Drug Abuse Among Us?? - page 7

Am I that nieve?? A nurse on my unit was arrested for"drug diversion" Is this rampant among us?? I know we have all taken the occasional tylenol from work, but controlled substances ??... Read More

  1. by   Liddle Noodnik
    People in chronic pain may OR may not be impaired, and not know it. It is an individual thing. Some may be impaired (like that nurse's mom) and just not know it. Many of these meds give a false sense of security and confidence. It's best to be up front that you're on them and willing to hear someone say, "Er, maybe you need to rethink your working with these meds" when they see you're not doing so hot. Those on it short term OR long term may be deluding themselves as to their abilities.
  2. by   GPatty
    Oh wow!
    I never realized it was such a widespread problem! We have some issues where I work (a small LTC unit) and I think I will definitely be taking some more steps to assure the safety of my license!
    For istance, our DON informed some of us (one at a time, I guess) that a pts liquid Lortab had been taken (240cc) and replaced with water....to this day, I don't think she has done a thing about it. Narcs are off CONSTANTLY because no one counts with the other....
    It is a mess...Yes, I am taking more steps to take care of my license. I worked too hard to get it, and I'm not letting it go!
    I think I will INSIST on counting the narcs....and if they don't want to, I shall report it to the administrator.
  3. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Originally posted by Julielpn
    I will INSIST on counting the narcs....and if they don't want to, I shall report it to the administrator.
    I don't get people not counting... everywhere I go we HAVE to, with TWO people.

    Otherwise, anyone who was near the cart/cupboard since the last count would be called on the carpet!
  4. by   PhePhe
    Drug abuse is very common in our profession. Our state board newletter is full of people who have been the subject of disciplinary action for substance abuse. Doesn't your state board give this information in your newsletter?
  5. by   Scavenger'sWife
    It is a huge problem, and I don't think it will ever cease to be. I used to work in an assisted living place where there was no responsibility for the narcs. I IMMEDIATELY set up a program of counting the narcs at the end of each shift,with two people: one the on-coming charge person and one the off-going charge person. Then they both had to sign a count sheet. Wwe stopped having miscounted drugs after that.

    I worked at my local hospital where recently an LPN and RN who were a team and also best friends were both fired for diverting as well as outright stealing drugs. The RN was the user, the LPN was co-conspiring by "witnessing" for the RN. The only thing was,we were all sure this RN had a problem for over 6 months before admin finally tested her. She would come in to work very eveidently high or coming down off her drug-high...she would have red eyes, no make-up on or personal hygiene done, etc.

    When I "waste", I make SURE my witness actually watches. I dispose down the sink where I am sure it can't be recovered by someone. If a co-worker asks me to "witness", I actually WATCH her...I have found some people say no one but me does that! They "trust" the person. Huh-uh...I worked too hard for my license!!!
  6. by   GPatty
    I agree. I have been also making sure my "witness" watches me too. I refuse to be caught up in a "well, I should've known better" situation.
    As far as the 2 nurses igning that we've counted together, they do have a sheet to sign, but most nurses sign it off in "their" area when they count by themselves, then the other nurse does the same.
    Just doesn't seem right, does it?
  7. by   boopchick
    I worked with a nurse today who refused to waste/sign off 2 used duragesic patches with me....stated it was her policy not to because she feels it's an insult to her ...??!! I had to ask the unit manager to waste them with me....
  8. by   teeituptom
    Hi yall
    from deep in the heart of texas

    I see this thread is still going on. Interesting.

    I have a full time staff job but also work some through the agency. Drug use among nurses is a serious problem. And untill we get rid of it it is only going to get bigger. All nurses should be tested prior to being hired for drugs. And I favor sporadic testing as a job requirement. I am against the rehabilitation of nurses who have been caught using drugs ever returning to patient care. If you must then have them return to insurance companies and such, not involved in patient care. The patient is more important than the nurse. I wouldnt want any nurse under drug use wheter its for pain control or whatever taking care of me and or my family. Or any other patient for that matter.
    Drugged up nurse are a threat to all patients and also to us, Let them go work for walmart or 7-11 or whatever. Nursing shortage or not. Use that money you spend on rehabilitation to improve nursing, educate nurses, and attract nurses. BUT GET RID OF THE DRUGGIES. We dont need them, the patients dont need impaired nurses, our profession doesnt need them either. GET RID OF THEM ALL. ZERO TOLERANCE FOR DRUG IMPAIRED NURSES.

    doo wah ditty
  9. by   disher
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by chicoborja
    [B]I, like everyone else in this forum, oppose diversion of narcs from patients but possibly contrary to some in this forum, I don find anything immoral with pocketing wasted meds.
    It is hard to tell from reading this post but this seems like the rationalization of a drug abuser... if anyone is pocketing wastes they have an addiction and need help. A Website that has helped nurses with addictions is Nurses in Recovery.
  10. by   teeituptom
    Hi ya'll
    You may not find it immoral, but it is downright illegal in most states. One it is still theft. Two its still posession of a controlled substance. And yes its immoral in any way or shape or form. And if you have any questions regarding it go and look it up. If its not legally prescribed to you this is called possession. its illegal and its immoral also. There is no adequate rationalization for it at all.
  11. by   nakitamoon
    ,,,, in my last job,,,, (love saying that,,,, only as of yesterday afternoon),,,, when I started ,,,,, as DON,,,, there was no control on narcs,,,, they were with the routine medications,,,,,,

    I didn't have a nurse working the night shift,,,,, but I immediatly initiatied,,, a "count" at shift change,,,,, We had a SNF,,, on site,, so at 11p,,,, that nurse counted with my charge nurse going off duty,,,,, and again,,, in am,,,, with the one coming on,,,,

    Did they like it,,,,,,,,, No,,,,,,,, were the narcotic issues solved,,,, Yes,,,,,,,
  12. by   MyFunnyFace
    Something Mystic said about a probationary employee forging another Nurse's signature regarding Meds distribution raised an eyebrow.

    Let's say, someone forges your signature,... and questions are raised by the admin. How do you defend your name and reputation? That seems like an awfully uphill situation to be in, who sits on your side?

    It seems like there are so many CYA's in Nursing, it should be taught as continuing education!
  13. by   roxannekkb
    There was a study out of the University of Maryland that surveyed 4-5000 nurses (don't remember the exact number) and 32% reported using prescription drugs non-medically, using illicit drugs, smoking or binge drinking within the last year. The rates are similar to substance use in the general population, but the researchers say they found a correlation between the substances nurses use and their practice specialty. The study was published a few years ago in the American Journal of Public Health.

    So yes, it is a problem. High stress levels and easy access to drugs certainly compound it.