Reports Show Spike In Substance Abusing Nurses

There is a scandal among the world of nursing that many would be surprised to know of. More and more nurses are becoming involved in drug and alcohol abuse and it’s only growing. For example, in Georgia there have already been 82 cases (as of November) of disciplinary action taken against nurses by the Georgia Board of Nursing. This is quite a jump from the 34 cases reported in all of 2011.
It isn’t just illicit drugs and alcohol that these nurses are abusing. Of the 82 cases that have been reported this year, 52 of them involved the abuse of prescription drugs; Not just the abuse of them, but theft as well. This means that many nurses are stealing drugs from the facilities where they work and even from their patients. This is accomplished in many ways. Nurses may switch patients with other nurses in order to receive ones that are being administered narcotics. They are then able to “assess” their patients to determine which ones would be least likely to catch on to what they’re doing. The drugs are then taken by giving smaller dosages to the patients and keeping the rest for themselves, or by injecting saline into the patient instead of the drug. Other methods of stealing consist of “forgetting” to document the medications administered to the patients. Severe addicts who must use while on duty have been know to inject the drugs right into their thigh muscles during break time, for example.

How Do They Get Away With It

It is a scary thought that a trusted nurse would jeopardize the health and recovery of a patient for her own selfish needs, but it is a reality that needs to be faced. The Board of Nursing is taking measures in attempt to putting an end to this epidemic. Disciplinary action usually includes probation for four years, along with drug treatment, drug testing and certain job restrictions there after. The Board would rather see these nurses overcome their addictions and continue nursing, but sometimes when a nurse gets caught they simply skip from facility to facility. For example, one offender was caught stealing from four different facilities within five months before her license was suspended. Because of cases such as this, the State Senator, Buddy Carter, introduced a bill that would make reporting nurses who are suspected of drug abuse or theft directly to the Georgia Board of Nursing mandatory. Unfortunately, this bill did not get passed, but he isn’t stopping there.

Nurses aren’t’ the only medical professionals who are currently abusing drugs. Many doctors have come forward with their problems of addiction and their ability to trick the system in order to continue the drug abuse. There is even the case of the anesthetist who went to prison last year for charges of sexually assaulting patients. He was found to have a vast collection of prescription medications in his own home that had been stolen from his place of work. Though this epidemic doesn’t include every doctor or nurse, just be aware if you find yourself in the hospital.

What To Do If You Notice A Problem

There is a basic checklist that can be done by anyone to stop drug addiction by nurses or anyone with a problem. Communicating with the individual about the problem and trying to get them treatment is the first step. The second is intervention by family members or friends. If this does not work, professional intervention services are essential.

he most important thing is to get help for the addicted person. For more information find Narconon on Twitter.


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