I had another challenging weekend at work. I am ordinarily a patient person with a long fuse, it takes a lot to set me off, but even I have my limits. There is a segment of the population that I have a hard time working with on a daily basis. These people are drug addicts who believe that the world owes them whatever they want whenever they want it. They typically are demanding, blame everyone else for their problems, and refuse to take responsibility for their actions. I am sure that the young lady in the picture is telling her boyfriend that it’s his fault that she is a junkie. After all, she wouldn’t be forced into using illegal substances if he were only a better person. How dare he interfere with her right to do whatever she wants to do! These patients are a walking nightmare. They don’t respond well to unit rules or, God forbid, limits on their inapproperate behavior.

It’s really hard not to tell entitled drug addicts to go jump in the lake, but since I can’t afford to leave Hospital X right now, I’ve learned to keep my thoughts to myself. Here are the things I’d like to tell people who abuse drugs and overwhelm our health care system.

Now Hear This…….

Shut up and stop griping. You are a screw-up and your own worst enemy, so stop blaming everyone else for your problems. Your family members, friends, or significant other didn’t hold you down and make you shoot-up, smoke, snort, or ingest harmful substances. Grow up and start taking responsibility for your actions.

You’re right, life isn’t fair, but that doesn’t give you the right to be a jerk. Stop demanding that people enable you. The world is a tough place, so grow some balls and start acting like an adult.

Stop making excuses for your actions. Maybe your brain is different than a normal brain, and that you crave substances because you are hardwired differently than everyone else. So what! Maybe you haven’t heard this, but you have free will. You can choose to change you life. Granted, it’s not always easy to do, but it’s the first step to staying clean and sober.

And for God’s sake, don’t tell me that I have to jump through hoops to make you happy because you are paying my wages. My tax dollars are paying your hospital bill so shut the heck up.

Here is some advice for nurses who work with drug addicts. Bring in lots of Little Debbie snack cakes the next time your unit is overrun by drug addicts. Place the snack cakes in a basket and put them in the patients’ lounge. The sugar in the snack cakes will temporally sooth your patients’ craving for drugs, and it will keep them away from the nurses station for a few precious moments while you get some of your charting done.