Nurses who can't shake drug addiction prompt call for improved licensing alerts

  • Article by: BRAD SCHRADE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 3, 2011 - 10:36 AM

Officials: Repeat addicts need to be flagged sooner.

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markreedNov. 3, 11 9:42 AM

Self reporting is like having the fox watch the chicken coop. They should be fired and have their license revoked immediatley for life.

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kjmartinnNov. 3, 11 9:56 AM

Keep the government off of everyone's back. If taxes were lower the free market would somehow solve this problem in a matter of months. Life is so much simpler now that I'm a T-partier.

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tellagramNov. 3, 1110:03 AM

why does this happen... becasue someone is not doing the job they were hired to do... another Gov't program that has run amack.

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karicheeseNov. 3, 1111:35 AM

@kjmartinn for god's sake can we have just ONE article that doesn't turn into a political issue? This has NOTHING to do with republicans or democrats.

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LewisStrongNov. 3, 1111:48 AM

Good article However, Doctors and Certified Nurse Practitioners need to exercise caution when writing orders for narcotics. Acute pain following surgery only last for weeks or a couple months. Orders should only be valid for X amount of time then discontinued after a said amount of time. Maybe this would help narcotic theft. Thanks for reading and have a good day everyone ^_^

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eaglekodaNov. 3, 11 2:31 PM

@kjmartinn This problem would "somehow" work itself out? Magical thinking? I work in a drug and alcohol facility. We see many licensed folks including MD's and nurses. We are bound by federal confidentially laws. We literally CAN'T report. We can and do advise people to self report. I just heard about HPSP within the last year, I never received training about the program and I've been in the drug and alcohol field for 30 years. Something needs to change.

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williamsbozoNov. 6, 1110:25 AM

HPSP does not help people with mental disorders. All they want to do is treat everyone for substance abuse even if you have no drug problem. Moving here from another state where I was disciplined for not making a sandwich for a nursing home resident when she wanted it and would not wait for the nurse to make it. I had to take 60 credit hours of CEU"S which I did. That's it. Moving here and applying for endorsement they wanted my past medical records and read about my mental health issues. So, the MN BON referred me to HPSP and they stated I was a substance abuser and require me to do urine testing which I have to pay for. I haven't a job or any health insurance. My problems were due to depression and anxiety. Not drug use. HPSP is not nor will they help me with nurse issues just put me in drug treatment which I refuse to do. I believe too power has been given to them. The BON leaves it up to them and their decision is final.All nurses are not the same and should be allowed to practice within appropriate guidelines. HSPS program locks you into a three year program of garbage. Maybe the legislature should re-examine this program and help me where I need it and not add on more problems which I don't need. At age 56 it is almost impossible to expect a good outcome.

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labtech04Nov. 14, 11 1:04 PM

HPSP is NOT a treatment program/facility. It is a monitoring program and they refer health professionals to addiction and mental health treatment if warranted. I believe it is similar to the HYMES program which monitors airline pilots. It basically expects its participants to be doing the things necessary to stay sober and take care of themselves. 95% of its participants follow its recommendations (AA/NA meetings, addiction treatment/continuing care, mental health treatment, clean random UAs) and complete the 3 or 4 year contract and lead healthy personal and professional lives. It is the 5%, in my opinion, who do not follow through with recommendations and are a danger to themselves and the public. It sometimes seems like the nursing board "eats its own young" which is why some nurses may be afraid of reporting, while the other regulatory boards (medicine/pharmacy/etc) just want their licensees to succeed and take care of themselves so that the public is not at risk. Anyways, just my thoughts I guess.

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labtech04Jan. 5, 12 2:51 PM

I went to treatment over a year ago and from treatment self-referred to HPSP. Treatment was excellent and I had much hope leaving treatment that things are looking up. Then I met with HPSP and they told me that I am not allowed to go back to work until I see their specialized psychiatrist. It took over a month to get into see her and in the meantime my work was expecting me back. Finally I saw the psychiatrist (a so-called expert on alcoholism/addiction) and was told I need to focus all of my energy on recovery and that I cannot work right now. Needless to say it has been over a year since I have had any income. My employer wanted me to get a second opinion from a different psychiatrist, but that was not allowed. When applying for unemployment I did not qualify because they could not understand why I couldn't go back to work after treatment. I ended up resigning my job in order to access my 401k and have been required to see that $200/hr psychiatrist every week for a year. I was filled with hope after leaving treatment and since meeting with HPSP the recovery process has become a nightmare.

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