Registered Nurse Addicted to Prescription Drugs

My mom has a long line of addictive personalities in her family. She is the youngest of six siblings and grew up in a household where drugs were embraced rather than avoided.

When I was eight years old she began her education as a Nurse, and I noticed for the first time her intense level of anxiety and the ways that she went about making herself feel better. Somewhat fortunately, at that point she had only developed a fairly severe stress eating pattern. She also was introduced to anxiety medication that kept her going through nursing school.
When she became a Registered Nurse, the stress elevated rather than leveling out.

If there are any RN’s reading this, then they absolutely know that nursing is a difficult and trying career. I began noticing her complain about almost everything, mostly involving different pains she was having in her feet and back, supposedly brought on by the physical nature of her job. At one point a doctor acknowledged a problem with her feet, and she began drug seeking for different painkillers.

Since then, I have gone off to college out of town and I have discovered every time I go home a severe change in her attitude.
After three or four surgeries in the span of a couple years, she is now crushing her drugs for better ingestion and sometimes pours them in alcohol.

She takes muscle relaxants, my brothers ADHD medicine, sleeping pills, and a huge variety of painkillers. She goes to many different doctors asking for prescriptions for various things and always comes back confused as to why the doctors say she is drug seeking.

When she was in the hospital for her various surgeries she continuously asked for more painkillers and didn’t want to leave the hospital when she was told to go home, she explained to them that she knew she wasn’t yet healed enough to leave.

Since she is a nurse, it is easy for her to get prescriptions from doctors she knows, and not many people question her because she is good at her job and if you don’t agree with her she will come at you with a nasty, confrontational personality.

It is a bit terrifying that she has gotten so aggressive and defensive about her drugs and alcohol, and I’m not entirely sure how to approach her without being cut-off from the family. All I can do is hope for a better future.

Playing With Fire

by: Ned Wicker

Your mother disease path seems to be worsening by the day, so it must be very difficult for you to watch this unfold.

I would recommend a call to Al-Anon for starters, mainly because you need to be equipped to render the best possible help for your mother. They will understand and their organization is made for people just like you.

Getting her into treatment, which is what she needs instead of another surgery, is going to be tough if all the family members are drug users.

You need somebody with you, as going it alone will not be fruitful. But if you can get some family members pulling in the same direction, you may have leverage to get her some help.

She doesn’t want treatment and she gets angry at the mere mention of her drug use. This is typical. Try to get the family in with you and see if they understand your mom’s problem. Your mother has been lucky.

So far there have been no consequences for her drug abuse. However, it could get very ugly in a hurry, so make the call and try to organize your family.

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