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

Jan 18, 2021




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. 





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, 




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.



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