Substance Abuse Nursing

Substance abuse nursing involves administering medications and providing care for those who suffer from different types of substance abuse or are addicted to alcohol or drugs. And since substance abuse problems have been ranked among the country’s top problems since the 1980s, there is a high demand for substance abuse nurses.

Nursing school may not prepare anyone for the field of substance abuse nursing. A substance abuse nurse will often get phone calls from their patients at any time of day, begging for support while explaining how they can’t make it without the drugs. Statistics show that one in every 10 Americans actively abuses a substance and that one in every four people knows someone close to them who is experiencing problems with substance abuse.

Substance abuse nursing requires a warm heart, empathy for patients and their situations, an understanding personality, and a creative approach. It is considered one of the most rewarding careers within the field of nursing as well as one that uses a lot of creativity. A substance abuse nurse could organize a support program for family members of patients who are addicted to chemicals or alcohol, in addition to facilitating a weekly education and counseling program to offer support.

Substance abuse nursing helps patients to find a light of hope when life has been so dark for so long. They work diligently to find treatments that will be successful and at enhancing education in regard to addictions by serving on community boards and task forces. Substance abuses nurses must be compassionate and personalize each treatment by getting to know the patient. Substance abuse nursing happens in hospitals, inpatient and outpatient treatment centers, private facilities, mental health facilities, and psychiatric wards. Many people who work in this field of nursing also work in psychiatric nursing, a specialized area of professional nursing that involves the care of mentally impaired patients.

Want to become involved in substance abuse nursing? You will need an advanced nursing degree, RN to BSN degree, or LPN to BSN degree. Or you can learn more about these programs from the University of Phoenix:
» Bachelor of Science in Nursing
» Master of Science in Nursing

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