when we talk about a drug problem, what usually comes to mind are images of intravenous users in back alleys, air passengers stuffing contraband into hidden compartments & every known orifice, or patrons high on "ice" in a club.
we all know the problem permeates much wider & deeper than that.
i still remember vividly when i was on-call one evening while training at a teaching hospital. we were considered junior doctors then & were searching high & low for the lecturer-on-call to help us handle a particularly difficult case. despite repeated calls on the phone, pagers (there were no handphones then) & PA system, he was nowhere to be found.
then someone finally located him, on the toilet floor, groaning & frothing at the mouth. found nearby was a used syringe. empty.
to cut the story short, he had been injecting himself with painkillers & this time, he overdosed. he was immediately admitted to the ICU & subsequently recovered. my boss, to his credit, kept things under wraps - told the offender to take medical leave & on completion of his expatriate contract, to return home. the hospital was not informed the real story behind this episode.
later, after i had left the hospital, i was told one of my junior colleagues did the same thing. he was then asked to leave post-grad training.
at another hospital where i worked in UK, i found out 9 years later that one of my peers had been doing the same thing when we were in the same department. he had been depressed because he couldn't pass his post-grad exams. in the end, he also left training & ended up a GP.
so, i know a senior, a colleague & a junior who had abused drugs. well, surprise, surprise, the ugly head has reared again.
now, a male nurse i used to work with had been found to falsify entries in a drug record book, including creating fictitious patients to obtain the pain-killers. doesn't matter if it's for personal use or worse, for resale; he will be punished, subject to an internal inquiry. his HOD is obviously not as gracious as my ex-boss, which is why the misdeed is the talk of the local medical fraternity.
and unless he can pull cable or divine intervention intercedes, his career as a nurse is as good as over. which is a real pity because he has shown such good promise as a capable & competent paramedic.