That's how I rationalized my addiction for a long time: "I'm not an addict because I know everything there is to know about this drug, and I still take showers and go to work." Of course, just because professional drug addiction doesn't look the same as under-the-bridge drug addiction, it will still end up taking a big shit on your life ... or someone else's.
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You'd be shocked how pissed people get about medical professionals being high on the job.
My drug of choice was Dilaudid, an opioid analgesic typically given to patients who are allergic to morphine (it also happens to be 7 to 10 times stronger than morphine). At the hospital, we stored it in 2-milligram vials, but since physicians almost never ordered that strong a dose, it was really easy for me to administer a portion of the vial and pocket the rest. How is that possible, when every day kids are yanked off the street for having a single rock of crack cocaine in their pocket?
Well, when you dispose of leftover narcotics, you're supposed to find another RN to "witness the waste," meaning you squirt it into a hazardous material bin while they watch. But if you've ever been to a hospital, you probably have some idea of how much people care about watching their co-worker throw something away: Nurses have roughly 50 million places to be at any given second, and about half those things involve saving someone's life, so any unexpected, tedious task is going to be rushed through as quickly as possible. Most of the time, someone would quickly punch their code into the machine indicating that they'd witnessed the waste without actually watching me do anything, then rush off to their next task. Not because they were irresponsible (although that's difficult to dispute) -- they just assumed I was trustworthy.
Spoiler: I wasn't.