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A Nurse's Healing Story: Admitting Her Truth about Addiction


Hello and welcome to let's talk. A series of podcast produced by the Hazel and Betty Ford Foundation on the issues that matter to us the issues that we no matter to you to Substance Abuse Prevention Research Treatment for addiction. Recovery Management Education and Advocacy I'm your host William Warriors and today we have a story of hope. brought to us by Nina Pillow Nina. How are you can cut? How are you great good to see you again I know you've done a number of a public events. If you will or stood up spoken out using your own story to help unmask the stigma of addiction and promote the reality of what we look like in the fact, that treatment works in cover is possible, and we're glad that you're with us today on, let's talk. Tell us a little bit about your first experience with substances Yeah thank you for having me So my first. Experience was really the one that. Ultimately brought me here For my own in my life, my dad was an alcoholic growing up for me I had an injury which ultimately ended up I ended up getting prescribe narcotics, opiates, and I enjoyed them. Well beyond using them for pain. There's about seven years ago so. Seven years yeah. And you know kind of before. I knew it I was. Enjoying them you know Kinda like my whole mind, body, Spirit, everything and It ended up becoming. You know full on addiction which I thought I was immune to for whatever reason I was not and I was physically addicted. It got to the point where I couldn't use them. I couldn't not use them without getting sick. And the irony of this is that you were working in the healthcare field at some point along the course of your diction nurse Yep talked to us about being a nurse who is struggling with substances. Yeah, it was It was really hard. I had I knew all of I knew about addiction. I knew about opiates. I knew I knew all of those things. and I continued using them anyways and. I think I think I. particularly felt a lot of shame because of that and I. Had access to them in my workplace and so Being just didn't want to be the nurse with an addiction and I think that was a huge denial piece for me, Until I ended up diverting narcotics from the hospital I worked at. ultimately ending, getting caught and resigning. That diversion was so that you could sustain your own addiction. Yes, very much. How did that make you feel when you were under the influence? When you knew what you were doing was not only wrong, but was actually illegal and yet you couldn't stop. Just the powerlessness of it, but also in active addiction. It wasn't. It wasn't a matter of right or wrong because for me. My morals and values have always included not stealing, but that wasn't. It was a matter of feeling, normal or not or So it, just it. I don't I don't know that it was ever I know I. Felt Guilt I knew. I knew at the end of the day. It was wrong, but in the moment it was just. What I needed to do and you know. That's what I did. The twenty seventeen, as you noted you were caught. You were terminated. Yes or resigned, Yup cash job. And you went to treatment. Did, you have any doubt in your mind that you needed treatment not at all and I think honestly it was. It was a relief once the. Shock of it all of of losing. Not only what I use, my coping mechanism, but Lou losing what had worked for for so long I've always wanted to be a nurse so I think. The shock of losing all of that war off it was it was a relief. I didn't have to keep covering my tracks I didn't have to keep wondering where I was going to get my next fix from I didn't. Somewhere in there. There was relief that. I did get caught, so I could go get the help that I needed, and you got that help. You got that help it. He's one. Betty Ford Dan in Minnesota And that help included. How long were you treatment? Twenty eight days impatient as an inpatient residential, and then you transitioned into a step down program. Yeah, okay, like in IOP, intensive outpatient called core twelve specifically for opiate addiction or Twelve C., O. R., which is co comprehensive opioid response, hype and Twelve Nampa twelve steps because you had an opiate addiction,

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