(WEST PALM BEACH, FL) – A nurse on frontline from COVID died in car, not from COVID but another epidemic ravaging populations, including healthcare professionals. Under intense stress, a nurse struggling with COVID-19 treatment and being on the front line, 32 year old nurse was found dead in his car due to overdose.

William Coddington was a compassionate and dedicated nurse helping many. However, he faced a decade old battle with substance abuse. We at NurseRounds wish his family well.

In this article about “Nurses addicted to drugs” in Psychology Today – there is approximately 10% of nurses with dependency on alcohol or drugs, a statistic which falls in line with the general population but may be much higher than what is known or reported widely.

There are also studies that look at the prevalence of health professionals such as nurses in substance abuse monitoring programs. In this journal article titled “The Prevalence of Employed Nurses Identified or Enrolled in Substance Use Monitoring Programs,” the 1-year prevalence of nurses newly enrolled in substance abuse monitoring programs in the United States and its territories was 12,060 or 0.36%. Other articles describe further issues and warning signs such as this piece entitled “The sneaky prevalence of substance abuse in nursing.

If you know any colleague requiring any support or help, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers a lifeline:

SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.



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