Common Substance Use Disorders Among Nurses
Some substance abuse disorders are more common among nurses, partially due to accessibility but also due to the soothing or pain-killing effects. These include:
- Alcohol dependence and binge drinking
- Prescription painkillers such as oxycodone or hydrocodone
Nurses are particularly at risk of developing an alcohol use disorder, although factors such as family history, trauma and other environmental and genetic factors are thought to play a more prominent role. Excessive drinking can be more accepted in some nursing circles and be excused as a method of unwinding after a hard day’s work or simply enjoying a good time.
Other drugs nursing professionals might turn to include:
What Does Specialized Treatment for Nurses Look Like?
If you or a loved one is a nurse considering addiction treatment, you might wonder what happens at rehab. Below is a breakdown of what to expect during a drug or alcohol rehab program.
Behavioral Therapy To Treat Substance Use Disorders
All of our therapists are trained in the unique pressures and stressors of first responders such as nurses. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the primary approaches and is the most researched and recommended by experts in the field. During sessions, a therapist helps the client recognize unhelpful patterns of thinking that lead to unwanted behaviors. They then help patients learn how to pause between feelings and behaviors and develop new coping mechanisms to avoid turning to substance abuse.
Some people require medication to ease withdrawal symptoms and kick-start the recovery process. Medication isn’t offered as a replacement for a person’s substance of choice but used under controlled circumstances and then tapered off once the individual is ready.
Group Therapy for Health Care Professionals
Group therapy is a cornerstone of addiction treatment because it helps people relate to each other, understand substance abuse through different perspectives and be open about thoughts and emotions. Attending group sessions with other first responders can show how the pressures of these types of jobs can lead to addiction and help you stop blaming yourself.
Addiction is often touted as a family disease because of the toll it can take on the sufferer’s loved ones. The pain and confusion can lead to unhelpful behaviors in the family that don’t support recovery. During family therapy, you and your loved ones learn how to communicate, set boundaries and support recovery in the most healthy and constructive way.
Holistic Therapies for Well-Being
While there’s plenty of work involved in recovery, relaxation and recuperation are also vital elements. Holistic treatments such as meditation, yoga, massage and aromatherapy can help you unwind during the addiction treatment process.
While rehab is the crucial starting point of recovery, it’s only the beginning of the journey. Addiction recovery for nurses is an ongoing process, and the best rehab programs provide a comprehensive aftercare plan. Once you go back to work, you’ll be faced with medications on a regular basis. As such, it’s vital that you have coping mechanisms and someone to help you deal with the situation if cravings arise. By actively maintaining recovery and not getting complacent, you have the best chance of sustaining sobriety in the long term.