View Full Version : History of drug addiction and the future

06-18-2016, 04:27 AM
Okay... not sure that title makes the most sense but here we go.

Would a character with a history of illegal drug use (no legal convictions but did seek treatment for said addiction) be able to attend nursing school in the UK? Or even in the US? Or would the history of treatment keep that from happening?

I'm trying to flesh out a character for my first novel and her original backstory had a history of illegal drug use (was being used to keep down some supernatural abilities of telepathy and empathy). Now I want to make her my "healer" character but I need her to have some sort of medical training to compliment a not so strong magical healing skill.

06-18-2016, 05:39 AM
In the US, treatment is covered under the laws for privacy in medical treatment. Absent a couple of facilities where the press troll for potentially famous people, it's next to impossible to discover unless the person admits to it.

Jim Clark-Dawe

L. OBrien
06-18-2016, 06:15 AM
When filling out college applications (I just applied to grad school in the fall) there wasn't anywhere that information could come up, and it doesn't seem like they do a big background check. I remember undergrad being the same way. If you have no criminal record from it, I don't believe that there's anywhere that it would necessarily need to come out in your paperwork. However, if the drugs were enough of a problem that the person needed treatment, I imagine that it might weaken their application in other places. There would probably be either a gap in their high school transcript or in their work records depending on how old they are when the problem occurs, especially if they needed to pull out of school/work to get treatment. If the drugs caused other issues for the character or got in the way of them doing their schoolwork/job, they may also have some negative marks that need to be explained.

That said, a lot of people with a history of drug use get through college. I'm pretty sure that lots of people who explain their history can still get in. As far as the US goes, I wouldn't be shocked (or even mildly surprised) that a character with a history of drug use got accepted into a decent college and made it through the nursing program. Totally plausible.

06-18-2016, 08:05 AM
It wouldn't stop them in the US. The school can't access someone's medical records, which is the only place treatment would be recorded.

Chris P
06-18-2016, 10:00 AM
Lots of former addicts go into nursing, and not surprisingly addiction counselling. Some pre-employment forms such as for government employment and Peace Corps service ask the applicant/new hire to self-disclose, but as far as I know there is no way for them to check. I'm told it only gives the employer grounds for dismissal if a problem arises later and they find out you lied on the form.

06-18-2016, 10:52 AM
point: FAFSA ask you if you have a DRUG CONVICTION when you file for aid, but if you don't and you're smoking meth daily, they have no way of knowing if you're never had a drug based conviction.

So that'd be the only real hitch you'll hit.

06-20-2016, 03:27 AM
Thank you all for your information. This will work well then in the story. In short, the character didn't finish High School at the time, but since being clean and having a steady job with a very supportive boss she has been able to fix that and continue on. Sounds like it wouldn't be a huge blatant problem to keep the history I wanted for her.

Thank you again!