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Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 1996 Oct;10(5):319-24.

Nurses referred to a peer assistance program for alcohol and drug problems.

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Indiana University School of Nursing, Indianapolis 46202, USA.


Investigation into nurses referred to peer assistance programs for substance abuse is essential to program development and the development of primary prevention strategies. The purpose of this study was to (1) describe the characteristics, substance use, and program participation of 221 nurses referred to a state nursing organization peer assistance program, and (2) identify factors associated with program participation. The highest percentage of nurses (63%) used narcotics; 36% had diverted drugs from patients for their own use. Sixty-four percent of the referred nurses successfully completed the program. This model was found to be effective in addressing substance abuse in nursing.

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