Nursing is a demanding field and there are many factors that put Nurses at risk for developing problems with substance abuse and addiction.
Research estimates that 10% of Nurses will misuse drugs or alcohol at some time during their career.
Many Nurses in the U.S. have had their licenses suspended or revoked because they either caused harm to a patient, diverted or misappropriated drugs, or couldn’t safely practice because of their addiction.
In the past, Nurses who had addiction problems were dismissed or charged. Now addiction is being recognized as a disease. Thankfully, there has been a shift from disciplining Nurses to helping Nurses get better.
According to the
“I don’t think you’re ever going to see substance use disorder disappear in the Nursing population; it’s going to be there,” Widmer said. “But if you can at least address it and find a way to do it in a non-stigmatic way, you’re going to keep patients safer, because Nurses are going to self-report."