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Why Mentoring?

When my addiction became active in 1990, I was like so many other nurses facing this disease (shoot, EVERY addict), I knew I was an evil person and that I was probably the only nurse struggling with this “issue”. I didn’t know chemical dependence was a disease affecting the brain. By significantly altering my brain, it altered my ability to feel pleasure, to be motivated by the things that I used to love, to continue to nurture and deepen my relationships with my wife, my children, and others in my life. If there had been others who had gone before me, readily available and WILLING to assist me in the early days, weeks, and months of my treatment and efforts at achieving and maintaining a clean and sober lifestyle, I would have had a much better chance at saving my marriage, my family, maybe even my career.

Sadly, there were no such people available. Yes, there were treatment facilities and 12 Step groups, but they did nothing to let me know I wasn’t alone. In fact, the stigma surrounding “drug treatment and NA or AA” was (and continues to be) a major obstacle to so many people with this lousy disease. Stigma is the thing that prevents someone with an addiction from seeking help. Why? Because we as a profession do not receive adequate education and training when it comes to the disease of addiction. Shoot, most of us receive NO training regarding the disease. Most of what we learn iare the consequences of the disease…the damaging effects on the various body systems and organs as well as the consequences of many of the behaviors associated with active addiction; infections, violence, and accidents.

With over 16 years of recovery (sobriety, clean time), experience as an emergency room nurse, as a Certified Registered Nurse anesthetist (CRNA), as a peer advisor for CRNAs, as a consultant with a license defense attorney, and as a chemical dependency counselor’s assistant, I offer a great deal of experience, strength, and hope for the student nurse, or nurse of any level, seeking to take their recovery to the next level.

To the Addicted Nurse