I've been lurking for awhile here and figure it's time to ask some questions.
I am thinking about seeing an addiction psychiatrist and talking to them about naloxone treatment for alcoholism. I am concerned first and foremost that disclosing any information about my problem considering I'm a nurse will cause issues. Any incite on this? Also will insurance being billed for both this service and for this medication raise any red flags that could cause problems with my job?
Thanks ahead of time to all that respond and for everyone's stories that have helped me through some of my rough times.
Nov 7, '17
These are very good questions. I hope I can at least give some insight. First, my understanding of confidentiality with respect to your medical records, conversations with a doctor and private treatment are not supposed to be released without your express permission. However, having said that I've seen Nurses who have checked into rehab and were reported to the board. Honestly, I would clear up these questions with the perspective physician before seeing him. Will he report you to the BON if he decides that you are an alcoholic? If he does honestly I would steer clear because you are going to end up in a 12 step treatment monitoring program for years & I wouldn't wish that on the ghost of Caligula. I applaud your seeking treatment with naloxone. I just watched "One little Pill" and did some reading on the internet about it. It seems to me much more rationally based than the nonsense I'm stuck in. It also seems to have much better results. I wish you well and please keep us updated as this is an interesting situation
Nov 7, '17
Just a thought, but why don't you just not tell him you're a nurse? I guess your job would be a major source of stress that they'd want to address as it relates to your addiction. Hmmm, idk but I do know that I went to IOP and I don't think I ever mentioned what I did for a living. There was plenty of group discussion, and a few private sessions with the counselor, but it seems to me that i spoke mainly about family, discussed concepts etc without getting into the topic of nursing. Of course I had told my counselor to begin with when I signed up because of the TPAPN paperwork I had to have completed, but my point is it wasn't really a topic of conversation so I think my profession, had it not been for TPAPN, could've been left out of the conversation. I wasn't working while I was in IOP though so maybe that was why it didn't come up. I may have mentioned being at work in general terms, work stress, dealing with coworkers, but I really don't think I brought it up at all in specific terms.
I don't want to tell you to lie to your counselor though, cuz that def sets the wrong tone for recovery. Maybe you could take a leave of absence, then you could honestly say that you USED TO WORK as a nurse, and they wouldn't feel compelled to report you to the Board since you're not actively employed.
Nov 7, '17
Looking back 2 years ago , I wish I would've seen a physician about Naloxone treatment and taken a leave of absence from my home health nursing job. I had a lot of sick time built up . I self admitted to an inpatient rehab program thinking it would be confidential. Well, after I was there a while and spilled my guts about being a nurse, the counselor I had insisted I report to the MS BON, she was quite rude the whole time I was there and said all nurses there were made to repory to the BON or be discharged. I guess I was in a bad frame of mind during that time because I refused to self report and I was discharged as a result . I was there 60 days and it was a 90 day program. I knew they were probably going to report me so as soon as I left that place I made a call to the BON and self reported .
Now it's a long drawn out deal. This month on the 30th marks my 2 year sobriety mark - thank God! But I have yet to hear from the nursing board again. I met with an investigator back in February 2016 and so far no letter or phone call from the board. I tried to ge into our monitoring program but I haven't heard anything back yet.
I'm thankful my license is active and unrestricted right now and I've been working as a dialysis nurse for a little over a year now with a good work record . Plus I've completed an Intesive outpatient program.
Of course I can't tell you what to do but if I had to do it over again I would seek naloxone treatment and the IOP program - it was great and all was kept confidential.
Best of luck to you and God Bless
Nov 7, '17
Thank y'all for the responses. I will be taking steps to change floors here very soon as my current job has been one of many huge stress factors leading to my abuse of alcohol. I decided to take a brand new ICU position around the same time as I was going through a divorce. I should have known better but I felt that the new position was a dream job. The new job has taught me more than I could ever imagine but has also been pure hell from the start. I thought about not mentioning I'm a nurse but due to the stress of the latest job I took I don't think I could honestly and completely do treatment without disclosing that information. My mental stability and health has took a huge decline in the past few months. I don't think continuing on this path will have positive consequences for me or my career.
Nov 7, '17
Wish you the best! If you see your addiction is severe, please seek help, even if it's IOP. If you end up getting a DUI, the board will def find out about it, that happened to a friend of mine.
Nov 7, '17
tiff is right. If you get a dui you will most definately be placed in one of these hellish programs. You need treatment and that is first and foremost. This treatment should be confidential. Perhaps if you take a leave of absence and utilize your cobra benefits to keep your insurance you can honestly answer "unemployed" when they ask you what you do. This is one of the great shames of these programs. Good nurses who need help are afraid to seek it so they are not punished for having a disease. God bless
Nov 8, '17
It's rammed down our throats that "addiction is a disease." If that is so, in what other disease process are the afflicted afraid to seek treatment because they will be punished by their own for it? I have a disease by the same description. (Mental illness is a moral failing only if we are in the Middle Ages)
I was in the same position after a nasty decompensation issue, while I was hospitalized Because of it. A fellow nurse "suggestinsisted" I call IPN. They'll help you she said. They support nurses, she said.....uhhh yeah....right....mmmmm, kay.
I wish I could tell you the right answer but sadly all I can say is props for recognizing that there might be an issue. Given that psych docs tend to probe for details (that is their job) I don't think you could avoid telling him that you are a nurse. (don't Go to anyone associated with a treatment outfit (high risk of being associated with program) Be up front as to why you are doing this and get a statement, preferably documented, that this will not leave his office or get reported to anyone. That works you should be fine. Anyone tries to push to an evaluation based on nothing more than you asking about a therapy inside the privacy of a psych session, a lawyer would have a field day with that.
This whole thing is just a **** shame!
Nov 8, '17
Amen to that Cats! I used to have respect for the nursing board , no more! They need to revamp their monitoring program. I'm taking everything one day at a time and I'm so thankful for my almost 2 year sobriety. I just dread the day that the BON gets back in touch with me. Hopefully this forum will help others to not have to go down the same path.
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