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View Full Version : My sister is addicted to Vicodin, she's a nurse.. HELP!!!!!


hippybug
07-28-2011, 09:39 AM
My sister is addicted to Vicodin. She came out to her family about 2 months ago. We were all worried sick and unsure of what to do. She said she was fine and she started on Suboxone. The clinic where she was going (she said) made her feel worse and like a failure, so she stopped going. Since the coming out. She was caught with a pill bottle with Vicodin in it and was caught in the act taking them. All she could say was I don't know!! Then 3 days later my sister looked thru her work bag and found, GASP 3 empty pain med vials and 3 syringes.

I need help on what to do. I am the only one taking this seriously. My other sister and mom are taking her word and are believing in her to get this under control. But, I on the other hand don't believe it wasn't hers and it was a pts. I am worried for my sister, but am even more worried about her 4 1/2 son! what should I do?

Phoenix
07-28-2011, 11:19 AM
Hello hippybug,


Nurses are responsible for taking care of patients and in some instances are responsible for their very lives.

They administer various medications,whether orally and/or intravenously and her exposure to said meds is a potential recipe for disaster....

One error in judgement could be the difference between patient X either going home to recover or going Home to their Maker.

To be aware of such information and doing nothing about it could make you an accessory after the fact.

This puts your entire family in potential jeopardy.

At the very least,she should be receiving help and if she doesn't want it then her superiors need to know immediately.
===========================
With respect to her son of 4 1/2 years,do you have any specific evidence that he is being mistreated?

Is she either verbally or physically abusive to him?
Does he look malnourished or is the household unclean?

Is the father in the picture and is he aware of the current situation?

I don't know why but I am envisioning prison time in her near future,if she doesn't take things seriously.

If you would like to address this further,know that we are here.

Respectfully
Phoenix

hippybug
07-28-2011, 05:41 PM
Sister says she's fine. She is going once a week to a Therapist and wants to go a Mtg but has had her son. Son's dad is 1/2 time dad. He knows nothing about this. She is currently not working w/ pts...is in class. This supposedly is suposed to make me feel better. She's been addicted for almost 3 yrs and was taking up to 30 pills a day. I don't understand how she can function fine now supposedly without them. And as far as her son... no abuse or mistreatment. Just concerned if she gets high again and drives with him or in danger. Scared. Not sure what threatened i have threatened to call the father and let him know what's up and her work. Now my family all hate me and think im being ridiculous and how could I even think about ruining her life.. wth? She decided years ago to do that. I must say, the addict is adamant she is not on anything and she's fine. Lies?

Phoenix
07-28-2011, 06:06 PM
Sister says she's fine. She is going once a week to a Therapist and wants to go a Mtg but has had her son. Son's dad is 1/2 time dad. He knows nothing about this. She is currently not working w/ pts...is in class.
She's been addicted for almost 3 yrs and was taking up to 30 pills a day. I don't understand how she can function fine now supposedly without them. And as far as her son...
. Just concerned if she gets high again and drives with him or in danger. Scared.

i have threatened to call the father and let him know what's up and her work. Now my family all hate me and think im being ridiculous and how could I even think about ruining her life.. wth? She decided years ago to do that. I must say, the addict is adamant she is not on anything and she's fine. Lies?

Ok....

Take a deep breath......then exhale....

Going to a therapist is all well and good but if she is currently under the influence of Vicodin while attending,it defeats the purpose of her attending in the first place.

If you could only find out who her therapist is and send her an anonymous letter outlining your concerns,asking for total discretion,as this information will surely only point to one member in the family.

Hopefully the therapist will suggest a random toxicology screening.

Don't place all the weight on your shoulders and if you do,I suggest trying to do everything in stealth mode so they can assume it was you but have no proof.

The last thing you need is to be a family outcast,at the expense of an addicted sibling.

What do you think?

Respectfully
Phoenix

katlin09
07-28-2011, 10:45 PM
you mentioned that you don't see how she's doing fine without the pills...well if there were med vials and syringes in her purse, I'd say she's not really doing without anything, just found a different modality. Besides the obvious, which is she could lose her job if she's taking meds from there, there's the fact that eventually she will be back in a "care taking" scenario, and that could be a major bad event.

kat

Tryin 4 help
07-29-2011, 06:15 AM
I agree with Phoenix's suggestion of sending a letter to the therapist and definitely asking for discretion...you don't need the family getting mad at you over you trying to help her! If the therapist does suggest a toxicology screening, that would show your family that she is lying. Or, if she refuses, and changes therapists, maybe that would show them too...??

I also agree with Kat, if she "doing fine" without the pills, then she probably changed to a different drug.

Good Luck to you....and I think you are admirable and doing the right thing in trying to get some help for your sister.

hippybug
07-29-2011, 10:12 AM
Thank you all so much for all your help and words of encouragement. This has definitely been a hard road... shredding our family into pieces. But, my main focus is her getting help and her son staying safe. I say she said she's fine without her pills because she DENIES, DENIES, DENIES and is adamant those vials/syringes weren't hers. She would NEVER, EVER do that. Don't you think she is lying? Add a pain pill addict+3 vials of pain meds/syringes = her doing drugs. I do know who her therapist is and YES that is a great idea. I bet you any $ that once he starts seeking deeper and wants a tox screen she will bolt.

Thanks ya'll!! :wave:

Phoenix
07-29-2011, 11:12 AM
Don't you think she is lying? Add a pain pill addict+3 vials of pain meds/syringes = her doing drugs. I do know who her therapist is and YES that is a great idea. I bet you any $ that once he starts seeking deeper and wants a tox screen she will bolt.

Thanks ya'll!! :wave:

Hippybug,

All the evidence points to her continued use.

If she has a problem,why would she store the contents of such in her purse?

It defies logic on even an elementary level.

If he requests a tox screen from her and she bolts,be prepared for an excuse to follow.

She needs continued help....if she can't find a sitter for her son,take him with her to the meeting.

Desperate times call for measures like this.

Respectfully
Phoenix

katlin09
07-29-2011, 11:48 AM
The main problem I see with the vials and syringers being in her bag, if they were for a patient, they would have been gotten rid of in the hazardous sharps bin at the hospital....there was no reason for her to be carrying them around unless she used them. And you can check her arms for needle marks, but most needle users will go between toes or fingers, places a needle mark won't show.

hippybug
07-29-2011, 12:10 PM
I know..I know. She's adamant they weren't hers and how could we even Think she would do that... she feels horrible that I don't believe her. Hummm.. evidence pretty obvious. She said her day was sooooo busy that she didn't have time to put them in the box. Lies. Has to be lies. I just emailed her therapist. Can't help but feel like I ambetraying her. ;( I am nervous. If he knows about the whole string/vial thing is he obligated by law to report? Gulp.

Phoenix
07-29-2011, 02:29 PM
I just emailed her therapist. Can't help but feel like I ambetraying her. ;( I am nervous. If he knows about the whole string/vial thing is he obligated by law to report? Gulp.

Hippybug,

Betraying her? You may just be saving her life.

How much did you reveal to him via email?

As they are both Health Care Professionals,there is an obligation to report those suspected of drug abuse.

He has to be reasonably certain that this is occuring,as this could have an impact on her current profession.

Some may turn a blind eye or provide an ultimatum,such as going into rehab within a specified amount of time,etc.

The right thing is not always the most popular but necessary thing to do, in order for a proper ethical result to be attained.

We're here for you.

Respectfully
Phoenix

Tryin 4 help
07-29-2011, 05:53 PM
Hippybug,
I can imagine that you do feel like you are betraying her, but as Phoenix says, you might just be saving her life!! And, I'm sorry, but thoses syringes are not a patient's, they were hers!!!! I have never seen a nurse who didn't immediately put the syrings into the "red box." Her purse wouldn't even be in the room with any patients!! She would have had to take her purse into that room...none of it makes sense!!

I think you did the right thing by contacting the therapist. Please keep us updated and you should probably stick close to the boards for support from everyone on here!!

Angela

hippybug
07-29-2011, 08:02 PM
Thank you all!! I laid it all out to him. I wanted to tell him everything I knew so that he can see what she has told him or not. I did tell him about the syringes/vials and suggested a tox screen. I asked him to gingerly use my email as a sounding board. Hopefully he'll get some answers. It's quite unbelievable that no one else is doing much. I know I am doing the right thing. She's quite lucky I haven't done more.

Phoenix
07-29-2011, 08:19 PM
Thank you all!! It's quite unbelievable that no one else is doing much. I know I am doing the right thing. She's quite lucky I haven't done more.

You're welcome.

Come to think of it,I would say the reason everyone refuses to address this ranges from the simple to the complex.

It would force families to look at addicted members from a dysfunctional aspect.

Another thing to consider is that med abuse in the health care profession sometimes is met with a CMA(cover my a**) type of mentality.

I won't go further into the dynamics of it all because there are plenty of nurses that are doing their job from a textbook aspect;some even going above and beyond the call of duty.

I had to mention this for the record.

Yes you are doing the right thing.

Wait to see what the therapist's response will be to your information.

You will be able to tell from your sister's reaction.

I detect at this point you have a "fire in your belly" for this cause.

In this particular case,cooler heads will prevail....

Respectfully
Phoenix

katlin09
07-29-2011, 08:22 PM
Actually, you won't get any direct answers from the therapist, you know that right? With HIPPA laws he cannot legally discuss your sisters case with you, unless she's signed a waiver saying he can.

Tryin 4 help
07-30-2011, 07:05 AM
Kat is right about the confidentiality thing...but surely the therapist can use the information he's been given to confront her sister...???

What do you think Kat?

Also, I think Phoenix was right when he said that hippybug will be able to tell by her sister's reaction....

hippybug
07-30-2011, 01:35 PM
If he's good therapist, I hope he will do what's needed.. tox screen, etc. My sister is taking his advice (the therapist) that she doesn't need inpt treatment and will do fine in this weekly Mtg. Maybe receiving more info from me he will be better to judge what needs to hapen. The problem is, he doesn't do inpt. He only does outpt. But, we shall see. I believe her mtgs with him are mondays. Will keep u posted.

katlin09
07-30-2011, 10:02 PM
Well I'm sure if hes any kind of responsible doc he'll take the sisters information and apply it towards the treatment of his patient. As long as the information was provided in an appropriate way and not as if she were trying to "get" at her sister. and I also agree that you'll be able to see a reaction in your sister if he does use this info. She'll clearly start to panic more, might possibly want to drop this pdoc, etc.

Even if she does need inpt care, he can still keeep in touch with her while she's there. My pdoc didn't have hospital priviledgeds where I was, but I still talked with him each day via phone or email and got his opinion on anything they wanted me to do or try before I would agree. Alot of it will boil down to how good of a pdoc he is and how much investment he has in his patients.

Good luck,

kat