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A Drug Diverter Comes Clean - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine - December 2017

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 7 • O U T PA T I E N TS U R G E R Y. N E T • 3 9 A Drug Diverter Comes Clean A CRNA's story of how he got away with stealing fentanyl — and how easily someone should have caught him. COVERING HIS TRACKS I was the last person you'd suspect of being a drug diverter. I was the hospi- tal's hardworking, well-liked chief anes- thetist, the team player who didn't mind staying late and taking on extra cases. I walked right past you every day for 6 months as I hid and fed my irresistible and irrational fentanyl addiction, which had gotten to the point where I didn't need the drug to feel good; I needed it to feel normal. Day after day, case after case, nobody noticed that I was giving patients a little less fentanyl and pocketing the waste so I could slip it under my tongue or inject myself. I was spiraling out of control, yet I appeared per- fectly normal, a top OR performer even when I was diverting and using large amounts of opioids. But here's what most people don't get. As clear as the mask on my face, the signs that I was diverting drugs were there all along, from the dramatic spike in my fentanyl ordering Rodrigo Garcia, APN, MBA, MSN, CRNA, ACIT | Chesterton, Ind. • SUPPORTING ROLE Mr. Garcia spoke at OR Excellence 2017 about his addic- tion, recovery and mission to help healthcare professionals who are battling substance abuse.

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