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Addicted Nurses

Salem VA nurse who stole drugs gets jail time

She admitted to obtaining more medicine than had been ordered for patients and keeping the surplus.

The Roanoke Times
By Laurence Hammack


A nurse who treated her patients while high on their drugs at the veterans hospital in Salem was sentenced Friday to 30 days in jail.

“I’m embarrassed and appalled by my behavior,” Amy Lyons told Judge James Turk during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Roanoke.

Lyons, 28, pleaded guilty earlier to taking fentanyl — a synthetic narcotic more potent than morphine — from dispensers in the intensive care unit of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salem.

Prosecutors said Lyons was injecting the painkiller into her arms during shifts at the hospital.

“She was high when she was supposed to be treating and protecting and caring for these patients,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Charlene Day said.

“No one wants a nurse stumbling around high.”

Defense attorney Greg Phillips countered that the drugs Lyons took to feed her addiction were in addition to what was intended for her patients – meaning that no one suffered from a lack of medication at the hospital.

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Addicted Nurses|Substance Abuse Among Health Professionals

Nurses and addiction have been in the news lately and I thought we would shine some light on the subject.  As a recovering heroin and cocaine addict myself, I can only imagine the temptation involved.  You see, Amy Lyons did not exactly just decide one day out of the blue to become a Fentanyl addict.  In the other half the news item above, Lyons testified that she became addicted to painkillers she was prescribed several years ago after she broke her ankle. That led to a heroin habit, she said, which eventually drove her to steal drugs from her employer.

Lyons also stated that she then began stealing the Fentanyl to stay well and not go into withdrawals during work.  This is such a serious situation for many reasons, you know… Working in a hospital, stealing Fentanyl, and getting high while taking care of patients.  I have seen many stories of nurses addicted to narcotics, and let’s not forget about doctors.  In fact, when I was a drug addict I used with ex- CEO’s and doctors, lawyers, and even provided cocaine to a judge once! (Although that’s who the “middle man” said it was for, so who knows.  People are notoriously full of B.S.)!

So, while substance abuse among health  professionals will always be a bit of a problem, I do hope and pray that those affected and sucked into this nightmare while in the process of trying to help others can get the help they need and turn over a new leaf.  It is possible!

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