It is an unfortunate circumstance that there is substance abuse in nursing. Addiction does not discriminate against race, gender, class, or profession. Drug abuse among nurses is devastating. We trust nurses to care for ourselves and our loved ones. Someone caring for patients while battling addiction puts the entire nursing process in jeopardy. Addiction is something that can happen to anyone at any time. If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction call: (385) 327-7418. We have a team of professionals standing by, ready to help you onto the path of recovery.
Furthermore, the American Nurses Association (ANA) estimates that between six and eight percent of nurses use alcohol or drugs to the extent that their professional judgment is impaired. Learn about how and why nurses can easily abuse substances. Knowing what to look for and how to get help can save your life and the lives of others. Call us today if you, or someone you love, are struggling with substance abuse. Above all, we will help take the first step toward the road to recovery today.
Substance abuse among nurses is an unfortunate epidemic we are facing. Learn all about how and why nurses can easily get addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Nurses and Drug Abuse
Nurses are a target for substance abuse and addiction. The stress level of their jobs and the ease of access to drugs makes it easy for many nurses to start their habits. Students studying nursing are also a prime target for this abuse. This is because of their lack of education, inconsistencies in their procedures, and lack of supervision. These circumstances make it easier for students to start an addiction.
However, getting caught leads to expulsion. Along with the removal, there is a lack of treatment. Also, they deny a safe way into the nursing profession. Training allows nurses to know that medications are there to help people. Training educates to say medications solve problems. Moreover, nurses are administering medication to alleviate pain, fight infections, reduce anxiety, help with depression, and treat sicknesses like cancer every day. To summarize, if they have a problem, then they are taught to think medications can fix them because of this thinking and training.
What Causes Substance Abuse Among Nurses?
Nursing has been considered to be one of the most stressful professions. Working long hours, high job demands, heavy workload, high stress, and anxiety. These are all common factors in substance abuse among nurses. This job presents a unique challenge when it comes to drug abuse because of the ease of access to the drugs available.
Also, a few different factors outside of the workplace can cause substance abuse among nurses as well. For example, looking at family history.
Those who have previously experienced emotional damage, alcoholism, drug use, or emotional abuse from a family member have been linked to impairment in their profession. But just because someone experiences this, does not mean they will be impaired while on the job.
Moreover, when someone is in an environment with this type of family history it can lead to a person with low self-esteem, being overworked, and needing to overachieve. People that have this family background are often drawn to nursing careers. This is because they can continue to play the caregiver role.
If you are struggling with an addiction, or know someone that is, then call us today. Our experts will help you get the help that you need now.
Signs of Substance Abuse in Nursing?
The American Nurses Association says that about one in ten nurses today abuse drugs and alcohol. There are many signs that someone may be abusing substances. If you, or someone you care about, are experiencing these symptoms, it may be a good idea to reach out and help. For example, let’s look at different signs that a nurse could be abusing substances:
First, attendance can take a hit when someone starts struggling with addiction. For example, some attendance issues may include:
- A large number of sick call-ins
- Confusion regarding their work schedule
- Longer coffee or lunch breaks
- Frequent accidents
- Unlikely excuses for their absences
- Long breaks
- Being in the clinic during their time off
- Often absent from the clinical area while on duty
- A lot of trips to the restroom, break room, or locker room
- Request for work in a lesser supervised setting
Then, disturbances in performance with a substance-abusing nurse are common. A few changes in performance to know and look out for, for instance:
- Complaints from patients – for example, this is usually from lack of care
- Assignments requiring them more time and effort
- The tendency to blame others
- Having a hard time understanding and remembering instructions
- Overreacting to criticism
- A disinterest in their work
- Distracted and forgetful
- Missing deadlines
- The inability to meet their schedules and does not get better
Use of Controlled Substances
Next, controlled substances are found in hospitals and clinics. There are signs associated with misusing these substances. For example, these signs can include:
- Using rarely used drugs
- Signing out more controlled substances than other nurses
- Tampering with vials or containers
- Frequent breaks and spills
- Unwitnessed or unnecessary waste of drugs
- Needs to be alone to obtain the drugs from their cases
- Gets defensive if asked about errors
- Inconsistencies in the patient chart and hospital drug records
- Frequent errors regarding medications
- Patients medications being wrongfully portioned often
Next, drastic changes in someone’s behavior can also raise a few red flags. For instance, signs you should know to include:
- Inappropriate behavior
- Wears long sleeve shirts all the time
- Poor hygiene
- Mood swings
- Being uncooperative with hospital staff
- Unable to recall important information
- Drowsiness at work
- Saying sentences that do not make sense
- Not willing to change plans
Finally, physical repercussions to abusing drugs and alcohol are always present. For example, the physical signs of substance abuse can include:
- Always using a breath mint
- Shaking hands
- An excessive amount of sweating
- High anxiety
- Always nervous
- Slurred speech patterns
- Arriving at work intoxicated
- Smells of alcohol
- Blacking out
To summarize, a lot of warning signs can co-occur with nurses struggling with substance abuse. When you suspect that someone you love is abusing a substance, you should get them help as soon as possible. Especially if they are in the medical field. They are caring for the lives of others. If they are unable to take care of themselves, this could cost an innocent individual’s life. Most importantly, getting the help needed as soon as possible is crucial.
Caught Abusing Substances
Once nurses struggling with substance abuse are caught, a couple of repercussions need to be taken. Most of the time, it will be reported to the Board of Nursing (BON) as soon as possible. Also, the local police will be notified. Each Board of Nursing has its investigation process. Along with different levels of assistance to help the nurse get through recovery. However, it does vary state by state.
In the 1980s, the disciplinary actions taken have changed. Before we recognized drug and alcohol abuse as a disease, nurses’ licenses were revoked, and the nurses are left with little to no help. However, nowadays, more non-disciplinary actions are often taken. It depends on the state in which you live, but rehabilitation is available most of the time. The rehabilitation available for nurses struggling with substance abuse allows them to return to the medical field if they choose slowly. They are only allowed back into a work environment once proven and confirmed by a professional that it is safe for a nurse to return to the clinical setting.
It is important to remember that you are not alone. A lot of people struggle with addiction. However, if you are struggling then call us today. Our experts will help you find the treatment need for you and your situations.
There are different treatments available for nurses struggling with substance abuse. It is also important to know what the options are. If you or someone you love are suffering from substance abuse, then call us today. We are standing by and are ready to take your call and get you on the path to recovery.
In addition, it is important to know what kind of treatments you will be facing when getting help. Here are a few common therapies you should be aware of.
Chemical Dependence Treatment Programs
These types of treatments will often offer different types of therapy sessions. It can also include learning about the nature of your addiction, and how to become and stay drug-free. The level of care provided will depend on your type of needs.
When going through a withdrawal of a substance users will experience what is known as a detox. This type of therapy is meant to help you get off the substance you are addicted to and get you off them in a quick and safe manner. There are different side effects depending on what type of substance you are detoxing from. When in detox you may experience a slow reduction of the dosage of drugs, substituting your substance with a different one, or go through a combination of both.
Therapy and Counseling
Therapy and counseling are a very common tool found in treating addiction. Behavior therapy is a great tool. It will help you find ways to deal with any cravings. You also will discuss ways to avoid using drugs, and how to avoid relapse. Furthermore, in therapy, you will often talk about issues regarding your friends, family, job, and how to communicate with them. You will work on how to better yourself and your outside relationships.
In addition, self-help groups are a great tool to use while becoming clean. For example, 12-step programs are a great way to talk to others. Group support allows you to find others in a situation similar to yours. Being able to connect with other humans can be really beneficial. It is a great reminder to know that you are never alone in what you are going through. As a result, you will never feel shamed or isolated when part of a group support system.
When overcoming an addiction, you will need to put forth a great amount of effort and energy. Surrounding yourself with a support system could be vital to your recovery. While this can include friends and family you trust it can also be great to find outsiders. Likewise, a licensed therapist or counselor specializing in drugs and alcohol can help you dig deep into your issue, and help you figure out the root of your addiction. Going to a facility specialized in helping addiction can help you become clean. Joining a support group can give you more people to trust that are feeling what you are also feeling.
In conclusion, it is important that you find a support system that works for you. Knowing that you are not alone while also having people to help and look after you that you trust are great tools. That is to say, you will struggle, and this support team can be a determining factor of if you stay sober or experience a relapse.
Asking for Help
Have you decided you are ready to get help? This is great news! Finally, you should know that you are not alone. Many people go through this. However, it does not matter if you are a nurse or a regular person. Addiction can change anyone’s life. If you are ready to turn your life around call us today. We are here to get you ready for a better and healthier life.
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