Name: Sarah Kuramoto
From: Seattle, Washington
Helping Addiction Patients as Nurse
for patients with alcohol, opiate, or stimulant use disorder in as a
nurse, I discovered the complexity of addiction and mental illness.
There are multiple reasons for why our nation is in an addiction
crisis. I learned addiction is not simply an individual’s lack of
willpower. Factors such as socioeconomic status, childhood trauma or
abuse, untreated mental health disorders, and insufficient access to
medical care can influence an individual’s addiction. Moreover,
even health care providers who have over prescribed opioid
medications and misguided health policy play a part in this crisis.
consequences of addiction to individuals and society are broken
families and relationships. I have cared for pregnant mothers that
lost their children in the result of addiction and were trying to
regain custody through attending treatment and recovering. Addiction
results in difficulty keeping jobs or loss of jobs. Difficulty
keeping important relationships with families or friends and can
isolate people. As a society we will be affected by rising medical
costs, homelessness and in the worst cases death.
To remedy this crisis, I have
learned that educating the community surrounding these people who
struggle with addiction for better understanding is crucial to
prevent deaths from opioid overdose. In addition, we are at a
national shortage of substance abuse/mental health providers. By
committing to pursue a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
(PMHNP) through a graduate school education, I want to study a broad
spectrum of mental health disorders to care for patients that have
lack of access to care in addiction and/or mental healthcare.