Addicted Nurses and Treatment Alternatives

An examination of the problems facing nurses recovering from drug addiction in their workplace.

This paper explains how drug abuse among health care workers poses serious risks for patients and providers alike. It looks at the additional temptation and hurdles health care workers face when confronted with addictive material on a daily basis. It examines methods that can be used to combat the problem.
“Drug abuse among health-care workers poses serious risks for patients and providers alike. “Health professionals are in a position to cause harm to individuals under their care if they’re under the influence of a drug, says Mary Haack, PhD, RN, an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing (Borkowski, 3). Their own medical knowledge may start some health-care workers down the path of addiction. Rather than seek help for physical or psychological problems, some attempt to self-medicate, abusing prescription medications like Demerol, codeine and morphine. Since they know a lot about prescription drugs, they feel somewhat invulnerable. They think they know how to manage it, and that gets them into trouble (Hack qtd. in Borkowski, 3). While drug addiction is often the result of experimentation in social situations, addiction is very solitary for health-care workers, who tend to abuse only on the job (Borkowski, 2002).