Archive for the ‘Drug Abuse’ Category

Psychiatric Patients

February 19, 2013

Forensic nursing involves the application of science and nursing in legal situations. Psychiatric nurses care for patients with mental illnesses. Forensic psychiatric nurses are employed in institutions such as a juvenile homes or prisons where a majority of the residents require treatment for mental conditions. Many of theses patients also struggle with the dual problem of mental illness and drug abuse. Patients who abuse drugs present with the additional complications of addiction, dangerous behavior, withdrawal symptoms, etc. It is interesting to consider that people who abuse drugs frequently also have a mental disease, which may or may not be diagnosed. For this reason all healthcare providers should be at least basically prepared to identify and care for patients with such conditions as they may not always be found under the strict care of a mental health facility and could present for treatment in emergency rooms and doctors’ offices.

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Hepatic Failure

January 31, 2013

Hepatic (liver) failure is the most severe consequence of liver disease. It is caused from massive hepatic necrosis from overuse of drugs, chronic liver disease, or hepatic dysfunction without necrosis. Most people who experience hepatic failure have a liver transplant so that other organ systems do not fail as well. People who have hepatic failure look jaundice. Forensic nurses may see hepatic failure in a variety of patients, including those who were addicted to alcohol or drugs at some point in their lives.

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Alcohol addiction is a disease, comment

January 10, 2011

Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused psychoactive drug in the United States. Of those seeking treatment 50% will relapse in the first few months of therapy. Everyone around these patients is effected by this disease. Nursing is on the forefront of the battle these individuals undertake. Alcohol use is broken down into two categories abuse and dependence. Alcohol abuse is characterized as a pattern of use leading to one or more manifestations in a period of a year such as a failure to fulfill major roles or obligations at work, school or home. Recurrent alcohol related legal problems or being in physically hazardous situations and continued use despite problems with relationships caused by or exacerbated by alcohol. Alcohol dependence is a pattern of three or more manifestations in a year such as having a tolerance to alcohol, showing signs of withdrawal, consuming larger amounts or over longer periods than had intended. Continued use of alcohol despite desire or failed attempts to cut down consumption. Drinking and recovering from use takes up more and more time. Continued use despite knowing it is doing damage physically or psychologically, as well as those listed above for abuse. Alcohol not only effects those who are abusing or dependent on the drug, but everyone around them. As a child I remember the late night phone call my mother received that her father, only 49 years old, had passed away after having too much to drink, vomited and aspirated his stomach contents. He was an abuser, a weekend social drinker whose life alcohol had very little impact on until that night, then it had the ultimate impact. A patient I took care of many years ago had a similar experience, he was a young man in his early 30’s, he too aspirated after vomiting, he survived this initially only to be left with damage to his brain from a lack of oxygen. He would live the rest of his life in a coma like state, with a grieving wife and child. Alcohol is a treatable disease, when a patient comes to a hospital or clinic, they have chosen to undertake the battle of their lives. They are not able to do this alone, the attitudes of family and nurses as well as others they may come into contact with are crucial. A compassionate nurse can change the life of a patient, as well as an unsympathetic nurse whose attitude may be “they did this to themselves.” Alcohol dependence or abuse should be seen for what it is a real disease that needs real treatment. These patients need all the support they can get from those around them, and education on the subject is paramount to recognizing the signs and symptoms that manifest. Education for healthcare workers so they understand these patients, as well as how to successfully treat them with medications, together with the patient’s desire to enter therapy will hopefully change that 50% to 25% or better 0% relapse in first few months.

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Alcohol addiction is a disease, comment

December 8, 2010

Assessing patients with potential alcohol abuse for mental illness is difficult. Alcohol abuse can mimic a mental illness so it is important to assess carefully. In some cases with mental illness it is necessary to have a period of abstinence of use of alcohol in order to accurately assess the patient for a mental illness. As stated in the article a visual assessment of the patients ability to take care of themselves can be helpful in diagnosis. When there is a dual diagnoses of alcohol abuse and mental illness an accurate assessment will enable a holistic treatment of both the alcohol abuse and the mental illness.

Original Post
July 9, 2010
Title: Alcohol addiction is a disease, comment
Alcohol impacts the lives of many individuals. Alcohol is a dangerous drug that is widely used and abused. There is evidence everywhere in our society, advertisements, socials events, sporting events, alcohol is everywhere. While there are many who can drink responsibly and not get to the point of alcohol being a problem in their life, there is a large percent of our population that has alcoholism. This is a very difficult disease, since there is no cure, no medicine it is something a patient has to overcome this disease using willpower and other methods requiring mental strength.

The nurse’s assessment plays a role in identifying if alcohol or any other substance may be controlling and having a negative effect on a patient’s life. During the assessment the nurse can identify alcohol dependence, abuse, or addictions. The patient may not even realize they have an alcohol problem the nurse can not only assist the patient in identifying a problem they can provide education to assist the patient in finding and evaluating treatment options. The nurse can also educate the patient during the assessment on how alcohol affects the body and mind short term and long term.

Advanced nursing assessment and forensic nursing may overlap on matters that may be related in some emergency situations caused from alcohol abuse. A forensic nurse may be involved in the care of a patient in the ER from an alcohol related incident. In this circumstance a forensic nurse would be required to utilize her advanced assessment skills to care for the patient as well as fulfill her role as a forensic nurse.

Original Post

September 28, 2009

Title: Alcohol addiction is a disease

Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused psychoactive drug in the United States. Of those seeking treatment 50% will relapse in the first few months of therapy. Everyone around these patients is effected by this disease. Nursing is on the forefront of the battle these individuals undertake. Alcohol use is broken down into two categories abuse and dependence. Alcohol abuse is characterized as a pattern of use leading to one or more manifestations in a period of a year such as a failure to fulfill major roles or obligations at work, school or home. Recurrent alcohol related legal problems or being in physically hazardous situations and continued use despite problems with relationships caused by or exacerbated by alcohol. Alcohol dependence is a pattern of three or more manifestations in a year such as having a tolerance to alcohol, showing signs of withdrawal, consuming larger amounts or over longer periods than had intended. Continued use of alcohol despite desire or failed attempts to cut down consumption. Drinking and recovering from use takes up more and more time. Continued use despite knowing it is doing damage physically or psychologically, as well as those listed above for abuse. Alcohol not only effects those who are abusing or dependent on the drug, but everyone around them. As a child I remember the late night phone call my mother received that her father, only 49 years old, had passed away after having too much to drink, vomited and aspirated his stomach contents. He was an abuser, a weekend social drinker whose life alcohol had very little impact on until that night, then it had the ultimate impact. A patient I took care of many years ago had a similar experience, he was a young man in his early 30’s, he too aspirated after vomiting, he survived this initially only to be left with damage to his brain from a lack of oxygen. He would live the rest of his life in a coma like state, with a grieving wife and child. Alcohol is a treatable disease, when a patient comes to a hospital or clinic, they have chosen to undertake the battle of their lives. They are not able to do this alone, the attitudes of family and nurses as well as others they may come into contact with are crucial. A compassionate nurse can change the life of a patient, as well as an unsympathetic nurse whose attitude may be “they did this to themselves.” Alcohol dependence or abuse should be seen for what it is a real disease that needs real treatment. These patients need all the support they can get from those around them, and education on the subject is paramount to recognizing the signs and symptoms that manifest. Education for healthcare workers so they understand these patients, as well as how to successfully treat them with medications, together with the patient’s desire to enter therapy will hopefully change that 50% to 25% or better 0% relapse in first few months.

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CHRONIC PAIN AND DRUG ABUSE

August 2, 2010

It is an easy thing to look down upon someone who is a drug abuser, we live in a society that has very little compassion, and or understanding for these individuals. I have heard it time and again “They have done this to themselves!” But have they, what moves a person to become an addict?
The history of an individual tells us a great deal. Family history may reveal that someone is predisposed to addictive behavior, and then coupled with a severe injury that needed long term pain medication can be a recipe for disaster. Families are turned upside down, and torn apart, some never recover.
These individuals may be incapable of stopping on their own, there are many programs and institutions that specialize in helping those who have this disease, the only prerequisite is that they want the help. If someone does not want help there is no program or individual that can help them.
As caregivers showing empathy for those in these situations rather than being judgmental can be the difference in someone’s life.

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Alcohol addiction is a disease, comment

July 15, 2010

When assessing a patient with potential or actual alcohol abuse it is important to assess their mental health status as well and realize how closely alcohol abuse and mental illness go hand in hand. In obtaining information clients should feel a good level of comfort with the nurse in order to disclose information willingly about alcohol intake. Many patients with mental illnesses such as depression and bipolar disorder that are undiagnosed will self medicate with alcohol. Obtaining a good family mental health history as well as collecting an inventory about emotions and feelings may help the nurse identify patients at risk for alcoholism. A nurse should also be aware at risk factors for depression and anxiety and collect good subjective and objective data during the patient interview. A persons ability to care for themselves and personal hygiene are good examples of objective data collection. Another piece of valuable information is a patients support system and living arrangements. A nurse should document a patients orientation, memory, communication skills and reasoning. The Audit and Cage tests can be used in a more structured assessment for alcohol abuse as additional supportive data. Alcoholism is a complicated disease that has many factors to address when helping a patient to find the resources to overcome it. Treating a patient holistically when considering alcoholism will allow the nurse to identify predisposing or precipitating factors of this disease.

Original Post
July 9, 2010
Title: Alcohol addiction is a disease, comment
Alcohol impacts the lives of many individuals. Alcohol is a dangerous drug that is widely used and abused. There is evidence everywhere in our society, advertisements, socials events, sporting events, alcohol is everywhere. While there are many who can drink responsibly and not get to the point of alcohol being a problem in their life, there is a large percent of our population that has alcoholism. This is a very difficult disease, since there is no cure, no medicine it is something a patient has to overcome this disease using willpower and other methods requiring mental strength.

The nurse’s assessment plays a role in identifying if alcohol or any other substance may be controlling and having a negative effect on a patient’s life. During the assessment the nurse can identify alcohol dependence, abuse, or addictions. The patient may not even realize they have an alcohol problem the nurse can not only assist the patient in identifying a problem they can provide education to assist the patient in finding and evaluating treatment options. The nurse can also educate the patient during the assessment on how alcohol affects the body and mind short term and long term.

Advanced nursing assessment and forensic nursing may overlap on matters that may be related in some emergency situations caused from alcohol abuse. A forensic nurse may be involved in the care of a patient in the ER from an alcohol related incident. In this circumstance a forensic nurse would be required to utilize her advanced assessment skills to care for the patient as well as fulfill her role as a forensic nurse.

Original Post

September 28, 2009

Title: Alcohol addiction is a disease

Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused psychoactive drug in the United States. Of those seeking treatment 50% will relapse in the first few months of therapy. Everyone around these patients is effected by this disease. Nursing is on the forefront of the battle these individuals undertake. Alcohol use is broken down into two categories abuse and dependence. Alcohol abuse is characterized as a pattern of use leading to one or more manifestations in a period of a year such as a failure to fulfill major roles or obligations at work, school or home. Recurrent alcohol related legal problems or being in physically hazardous situations and continued use despite problems with relationships caused by or exacerbated by alcohol. Alcohol dependence is a pattern of three or more manifestations in a year such as having a tolerance to alcohol, showing signs of withdrawal, consuming larger amounts or over longer periods than had intended. Continued use of alcohol despite desire or failed attempts to cut down consumption. Drinking and recovering from use takes up more and more time. Continued use despite knowing it is doing damage physically or psychologically, as well as those listed above for abuse. Alcohol not only effects those who are abusing or dependent on the drug, but everyone around them. As a child I remember the late night phone call my mother received that her father, only 49 years old, had passed away after having too much to drink, vomited and aspirated his stomach contents. He was an abuser, a weekend social drinker whose life alcohol had very little impact on until that night, then it had the ultimate impact. A patient I took care of many years ago had a similar experience, he was a young man in his early 30’s, he too aspirated after vomiting, he survived this initially only to be left with damage to his brain from a lack of oxygen. He would live the rest of his life in a coma like state, with a grieving wife and child. Alcohol is a treatable disease, when a patient comes to a hospital or clinic, they have chosen to undertake the battle of their lives. They are not able to do this alone, the attitudes of family and nurses as well as others they may come into contact with are crucial. A compassionate nurse can change the life of a patient, as well as an unsympathetic nurse whose attitude may be “they did this to themselves.” Alcohol dependence or abuse should be seen for what it is a real disease that needs real treatment. These patients need all the support they can get from those around them, and education on the subject is paramount to recognizing the signs and symptoms that manifest. Education for healthcare workers so they understand these patients, as well as how to successfully treat them with medications, together with the patient’s desire to enter therapy will hopefully change that 50% to 25% or better 0% relapse in first few months.

Legal Services for Alcohol Abuse Addiction

Patient Education & Counseling online course

Public Health Nursing online certificate program

Forensic Nursing Online Certificate Program

Forensic Nursing Online Introduction Course

Online Advanced Nursing Health Assessment Course

Alcohol addiction is a disease, comment

July 9, 2010

Alcohol impacts the lives of many individuals.  Alcohol is a dangerous drug that is widely used and abused.  There is evidence everywhere in our society, advertisements, socials events, sporting events, alcohol is everywhere.  While there are many who can drink responsibly and not get to the point of alcohol being a problem in their life, there is a large percent of our population that has alcoholism.  This is a very difficult disease, since there is no cure, no medicine it is something a patient has to overcome this disease using willpower and other methods requiring mental strength.

The nurse’s assessment plays a role in identifying if alcohol or any other substance may be controlling and having a negative effect on a patient’s life.  During the assessment the nurse can identify alcohol dependence, abuse, or addictions.  The patient may not even realize they have an alcohol problem the nurse can not only assist the patient in identifying a problem they can provide education to assist the patient in finding and evaluating treatment options.  The nurse can also educate the patient during the assessment on how alcohol affects the body and mind short term and long term.

Advanced nursing assessment and forensic nursing may overlap on matters that may be related in some emergency situations caused from alcohol abuse.  A forensic nurse may be involved in the care of a patient in the ER from an alcohol related incident.  In this circumstance a forensic nurse would be required to utilize her advanced assessment skills to care for the patient as well as fulfill her role as a forensic nurse.

Original Post

September 28, 2009

Title: Alcohol addiction is a disease

Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused psychoactive drug in the United States. Of those seeking treatment 50% will relapse in the first few months of therapy. Everyone around these patients is effected by this disease. Nursing is on the forefront of the battle these individuals undertake. Alcohol use is broken down into two categories abuse and dependence. Alcohol abuse is characterized as a pattern of use leading to one or more manifestations in a period of a year such as a failure to fulfill major roles or obligations at work, school or home. Recurrent alcohol related legal problems or being in physically hazardous situations and continued use despite problems with relationships caused by or exacerbated by alcohol. Alcohol dependence is a pattern of three or more manifestations in a year such as having a tolerance to alcohol, showing signs of withdrawal, consuming larger amounts or over longer periods than had intended. Continued use of alcohol despite desire or failed attempts to cut down consumption. Drinking and recovering from use takes up more and more time. Continued use despite knowing it is doing damage physically or psychologically, as well as those listed above for abuse. Alcohol not only effects those who are abusing or dependent on the drug, but everyone around them. As a child I remember the late night phone call my mother received that her father, only 49 years old, had passed away after having too much to drink, vomited and aspirated his stomach contents. He was an abuser, a weekend social drinker whose life alcohol had very little impact on until that night, then it had the ultimate impact. A patient I took care of many years ago had a similar experience, he was a young man in his early 30’s, he too aspirated after vomiting, he survived this initially only to be left with damage to his brain from a lack of oxygen. He would live the rest of his life in a coma like state, with a grieving wife and child. Alcohol is a treatable disease, when a patient comes to a hospital or clinic, they have chosen to undertake the battle of their lives. They are not able to do this alone, the attitudes of family and nurses as well as others they may come into contact with are crucial. A compassionate nurse can change the life of a patient, as well as an unsympathetic nurse whose attitude may be “they did this to themselves.” Alcohol dependence or abuse should be seen for what it is a real disease that needs real treatment. These patients need all the support they can get from those around them, and education on the subject is paramount to recognizing the signs and symptoms that manifest. Education for healthcare workers so they understand these patients, as well as how to successfully treat them with medications, together with the patient’s desire to enter therapy will hopefully change that 50% to 25% or better 0% relapse in first few months.

Legal Services for Alcohol Abuse Addiction

Patient Education & Counseling online course

Public Health Nursing online certificate program

Forensic Nursing Online Certificate Program

Forensic Nursing Online Introduction Course

Online Advanced Nursing Health Assessment Course

Substance abuse, comment

May 26, 2010

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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Substance Abuse, comment

April 26, 2010

I wanted to respond to the post regarding substance abuse and how it can be detrimental to other forms of abuse. What I want to discuss is when the nurses are abusing substances. Several years ago, while working on a med surg floor, I received report from the nurse coming off the shift who was, based on my assessment, was under the influence. The nurse had pin point pupils, had slurred speech and a bandaid over an area on left hand with fresh blood noted. Upon the initial assessments of my pts, all that had the nurse I had received report from where rating their pain greater than 6/10. Upon review of pyxis machine it was determined that all pts had medications every six hours as ordered but all state they did not receive meds through the night. I handled this situation by meeting with my supervisor and instructing her on talking with the nurse prior to her going home to see if she saw the manifestations I did. We as nurses need to perform assessments on each other to insure we are being pt advocates, as well as team players with other nurses if they need assistance with any substance abuse.

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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Online Forensic Nursing Certificate Program

Substance Abuse Lawyer Attorney

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Substance Abuse, comment

March 31, 2010

I do think that substance abuse is out of hand now days. It seems to be so prevalent in today’s society. It seems okay to be able to take pills to "make things better" when there could be other ways for the person to cope. Because of the easy access to prescriptions,we have in a way created this problem in our society. There seem to be alot of people with addictive personalities and unfortunately those are the ones who wind up abusing something that was originally meant to help them. I think that there needs to be stricter laws governing the use of such freely written prescriptions. And there should be other options for those people rather than popping a pill.

Original Post
March 26, 2010
Title: Substance Abuse, comment
Substance abuse is out of control. We are quick to medicate for every unpleasant situation in our lives. Screening is very important but not realistic because of the very fine line of functional and abusive behavior. Who makes that decision? If I “popped“ 10 pills every morning just to make it through the day I would be comatose whereas others who don’t take their medication would not even be able to leave their houses.

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.

Online Forensic Nursing Course

Online Forensic Nursing Certificate Program

Substance Abuse Lawyer Attorney

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