Substance Use Disorders and the American Nurses AssociationCode of Ethics for Nurses

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Abstract

Substance use disorder is a serious problem in nursing that is often invisible and not well understood or well handled. It tears at the social contract between nursing and society and disrupts the trust so essential to that contract. The American Nurses Association Code of Ethics contains clear language about a nurse's duty to take action to protect patients and to ensure the impaired nurse gets assistance. Specific interpretive statements provide useful guidance in dealing with this problem.

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