The Evolution of a Peer Assistance Network for Nurse Anesthetists’ Substance Use Disorder

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Abstract

The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists has a long history of providing peer support for its members with substance use disorder (SUD). The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists’ Peer Assistance Advisors Committee (PAAC) is a group of certified registered nurse anesthetist volunteers who strive to promote the awareness of SUD through education and research and provide support to certified registered nurse anesthetists and students with this disease. During the committee’s 33-year history, educational outreach to nurse anesthesia educational programs and anesthesia workplaces has expanded, the peer support network has been strengthened, resources and guidelines have been developed, and research related to SUD has been conducted in an effort to accomplish these goals. Although faced with challenges along the way, the PAAC’s dedication and commitment to the association and members have helped overcome these challenges as well as strengthen the program. Through its generous catalog of online resources, peer support network, and helpline, the PAAC continues to provide help to those in need.

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