Ambiguous Behavior


The thing is, telling  dramatic drug addiction stories about doctors, nurses and pharmacists doesn't necessarily help other health care professionals

As a group, we are quite often too smart for our own good. We are positive our life is always in complete control.

Alternatively, from an insiders point of view, perhaps if health care professionals knew what to watch for in their colleagues, we may be able to intervene a little sooner.

In general, we show up early, stay late, and always offer to help when it comes to administering medications or inventory management.

We claim we have allergies to explain our runny nose, our foreheads may appear sweaty because we are constantly withdrawing, and we make excuses to use the bathroom all the time.

Our documentation and follow-up may be incomplete,  we get defensive over simple things, and we will lie to your face without blinking an eye.

Current studies suggest 10% of physicians and pharmacists and up to 20% of nurses will fall into drug addiction or alcoholism at some point during their career.

As coworkers, follow your instinct. You have a very good idea if one of your colleagues is showing signs of chemical dependency. 

This doesn't mean you should confront your colleague directly; however, every institution has some sort of official reporting procedure. At a minimum, you can confidentialy share your concern with your supervisor.

Even though at the time we may not show it, deep inside, we would prefer you intervene rather than cover for our inappropriate behavior.