In this age of increasing headlines about drug addiction and prescription drug abuse, this book is a timely revelation of how the nursing profession is also impacted by substance abuse. It allows nurses, who are the most trusted profession in society, who have been hidden within their profession and living with substance use disorders, to openly voice their personal experiences with addiction. Seven nurses detail their journey through family dynamics, early use as nursing students and later career nurses as they traveled deeper and deeper into their addiction. They discuss their shame, humiliation and dejection under the throes of the compelling forces of drugs and alcohol. They also describe how their family, other nurses, the healthcare system, and society assisted them in perpetuating their deception and denial about their disease. They explain how they lied, stole and cheated those around them to maintain their addiction. Each explains in detail the confrontations and the “jolt” and “wake up call” it took for them to awaken, become sober and truly enter recovery. They are all candid and forthright in order to help others that are impacted by this horrific and complex disease. They each share how recovery is possible when appropriate attitudes and tools are put in place to support nurses suffering from the devastation of addiction. Their stories bring attention to the importance of intervention, treatment, and recovery communities within the nursing profession. Recovery is emphasized as a “gift” by each of these nurses. The nurses and the researcher provide suggestions and recommendations to assist the healthcare community in addressing addiction in nursing. This book reveals how recovery for nurses is a major public health benefit.
Carol Stanford is an adjunct professor at William Jessup University and has been a part of the nursing community for over twenty-five years.
SECTION I: JOURNEY OF THE HIDDEN AND FOUNDATION OF MY INTEREST..
Limitations Within this Manuscript
Definition of Terms
SECTION II: ADDICTION AND HEALTHCARE
Addiction and Substance Use Disorders in the 1800s and early 1900s
From Addiction to Substance Use Disorders
Prescription Drug Abuse, America’s Epidemic
Substance Abuse as An Occupational Hazard
Substance Abuse, an Occupational Hazard for Nurses
SECTION III: NURSES AND RECOVERY
Identification and Intervention
SECTION IV: A QUALITATIVE STUDY: THE MEAN, METHOD AND METHODOLOGY
Population and Recruitment
SECTION V: THE VOICES: THE DYNAMICS AND SUFFERINGS OF ADDICTION
Family History of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Early Drug and Alcohol Use During Childhood Years
Drug and Alcohol Use in Nursing School and Early Career
Lack of Knowledge and Education About Addiction
Self-Medication, Work Stress, and Access
Addiction Compulsions, Solitary Suffering, and Spiritual Malady
Deceptions and Unrealistic Views of the Addicted Nurse
Emotionalism, Dejection, and the Need for Self-Care
Denial, Shame, and Secrecy Perpetuated by The Stigma of Addiction
The Wake-Up Call
Surrender and Healing
Spiritual Reckoning and Moments of Clarity
Sobriety Challenges and the "Gift of Recovery"
Essential Personal and Community Support Systems
SECTION VI: THE DISCOVERIES: RESULTS AND INTERPRETATIONS
Result One—Family History and Patterns of Early Alcohol and Drug Use “Set the Stage” for Later Substance Use Disorders
Result Two—Workplace Stress and Access Without Appropriate Self-Care Training and Education about Substance Use Disorders Negatively Impact the Nursing Profession
Result Three. The Stigma Surrounding Substance Use Disorders Hinder Nurses from Acknowledging Their Addiction and Managers from Providing Necessary Support
Result Four. A “Crisis” or “Wake-up-Call” is Necessary to Provide the Transformation or Moment of Reckoning Needed to Jolt a Nurse out of Addiction into Recovery
Result Five. Nurse Addicts Can Recover and Lead Sober and Productive Lives if They Are a Part of Recovery Communities to whom They Are Accountable
SECTION VII: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
What Stories do Nurses Tell About Their Personal Experiences with Substance Use and Abuse During Various Stages of Their Career?
What Stories do Nurses, Who Have Successfully Dealt with Substance Use Disorders, Tell About Their Recovery?
How do Nurses Describe the Systems of Support Within the Healthcare Setting that Helped Them Address Their Substance Use Disorder?
Recommendations for Nurse Educators, Administrators, and Healthcare Agencies
Recommendations for Future Research
About the Author………………………………………………………………………………..
All healthcare professionals and their leadership must read Dr. Stanford’s book. It captures the incredible journeys of several nurses who lived painful lives as substance users for many years. Their compelling powerful words along with enlightening data provide important information that is awakening and beg for a call for action by the nursing profession. Dr. Stanford’s timely research findings shed a huge light on this ugly silent disease that plagues the nursing profession and other healthcare professions.
Dr. Stanford has written a must-read narrative for everyone who has a loved one or professional who has been touched by alcoholism or addictions of any form. Her knowledge and experience offer special insights into the lives of nurses and some of the stressors that they endure.