My Recovery: Substance Abuse in Travel Nursing

Time is Running Out!!! Early Bird TravCon Ticket Special Expire MAY 31st - Save & Get Your Tickets Now!

By Misty Lack

September 24, 2022



Substance Abuse in Travel Nursing: My Recovery

Content Warning: descriptions of drug use are mentioned in this article. If you or some you know are struggling with substance abuse, get help here.

September 20, 2018

Earlier this week, a Facebook memory of me asking for prayers popped up. I was going in front of the Diversion Program, asking to complete the program. On September 20, 2018, I successfully graduated. I no longer had to wake up and call to see if I had to drug test that day. I didn’t have to attend my nurse support group, and I did not have to make three weekly recovery meetings. My recovery had now become voluntary. 

My new way of living

I enjoy this new way of living, working on myself, and talking with like-minded people about everyday struggles. Today, with my struggles, I find the solution and do not drown myself with drugs and/or alcohol. It is very rare that I get triggered, but it does happen. For instance, as weird as it sounds while having labs drawn this month, the cold feeling of the alcohol pad on my skin triggered me. I immediately called my sponsor, and we talked about it. It is imperative that you do not keep secrets with this disease. Secrets will take you back out into the whirlwind of addiction.

Know your limits and accept them

Today I work in dialysis. It is a safe environment for me. Emergency nursing has been my passion for a very long time, but it is not safe for me. I am not sure if I could handle putting Morphine in someone else’s veins and seeing the response in their eyes. Good self-insight is a must. Know your limits and accept them. 

It has been a privilege to share my story and process. Hopefully, I have reached that still-suffering addict and opened others’ eyes to the disease of addiction among nurses. Moving forward, I would like to have some peers share their stories. 


Please reach out if you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction. SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

We hope you found this article on substance abuse in travel nursing recovery insightful and possibly helpful. Have you found yourself in a similar situation with substance abuse? Would you like to tell your story? Comment below.

If you want to read more of Misty’s story, click here to view her past articles.

Our job board is a great place to search for your next travel nurse assignment. We have you covered with our housing page if housing is an issue. You can search for what you are looking for.

Leave a Reply

Join The Gypsy Nurse Nation

Discover new travel nurse jobs, subscribe to customized job alerts and unlock unlimited resources for FREE.

Since just recently joining The Gypsy Nurse, I have had so many questions answered about the world of travel nursing. This has been an excellent resource!
—Meagan L. | Cath Lab