Substance abuse and nursing

Comprehensive Clinical Psychology - Reference Work The Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment JSAT features original research, systematic reviews and reports on meta-analyses and, with editorial approval, special articles on the assessment and treatment of substance use and addictive disorders, including alcohol, illicit and prescription drugs, and nicotine Read more The Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment JSAT features original research, systematic reviews and reports on meta-analyses and, with editorial approval, special articles on the assessment and treatment of substance use and addictive disorders, including alcohol, illicit and prescription drugs, and nicotine.

Substance abuse and nursing

Nurse Jackie Do you suspect that a co-worker is abusing drugs or alcohol and impaired while at work?

Substance use disorder - Wikipedia

What are the signs? What should you do about it? Many of these nurses are addicted to prescription drugs and part of what the CDC describes as the opioid addiction epidemic. Numerous addicted nurses have not been long-term abusers but get caught in the trap of tolerance and dependence after having the drugs prescribed or having self-medicated after emotional trauma.

The nurse who is impaired by drugs or alcohol mostly believes that she is fine but is, in fact, unable to care for her patients safely and Substance abuse and nursing while her behaviors may actually be putting their lives in danger.

If you suspect that a co-worker is a substance abuser, it is your ethical duty towards patients, the community, your profession and your employer to make our concerns known.

The Signs of Substance Abuse The path to addiction is a gradual one.

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It starts with abuse, or illegal use of a substance, which can lead to tolerance requiring ever higher doses of the drug to get the same effect. For some, this then leads to addiction where they crave the drug and are no longer able to stop using it — at this stage the drug use is a brain disorder causing compulsive behavior which the addict cannot control.

History of nurses and addiction

Addicted nurses are not easy to recognize. The typical signs and symptoms of substance abuse and addiction which we learn about may not be evident in a nurse who is employed when compared to the down-and-out addict in the street. They tend to take extra care to avoid detection and, because of free access to the drugs, clean needles and syringes, the habit does not have the same financial drain it does for other addicts.

Substance abuse and nursing

Physical signs Nurses are as likely as other addicts to show the same physiological effects of the abused substance, which may include: Changes in behavior If a nurse has not had a long standing problem with substance abuse, changes in behavior might be the first thing co-workers notice.

Behavioral signs may include: The frequent occurrence of one or more of the following should serve as a red flag: Increased narcotics sign-outs when a specific nurse is on duty. An unusual number of requests for signing out wasted narcotics. Changes made to verbal or telephonic orders for narcotic medication.

What you should do if you suspect a co-worker? Firstly, you should not resort to enabling behavior — something nurses tend to do because they are carers and protectors.

An impaired nurse is a real threat to her patients. If you suspect that a co-worker is abusing substances or already addicted, go back to the literature and sharpen your knowledge on the associated signs, symptoms and behaviors.

Also, collect information on the workplace policy and procedures relating to substance abuse by employees, and what assistance might be available either in the workplace or from your local nursing association. Find out what policy your Board of Nursing follows with regard to impaired nurses. Increasingly, the trend is to support rehabilitation and reintegration into the workplace after treatment, rather than to enforce harsh disciplinary action.

The next step is to document all the facts that support your suspicions about the nurse and, armed with this information, discuss the matter with a nursing services manager.

If you are close to your co-worker, and especially if the person has confided in you about his or her problem, try to encourage the nurse to find help before being caught out. You can also advise and support your colleague in this process. It may be a very difficult decision for you to take action but we have an ethical duty to protect our patients.

Nurses also need to show the same care and compassion for co-workers who have a problem as for their patients. Few addicts will reach out for treatment voluntarily and will only do so once confronted by others or when facing the possibility of losing their jobs.

However, those nurses who enter a structured treatment program have a good chance of recovery and returning to their profession.Substance Abuse Treatment and the Stages of Change, Second Edition: Selecting and Planning Interventions: Medicine & .

The Signs of Substance Abuse The path to addiction is a gradual one.

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It starts with abuse, or illegal use of a substance, which can lead to tolerance requiring ever higher doses of . The Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment (JSAT) features original research, systematic reviews and reports on meta-analyses and, with editorial approval, special articles on the assessment and treatment of substance use and addictive disorders, including alcohol, illicit and prescription drugs, and nicotine.

Risks of Stillbirth from Substance Use in Pregnancy Tobacco use— to times greater risk of stillbirth, with the highest risk found among the heaviest smokers.

Substance abuse alert! Women have unique and particular risk factors for substance abuse that are different from risk factors for men!

Assessment

Did you know that a women can progress to a substance abuse disorder more quickly than a man? View Substance Abuse In The Nursing Profession presentations online, safely and virus-free! Many are downloadable.

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