Substance abuse, comment

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Those who choose to abuse drugs will do so whether they are homeless, celebrities, teachers, police officers, doctors or even nurses. I agree with the previous post that we should assess our colleagues in order to provide the best and most safe care for patients. There is no excuse to be altered while at work, but it seems even more inappropriate when a mistake while at work can kill someone. I have noticed 3 people that quickly disappeared from work in the last 2 years. Later I heard that they were taking drugs from work and altered the records. They were all fired. Interesting enough, one of the nurses was seen in our facility working for a critical care transport team. My hope is she went through a rehab program and no longer abuses drugs. The only thing to do is to keep patients safe by keeping our nurses sober. The one thing that could be a potential problem and highly embarrassing is if you suspect someone for being altered and it turns out they are not and do not use or steal drugs. Many times I have had patients state “you didn’t give me my pain medication”. They say this although I show them I am putting it into their IV, but they had forgotten. Thankfully, I do not use drugs and have no interest in taking Morphine and injecting myself with it. I do know of many patients and even close friends who have fallen in the dark hole of addiction. Approaching those nurses that are abusing drugs in a positive way and offering support and rehab would be ideal. Many who abuse drugs may have deep emotional issues that are difficult to resolve.

Original Post

December 30, 2009

Title: Substance Abuse

Although there are mild cases, substance abuse can be a major problem that leads to other issues such as child abuse, elder abuse, or sexual assault. These issues are reasons that make substance abuse a serious problem. Substance abusers should put this under control as soon as possible. Alcohol treatment programs are designed to help those that want and need help be successful at this. As a nurse, assessment skills are imperative in diagnosing a substance abuse problem. Skills in the assessment of mental health cannot be forgotten, since they focus on emotional and psychological well being. A good mental health assessment could reveal the underlying problem(s) of substance abuse.

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