Substance Abuse Nurse

Substance abuse nurses care for patients who are battling an addiction to a controlled substance. In some cases their patients are addicted to alcohol andor more than one drug. Substance abuse nurses have demanding jobs because they must provide emotional support to both their patients and their patients’ family members they must administer medications to their patients to help wean them off of drugs and they must also provide constant encouragement and verbal support to their patients. They must often deal with patients who become verbally and physically abusive during the drug withdrawal process and they must remain firm when their patients ask them for either legal or illegal drugs. Also they often help their patients enroll in substance abuse support programs andor recovery programs. According to the website www.ehow.com substance abuse nurses are often the first medical professionals to evaluate drug-addicted patients when they are admitted either to a hospital or to a drug treatment center. During the admission process they must evaluate the incoming patients and determine whether or not they are in life-threatening situations. Substance abuse nurses must be registered nurses but they must also have advanced training in the substance abuse field. The website www.nursingdegree.net states that substance abuse nurses can obtain special certification from the International Nurses Society on Addictions. The website www.nursingdegreeguide.org says that there is a high demand for substance abuse nurses and many work in the fields of both substance abuse and psychiatry at some point in their careers. The average yearly salary for substance abuse nurses is $51000 per year.

Education Required: Associate's Degree
Avg Salary: $51000
High Salary: $61000
Low Salary: $41000
Tasks: Provides emotional support to substance abuse patients.
Administers medication.
Assesses the overall condition of patients.
Helps patients cope with withdrawal symptoms.
Also Called: Mental Health Nurse
Psychiatric Nurse
Certified Addictions Nurse
Registered Nurse
Additional Resources: http://www.ehow.com/about_5150223_do-substance-abuse-nurses-do.html
http://www.nursingdegreeguide.org/articles/specialties/substance_abuse_nursing/
http://www.nursingdegree.net/nursing-specialties/substance-abuse-nurse.htm