Last updated on July 1st, 2019 at 12:54 pm
Nurses, like other medical professionals, are some of the hardest-working members of the workforce. They work long shifts where they’re almost constantly on their feet and they take care of people other than themselves or their loved ones when people are ill or hurt. Many of them do all of these things with a smile on their face and a gentle bedside manner to boot. Nurses play a huge roll in the healthcare provided to you at hospitals and other medical offices that you may remember the nurse that took care of you more fondly than the doctor or surgeon that was in control of your care.
Still, despite their strengths, nurses are just as human as the rest of us. They have one of the most stressful jobs in the world, their families, personal lives, and just as many additional factors pushing and pulling at them as anyone else. Because of this, it’s no surprise that roughly 1 in every 10 nurses abuses alcohol or drugs to some degree.
When this drug or alcohol abuse gets out of control, nurses may end up working while under the influence, start missing shifts, or even lose their license as a result of malpractice. There’s also a hefty stigma tacked onto medical personnel who end up with an addiction or substance abuse problem that discourages them from seeking help. More often than not, they’ll be judged by their colleagues if their secret gets out, rather than having their problem acknowledged for what it is — a disease and chronic behavioral disorder.
Because of this, it’s even more important for nurses to seek professional addiction recovery treatment for their alcohol or drug abuse, before it damages their career, relationships, health, and life beyond repair.
Understanding Addiction in Nurses
Taking care of others for consistently long stretches of time is physically, mentally, and emotionally strenuous. Most nursing shifts are about 12 hours long and can be during any time of day. Nurses who work night shifts are not only working long hours, but they’re also forcing their body to adapt to a nocturnal schedule, which is especially jarring if their day and night shifts alternate throughout the week.
Plus, the needs of their patients vary drastically depending on their specialization. Nurses can come into contact with a wide variety of patient suffering from all manner of ailments throughout their days, which can put a lot of psychological strain on nurses. And while nurses are notoriously adept at handling these pressures time and time again, over time this lifestyle can take its toll.
Exhaustion is a major concern, since it can quickly lead to a substance dependency. Some may start to rely on “uppers” such as amphetamines like Adderall or Ritalin in order to stay alert regardless of how much sleep they did or didn’t get. Others may turn to “downers” and tranquilizers like Ambien and alcohol to help them get the most out of the little sleep they can get.
Like any medical profession, nursing can be just as rewarding as it is devastating. Some nurses have to witness unimaginable suffering constantly while others may work in wards where patient death is unfortunately a very real risk. There are countless ways for even a single shift to provide plenty of opportunities for additional psychological strain on medical personnel. Drugs and alcohol are often turned to as a way to mask the stress and pain, even though substance abuse is an unhealthy and dangerous way to cope with such problems.
There are so many other reasons why nurses are at risk of developing substance abuse issues, so it’s important to consider how much they put themselves through in order to take care of others. And despite the stigmas surrounding medical professionals and substance abuse issues, there is hope for nurses struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.
Rehab Treatment Programs for Nurses
We understand and appreciate the sacrifices medical professionals make in order to do their jobs. We know how hard it can be to manage the stressors that drove you to substance abuse in the first place and we want to help you regain control over your wellbeing again. We can help you find anonymous, individualized treatment plans for medical professionals that will provide you with the care you need to overcome your addiction.
There are all sorts of treatment options and support programs available that can help you . Most of the U.S. (around 40 states) offer some form of treatment assistance program to help them overcome their addiction, return to work, and move forward in their careers addiction-free. There’s a myriad of options available for anyone ready to get started on their path to recovery.
Detox, typically the first step in rehab treatment plan, will allow your body to kick it’s physical dependency on your substance(s) of choice. Detox can be a very uncomfortable process, but medication-assisted detox is also available, which can help control withdrawal symptoms throughout your treatment program. After detox, patients move on to a personalized therapy and counseling plan.
Depending on the rehab center, different styles of therapy will be available to you. Individual and group therapy are common place, and family therapy is relatively standard as well. Individual therapy will help you discover and resolve the root of your stressors, with a counselor dedicated to helping you learn healthier and more effective coping techniques. Group therapy allows patients to support each other throughout treatment and work together to get healthy. And family therapy helps provide tools and coping mechanisms to patients and their families while mending any broken bonds caused by the patient’s addiction.
Combining relevant forms of therapy and, when necessary, medication to help control cravings or urges to use is often the most successful method of treatment, but no one rehab program works for everyone. Plus, this often makes it easier to treat dual diagnosis patients, which nurses are especially susceptible to becoming due to the amount of suffering and trauma they’re exposed to. Nurses battling addiction plus a co-occuring mental health disorder such as PTSD, depression, or anxiety, can combat all of their ailments at once if they find a treatment center capable of meeting all of their needs.
Find Professional Rehab Treatment for Nurses Today
Call us today to learn more and find an addiction treatment plan and rehab facility that works for you. Our specialists are available 24/7 for your convenience, so why wait? Take your first step towards addiction recovery today.