Stigma Prevents a Person from Seeking Help!
Everyday a nurse is reported to a board of nursing in this country. While there are numerous reasons a nurse might be reported, the most prevalent reason is due to impairment from substance abuse and/or chemical dependence.
How can this be? With all their training, how could they possibly let this happen to themselves? They should know better than to get mixed up with drugs!
If you think, “Exactly! How could these professional health care providers, with all their knowledge and experience, let themselves become an addict?”, then you are in good company. Most people around the world think the same thing and ask the same questions. And therein lies the greatest obstacle to deal effectively with this DISEASE called addiction.
Because this disease starts with someone voluntarily using a mood altering substance, we make the assumption that they can stop “if they really want to, they just don’t want to!”
If we approached other chronic, progressive, ultimately fatal diseases in the same way we do THIS disease, morbidity and mortality rates would skyrocket. Right now, we are treating this disease as if it were a broken leg or bad infection. And we’re not doing a very good job. We wait too long to start treatment, treatment is not long enough or intensive enough, and there is inadequate follow up and monitoring.
We want to use our experience, strength and hope to advocate for the nurse struggling with this disease!
We can help guide the nurse through the process to get the help they need to save their life, rebuild relationships with family, and give them the tools they need to reenter the practice of nursing, if their treatment team gives them the green light. An addict isn’t responsible for their disease, but they ARE responsible for their recovery.
Those of us with this disease are NOT “bad” people trying to become “good”. We have a terrible disease and are trying get well!
Unfortunately, we have many well intentioned people providing a great deal of inaccurate information which only serves to maintain the stigma which prevents people from seeking help. This attitude has GOT to change if we ever hope to turn things around.
It is because of the stigma associated with this disease that:
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NEW nurse support group in Cincinnati, Ohio. Meets on Tuesday nights at 6:00 pm
Contact: Jack Stem
Email: email@example.com or call 513-833-4584
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