Alcohol Rehab for Nurses

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alcohol rehab for nurses

Individuals that work in highly stressful and demanding professions are at higher risk of substance use disorder, and this includes nurses. In fact, recent data state that about 10% of nurses struggle with substance abuse. Because alcohol provides relaxing effects it is often the nurse’s substance of choice. Fortunately, alcohol rehab for nurses offers comprehensive treatment and the support they need to help them navigate life in recovery. 

Nurses Struggling with Alcohol Use Disorder

Nurses and physicians are bound to a higher standard when it comes to substance use. A nurse who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs can potentially cause harm to patients. For this reason, strict laws govern the profession. As healthcare professionals, it is critical that there are no signs of impairment when working with patients.

There are several potential causes for a nurse to develop disordered drinking. These include:

  • Experiencing high levels of workplace stress and trauma.
  • Burnout
  • Working night shifts, rotating shifts, and long shift lengths.
  • Staff shortages.
  • Mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and trauma.

Among nurses who struggle with alcohol use, much higher rates occur in certain nursing specialties. These include oncology, emergency care, and critical care, where high rates of co-existing PTSD are prevalent. 

Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder

When a nurse is struggling with substance misuse, he or she will begin to exhibit signs of impairment that result from the drinking problem. These signs of substance abuse include:

  • Being consistently late to work.
  • Excessive absences due to withdrawal effects.
  • Mood swings.
  • Conflicts with patients or patient’s family members.
  • Withdrawing from colleagues and social situations.
  • Charting errors.
  • Medication mistakes.
  • Signs of inebriation on the job.
  • Hand tremors.
  • Lack of focus at work.

Benefits of Nurses Voluntarily Seeking Treatment for Alcoholism

Seeking out help for an alcohol use disorder is the only option for a nurse who hopes to preserve her nursing career, and her health. Nurses who willingly enter an alcohol rehab program will benefit in several ways, such as:

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  • You will avoid suspension of your nursing license.
  • You will avoid losing your nursing position.
  • You won’t receive the stigma of a Board of Nursing black mark on your record.
  • You most likely will not be excluded from Medicare, HMO and PPO programs.
  • You will avoid losing hospital or clinic privileges.
  • You will avoid having legal charges filed against you.
  • You will avoid the progressive effects of the disease of alcoholism.

What’s at Stake for Nurses with Substance Use Disorder?

Nurses who struggle with a drinking problem face severe disciplinary action. This is because a nurse who has an alcohol use disorder is placing patients at risk of harm. While under the influence of alcohol, the nurse is not able to perform tasks properly, which diminishes quality of care. Mistakes like forgetting to implement orders or errors in charting can have devastating consequences for patients.

There is strict regulatory oversight of health professionals in place with regard to safety and ethics in the workplace. A colleague or employer has the duty to report a nurse to the state licensing board of nursing due to substance abuse. If this occurs, he or she may have their license to practice nursing suspended or revoked.

Alcohol Treatment Program for Nurses

Alcohol rehab for nurses is designed to provide long-term recovery outcomes so they can secure their careers and return to work. The sooner that the alcohol use discovery is recognized and treated, the better the outcome. Treatment options include inpatient and outpatient settings.

Alcoholism is a disease that is rooted in brain chemistry. There are several steps to take to triumph over alcohol use disorder. Addiction treatment includes:

  • Medical detox. Alcohol detox and withdrawal should be undertaken at a supervised detox program where medical professionals can closely monitor symptoms.
  •  Therapy. Nurses will engage in a wide range of therapies, such as individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy. Through these sessions, nurses learn new methods to cope with cravings and stress without the need for alcohol.
  • Education. Nurses will participate in classes to learn more about how alcohol affects the brain, and how to avoid relapse.
  • 12-step program. The 12-step program provides an incremental step-by-step process to achieve sustained sobriety.
  • Aftercare. After rehab for nurses is completed, a step down into outpatient treatment helps reinforce recovery.

Capo by the Sea has a special executive detox and recovery program for professionals such as nurses seeking treatment for alcoholism. Call us today at (888) 529-2114