As we discussed last week, I’ve been reading, “The Nurses” by Alexandra Robbins. In the first chapter or two, Robbins chose to highlight a nurse who is a recovering opioid addict. This nurse, upon having that moment of clarity when she realized she was an addict, immediately checked herself into rehab…at her own facility. She also immediately went to the director of her department to share this realization and to admit that she had been, for many, many months, been squirreling away leftover narcotics. The department director then told the nurse addict that the department had been aware of her stealing drugs and had been investigating her for nearly a year. The nurse then went through a rigorous two year program set up by the state board to keep a watchful eye on the nurse after she admitted her addiction. Luckily (and as far as I’ve gotten in the book), the nurse is clean and sober and has completed the protocol which will allow her to keep her license. I stand and applaud this nurse, as I do for anyone who has admitted there is a problem and who has worked the steps of recovery. Doing such a thing takes a great amount of humility and courage.
Have you worked with a nurse who is in recovery? Does the addict’s choice of substance relate to his/her job? What were your first feelings when you found out a co-worker is in recovery? Did your opinion change after working with this individual?