How Drug Rehab for Nurses Can Help You

August 10, 2018

When you are a nurse, you are not just going to work the average 9-5 shift. Instead, you are working different shifts, some of which occur overnight. You are consistently moving and on your feet, and sometimes do not even have time for a bathroom break. When you are a nurse, you put the wellbeing of your patients above your own.

Nurses practice in a number of different environments, ranging from emergency medicine and intensive care units to pediatricians offices and Urgent Care clinics. And, just as every other employed person in the country, nurses experience different levels of stress based on the intensity of their job. For many, being a nurse is something they are passionate about. However, that does not mean that their dedication and expertise prevent them from experiencing their own health problems.

According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), approximately 10% of nurses throughout the country struggle with substance use disorder. Many of these nurses have personal circumstances that have led to the development of their addictions, while some experience a combination of personal and professional circumstances that impact their addiction. It is also not uncommon for nurses to find themselves struggling with addiction as a direct result of their jobs.

Risk Factors for Nurses

Nurses face a multitude of different risk factors for the development of addiction simply because of the job that they do. For example, the average 8-hour nursing shift can be filled with constant motion, challenging families, and several different patients to tend to at a time. Even just one shift can cause a nurse to feel completely overwhelmed and stressed out, never mind if he or she works back-to-back shifts like most nurses do. As the natural succession of daily events unfolds in the workplace, the stress that comes from them can build up to a point where a nurse might choose to drink a little more than normal or take an extra pain pill to help alleviate their physical distress. As time passes and these behaviors continue, these nurses can become dependent on their substances of abuse.

Additional risk factors for nurses in regards to addiction can include the following:

  • Experiencing patient loss
  • Suffering from exhaustion
  • Developing physical pain conditions as a result of being on their feet for long hours
  • Struggling with pressure to perform under delicate circumstances

Nurses have easy access to addictive medications, meaning that if a nurse is abusing substances or is thinking about using them, he or she is at greater risk of utilizing the hospital or office supply.

How Can Drug Rehab Help Nurses

Healthcare professionals like nurses are often viewed as being healthy themselves. For example, seeing a doctor with the flu can seem a bit ironic. The same type of irony applies to nurses when they develop a substance use disorder. Regardless of how others might perceive a nurse with a substance use disorder, however, professional treatment can help him or her overcome the challenges that he or she is experiencing so that he or she can get back to work and live a healthy life.

By going to a drug rehab, nurses can get the help they need to stop using for good. Some of the many ways in which a drug rehab for nurses can help include the following:


Provide comprehensive treatment

Above all else, nurses are people first. When it comes to addiction, they are no different than someone who has never had a job and is living on the streets while in the midst of his or her addiction. The disease of addiction requires a comprehensive approach to care so that the entire problem can be treated. Through a drug rehab, nurses will be privy to the many services that are provided, such as detox, therapy, and aftercare programs. The very act of going through a drug rehab program is beneficial in itself, as it can help nurses clear their mental fog and begin addressing the substance use disorder in their lives.

Help salvage their careers

When a nurse has a substance use disorder, his or her career can be completely destroyed as a result. However, by obtaining treatment at a drug rehab, a nurse can work on themselves in ways that help them (and their bosses and co-workers) feel comfortable again in a medical setting.  It is not a secret that addiction costs many people trust and respect, which can be extremely difficult to accept and move forward from. As a nurse continues to receive treatment, he or she can have conversations with his or her employer to discuss his or her treatment success and how to proceed after he or she leaves treatment.

Teach them coping skills and relapse prevention techniques

Nurses tend to want to obtain their treatment and get back to work as soon as possible. But, the very beginning stages of recovery post drug rehab can be extremely sensitive and vulnerable for an individual. Unfortunately, being a nurse is a tough job, and it can be dangerous to be overly sensitive and easily triggered. However, when in a drug rehab, nurses who are recovering can work with therapists and counselors to establish healthy coping skills, as well as effective relapse prevention techniques. Learning these things and then applying them to everyday life can make a world of a difference, especially in those first few months back to work.

Get Help

If you are a nurse or any other type of healthcare professional who is struggling with a substance use disorder, reach out for help right now. You know as well as anyone just how important it is to be as healthy as possible – and that includes being mentally healthy.

The disease of addiction is not something that just goes away. It takes professional treatment to affect positive, lasting change. So, do not spend one more day going to work with a substance use disorder. Call us today so we can help you get sober and stay that way. You owe it to yourself and your career. Reach out now.

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JourneyPure – CPE