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Substance abuse nurses provide rehab and hope

Drug and alcohol abuse is a widespread problem in our country. Substance abuse rates have increased with various ages, cultures and backgrounds over the years, creating a high demand for nurses who specialize in helping patients recover from this condition.

The International Nurses Society on Addictions (IntNSA) is an international organization for nurses dedicated to helping those suffering from chemical dependencies. "We believe that all nurses, regardless of specialty or practice setting, are presented with opportunities for early identification of individuals and families impacted by, or at risk for, substance use and process addictions," said Carolyn Baird, MEd, MBA, RN-BC, CARN-AP and president of the IntNSA. "Because of this, it is important for nurses to have and maintain a basic level of knowledge and skills in addictive disorders. Our goal is to promote evidence-based, comprehensive state-of-the-art addictions nursing care for patients and their families."

Many patients who attend rehabilitation centers or other facilities to seek treatment may be there unwillingly, and consequently may feel resentful or unmotivated to complete the rehabilitation process. Therefore, nurses who specialize in rehabilitation for substance abuse must have a great deal of patience and understanding, and may work with the patient's family to search for an appropriate support program.

Nurses specializing in substance abuse care work in hospitals, mental health facilities, private facilities, and inpatient and outpatient treatment centers to provide care to people suffering from various chemical dependencies. They are committed to the prevention, treatment and intervention of those suffering from substance abuse.

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