An informational article offered by Psychology Today suggests that around one out of every ten American nurses suffers from an addiction disorder and that their condition may affect their ability to care for their patients. Addiction is a serious medical condition that can require treatment and therapy to overcome. For nurses who are found to have used illegal substances, though, addiction may come with the added cost of losing their medical licenses.

In Pennsylvania and states across the nation, nurses can have their licenses suspended or revoked if they test positive for drugs, are found to have taken drugs from their employers or patients, or have admitted to suffering from addiction. While treating patients without the impairment of drugs is imperative to upholding the safety of medical practicing in the nation, the loss of a nurse’s professional license due to their suffering from the medical condition of addiction is severe.

If a nurse desires to return to their profession after recovering from an addiction or drug-related sanction, they may face an uphill battle. They may be asked to prove that they have been sober for a requisite period of time, and they may be subject to supervision once they are accepted back into the profession. They may also have to fight to rebuild their reputation and standing within their place of employment.

Addiction is a serious condition that can affect many aspects of a person’s life. Nurses are not immune from the disease of addiction but can be heavily penalized for it if they are forced to give up their professional licenses. Nurses who are caught in this difficult dilemma may benefit from discussing their options with attorneys who support medical professionals who have been accused of drug crimes.