Sam is an RN who works full-time in the oncology department at a northern NJ hospital. As with most nurses across America over the past several years, Sam and her fellow staff members have been overworked and incredibly stressed. These long hours also contributed to difficulties in Sam’s personal life. Covid has been a staggering burden on America’s nurses, with the ramifications impacting many aspects of nurses’ lives.
After undergoing a scheduled surgical procedure, Sam was placed on OxyContin for pain. Following her first few days of pain management using opioids, Sam began to feel more relaxed, less stressed, and even seemed to have more energy. She continued using this medication well after her pain had subsided. As often happens, this led to a reliance on the opioid.
A month later, Sam met with a union representative and was chosen for a random drug test. The results came back positive for opioids. Sam was referred to a 30-day inpatient rehab facility where she was placed on Suboxone. 30 days later, Sam was discharged from the inpatient rehab, remaining on Suboxone. However, two months after Sam’s discharge, the nurses’ union passed a referendum that nurses were no longer allowed to work while using Suboxone, which is an opioid.
Sam decided it was time to pursue a genuine recovery and remove opioids from her life, permanently. She entered a 14-day detox (the required amount of time to clear her system of Suboxone). She received a non-opioid based implant (which lasts up to 4 months) and embraced the outpatient RZS program, making significant life changes over the course of the year-long treatment. Sam now has control of her life again, has enrolled in school to get her nurse practitioner degree, and has been free from opioids for 11 months!