another forum topic; I didn't think it fit great in the Nurses in Recovery forum since he is not yet a nurse, or in recovery).
    Thanks everyone!
  2. Visit VanessaLee13 profile page

    About VanessaLee13

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 18; Likes: 21


  3. by   buenavidaRN
    Does the nursing school do drug tests? We were all drug tested at orientation. Just a thought ...
  4. by   elkpark
    I agree with the members of the other forum -- leave this alone and let his bad karma catch up with him on its own. "Ratting him out" to the school can only create problems for you.
  5. by   VanessaLee13
    I have tried to remember if I was drug tested when I started school there, but I can't remember. I do remember being drug tested at all my other hospital jobs, so I am thinking I was not tested when starting nursing school. I am sure they have the right to drug test, which is why I think I should let them know, so they can test someone they otherwise might not.
  6. by   CVmursenary
    don't be a snitch.
  7. by   sugarmagnoliaRN
    I know that at least some schools in my area drug test before you start. I think you should say something to someone... maybe not call the nursing school immediately but I think you need to do something because you are right - he is taking a spot away from someone who is more capable and he could harm patients and/or himself along the way. Try talking to your husband, he may more successful if he tried to talk to his friend directly. If that doesn't work, I would call the school, but make sure you've got some good evidence for suggesting to them that he's not clean...
  8. by   Turd Ferguson
    Quote from brandon2011
    don't be a snitch.

    I don't think that advocating for all of his future patients/coworkers is cause for being labeled as a "snitch"

    Having said that, he will most likely encounter drug testing somewhere along the way (our school didn't require it, but several of our clinical facilities did)
  9. by   Mrs. SnowStormRN
    As someone said earlier, if the school doesnt require it (drug testing) - some hospitals may. I was going to say students arent usually alone with meds, but than again an addict could find a way, Im sure. If he is really addicted to drugs, I dont know how he will be able to survive the demands of nursing school. I dont know how to advise you on this. He obviously needs help, but isnt ready yet. GOOD LUCK TO YOU.
  10. by   VanessaLee13
    Quote from Turd Ferguson
    I don't think that advocating for all of his future patients/coworkers is cause for being labeled as a "snitch"
    Thanks, I agree. And for anyone who knows anything about drug addiction, keeping things a secret is one of the most powerful tools an addict has in continuing to use.
  11. by   Hay Nars, RN
    my school drug tested on admittance to the program and before every new hospital we did clinicals.
  12. by   Aly529
    If you see no clear path that he's taking to be sober NOW with good intentions then leave it along BUT by what you posted, he apparently doesn't see getting sober before nursing school as a priority so then I would report him. I have never been a "snitch" and disliked them most times but this is a big exception.

    He has a serious drug problem (heroin and pills are NOT a joke, not even alcohol ) and the LAST thing I would hate to see is him get in (take someone's spot who worked their a$$ off to be there) and hide his addiction (which addicts learn to do well), then graduate and be my nurse. NO freaking way. SMH

    Like I said, I am not promoting snitching by any means, I also don't think one should get in someone's way of making a better life for themselves whether they have a shady past or not.

    Clearly, in this case he's so addicted he thinks he can "make it" as a nurse while popping/snorting and whatever else he does. Not cool.

    Not fair for that one person who worked so hard to be there and now got wait listed and a complete hazard to all future patients.

    PS. Even if he's drug tested an addict will research this and try to pass it.

    EDIT: And yes, you need to BE SURE that he is back taking drugs like others said.
    Last edit by Aly529 on Apr 26, '11
  13. by   Trenia
    Unless you have personally been with him while he was doing whatever drug, I think you should stay out of it. You may be 99% sure he has relapsed, but it could just be people blowing smoke.

    Edit: And to the people saying he doesn't deserve to take the spots of other applicants, he did earn his spot just like everyone else. It's the school's responsibility to make sure he meets the criteria necessary to work in clinicals. Not yours.
  14. by   caliotter3
    The way talk goes around and rumors are fabricated, I would not make the allegation to the school unless you actually saw him using. Same way the police often say about third party witnessed stuff. "I can't do anything because I didn't see it myself".