As a nurse, I worry about giving more drugs to drug addicts

Jan 18, 2021

 

QUESTION

 

Venerable Robina,

 

Many thank you’s for your teachings on Zoom!

 

For a while I have been wanting to ask you, but nly now have found the courage to email you.

 

At my job, I work 12-hour nights at a hospital. The majority of our patients are homeless and suffer from addiction. At times I don’t know what to do with my thoughts, when giving patients addicted to drugs, more drugs.

 

I am not a rehab nurse, so it’s not my place to restrict certain medications and I know that addiction is immensely hard to overcome. Most likely the patients go back out to being homeless and drugs when they leave the hospital.

 

But in some way I feel like I am contributing to their addiction by constantly giving the patients pain medications. 

 

The only thing I can think of saying to myself is that I am treating their pain, physical and or mental.

 

How do I approach this in my mind?

 

Thank you so much for your guidance. 

 

R.

 

ANSWER

Dearest R,

 

I hear you loud and clear! First of all, amazing that you’re helping people: So kind. 

 

But do not burden yourself with the thought that you’re somehow contributing to their suffering. You’re giving them a moment of relief; you can’t do more. And you’re giving them a moment of kindness: that is so special. Every small thing that we do to help others is important. Obviously, the more wisdom we have, the more we can help. But you’re restricted to a very specific role at the hospital. 

 

And remember the kindness part: that’s incredible. Just to be kind to someone, they won’t forget it! 

 

Rejoice in your work. But also, aspire to be like the bodhisattvas and to continue to grow your wisdom and learn to know ever more skillfully how you can help and how you can do more and more to help others.

 

And perhaps you can sneak in a quiet mantra while you’re taking care of your patients. You can be singing om mani pedme hum, let’s say. That’s such a powerful blessing to give them! In fact it’s a lovely song, which is exactly how it’ll be receieved: so pleasing to the ears!

 

Much love, 

Robina

 

QUESTION

Thank you so much Venerable Robina, after reading your message. I felt quite a relief.

 

I am starting work again tonight and will sing a little song to the patients I have at work.

 

R.

More Q & A

How to decide what’s best?

QUESTION Dear Venerable Robina, I had the pleasure of watching several of your teachings and have, of course, been watching your discussions and Q&As on YouTube. My family have been listening to you and your straightforward manner has put them at ease that I’m not...

Help your father be peaceful, that’s all that matters in his old age

QUESTION Dear Venerable Robina, Hoping this finds you well. I’m having a hard time dealing with something. My mother passed recently. We’ve just discovered that she gambled away all the family money in bad investments. My father is old and refuses to acknowledge this....

We don’t know who anyone is, so don’t judge

  QUESTION Dear Venerable,   I hope that you are well.   I know that sometimes my mind has a tendency to kind of lean toward being distrustful, so I'm working on that.   There has been a couple of times in the last year or so when I have heard a...

I’m struggling to find employment

QUESTION Dear Venerable, I hope you’re doing well. I attended your teachings during your recent visit. The topic on that occasion was “Karma and Afflictions” and this is exactly the reason why I have finally got the courage to contact you. I’m really struggling to...

Share this article