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C5. Substance use disorder and healthcare professionals

About The Event

  • Cost: Free
  • Total Slot: 0
  • Booked Slot: 0

This event has expired

Learner category:

  • Intermediate Level

Learning objectives:

  • Participants will be taken through how to identify risk factors that can lead to an increase in substance use
  • Participants will explore the facts surrounding Healthcare workers and substance use disorder and learn how to identify it in the workplace
  • Participants will be encouraged to choose to look past the stigma associated with substance use disorder to help healthcare workers with substance use disorder get the help they need to practice safely


Purpose: This presentation aims to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with substance use disorder (SUD) in nurses. It is an issue that requires a multifaceted approach to realize it’s scope, to detect diversion early, to prevent diversion from happening, and to help those with SUD before they cause irreparable harm to themselves and others. Evidence: I am a nurse with SUD. I have been in recovery for 15 years now. I want to share my experience to raise awareness, decrease stigma, and show that recovery is possible. Description: There are 41 states that have alternative to discipline programs for nurses with SUD. These programs promote public protection by using evidence-based treatment for nurses with SUD. Not enough practicing nurses know about these programs. I went through such a program in Wisconsin and it saved my career maybe even my life. Validation and Relevance and Future Implications: The American Nurses Association estimates that six to eight percent of nurses use alcohol or drugs to an extent that is sufficient to impair professional performance. Others estimate that nurses generally misuse drugs and alcohol at nearly the same rate (10 to 15 percent) as the rest of the population. I was one of those nurses. It is hard to talk about it, but we need to talk about it. By raising awareness and decreasing stigma, we can identify and help those struggling find the help they need to practice safely.


Kristin Waite-Labott, BSN, RN
Rogers Behavioral Health, Wisconsin, USA

Kristin is the President of the Eastern Wisconsin IntNSA Chapter and has been a RN since 1991. After losing much to
alcohol and drug addiction, she turned her life around. She now works in behavioral health, has published a book, “An
Unlikely Addict”, about her story of recovery and works with others who struggle. Her blog,, focuses on the reality of the opiate problem in this country and offers real solutions. She has appeared locally in news stories about opiate addiction and on the show “The Doctors” for an episode on healthcare workers and addiction. She is committed to making a difference.

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Kristin Waite-Labott
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