Drug Abuse among Health Care Providers



I would like to commence my commentary article with the most frequently asked question in every society that why does man become a drug addict? Нe answer is that, one usually does not intend to become an addict. Someone woke up in the morning and become a drug addict, studies has shown that it takes at least three months’ shooting twice a day to get any habit.

 Studies have proven that mostly drugs addict’s start taking narcotics without any reason (WHO, 2011).Drug addiction is a chronic, deteriorating brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite the harmful significance to the drug addict and those around them, and if we specifically talk about the narcotic drug addiction which is taken intravenously, it is more dangerous and harmful than the others Moreover many studies have shown that, influence of narcotic drugs is its availability. The aim of this commentary article is to discuss clinical scenario on the ground of ethical principal of autonomy, beneficence, and non- maleficence.

Case Scenario

 I had noted this incident in one of the famous hospital of Karachi, who provides tertiary care to their patient on an optimum level. A senior registered nurse (RN) become addicted to an injection nalbuphine hydrochloride his road accident (RTA), at that time doctor advised him to take injection nalbuphine hydrochloride on need basis, and then stop. Nevertheless as he recovered from the injury, he continued taking the drug and became addicted. As the days passed, quantity of drug was also increased, which was very perilous for his health and wealth. It was very surprising for me that, he start stealing the injection from the unit drug stock and there were few who knew that, they also supported and help him to arrange the injection, ultimately the became ill and did not paid attention on his work, moreover he started issuing extra medication on patients in order to complete unit stock medicine, indeed ethically this is not good. When I came to know this incident, I was confused either should I informed this incident to the authority or not?

Ethical Dilemma

This scenario highlighted a dilemma, when the co-workers also supported the drug addicted and confused in their decision that, should they disclose this incident to the higher management or not. The nurse’s code of ethics articulates the ethics and the values of nursing profession by admiring that nurse’s responsibility is to be professional, stay true with the lawfulness of their practice, and follow the nursing code of ethics as well as hospital policy in truth telling. Moreover it was a challenging ethical issue, if we look around the organization then we come to know that organization was International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certified and working on Joint Commission International Accreditation (JCIA), this type of record puts negative impact on the organization. In addition to this, a study has shown that organizational factors,  performance, and geography of inspiring behavior on individually basis, and makes potentially by their own personal In addition decisions making based on a sound foundation of ethics is an indispensable part of nursing practice in all specialties and circumstances.


There are various ethical theories and principles applicable in this scenario. According to the liberal individualism i.e; Right Based on the “statement of right provides vital protection of life, liberty, expression and, property”. If there was liberty in the hospital where the incident has been occurred, then those who were involved along with concern person would have easily informed to the management, but unfortunately they did not, and also involved in this crime, if the management gave the enough liberty to their then there was possibility to stop and control the recurrence of this kind of events, as a regular practice. In addition to this, theory also protests against oppression, unequal treatment, intolerance and arbitrary invasion of privacy.

Counter Argument

Blaming is a common attitude in our society, we find it easy to blame rather than digging out for cause. Studies have confirmed that encourage narcotics abuses is major cause of unhappiness of life. Nevertheless, there are several reasons which influence a person towards addiction such as; personal problems, work overload, social injustice, poor lifestyle, disappointment with the co-workers and family, and lack of self-realization. These are all the thing which really matter and influence toward drugs abuse. As the matter of fact same ethical dilemma existed in the scenario that is, fear of action among coworkers. We cannot even deny from the anxiety of outcome that is the core factor behind it, did not notify to the management. There is proper time for every action; once the time has gone then the usefulness of action is no more recognized. Same situation happened in this scenario, when there was initial time to report, did not bother to tell the truth, but when the management came to know about the incident, they took cruel decisions and fired all those who were involved in this incidence.

  My position

 In the light of literature review related to my commentary article, I consider my stance that if I were in their shoe, then I would not even consider to help him to stolen the drugs from the unit stock, not only I would have informed the higher management but also warned the concern too. However, he was my colleague but I put my friendship my duty and commitment with the organization. According to the American nurses association code number seven, nurses always initiate the activities that would contribute in development of professional advancement.


 In above scenario, I would like to recommend that narcotic drug should be locked and camera must be placed at the front of the cabinet in this way whenever will open it he will be recorded In addition to this; the stock of narcotic drugs should be limited in number, because due to this action, chance of blunder could be minimized. As I have mentioned in my scenario that coworkers were also involved so we can make proper handling and taking over and give the key to the team leader only. Beside this we can arrange an in-service session on narcotic policy for R.N’s Technicians and doctors, in this way the record will be maintain properly and chances of dishonest would be reduced. I think these are all the recommendations that would play key role to reduce the chance of miss use of narcotic drugs.


In the end, I conclude that drug addiction is not acceptable in any circumstance, if we identify the person in our society and surrounding then we should inform to an authorized person, insisted to help him and support him in this crime. Study has shown that drug addiction can be managed like other disease such as diabetic, asthma, coronary artery disease; nonetheless it requires a lot of and motivation to quit.

With Best Regards,
Alice Maria
Editorial Coordinator,
Journal of Clinical Research and Bioethics
E-mail: jcrb@peerjournal.org
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