10% of all nurses might be dependent on alcohol or other drugs, according to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing figures. As the National Council of State Boards of Nursing states “Many nurses with substance use disorder are unidentified, unreported, untreated and may continue to practice where their impairment may endanger the lives of their patients."
In a recent study, it is said that women get addicted to medication and alcohol faster than men. The Vanderbilt Center for Addiction Research saw that women's hormonal cycles can make them more prone to drug addiction, especially when fertility-related hormone levels are high.
When it comes to being addicted to prescription medicines nurses are familiar and fluent with administering addictive medications. The factors for addiction for nurses start at work. For example, nurses can take the night or holiday shifts this way they avoid detection by management. Nurses that are hiding addiction are able to hide behind working long hours. With working such long shifts everyone sees a nurse is fatigued, so no one worries about its addiction.
An anonymous survey was mailed out to nurses asking if they were binge drinking using cocaine, marijuana and/or prescription drugs. 32% of the respondents said that they used at least one of the drugs .