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Anyone regret being honest with midwife about past drink or drugs use!?

(49 Posts)
EmilyJane86 Thu 27-Feb-14 19:22:42

I'm 9 weeks pregnant and I was very honest with my midwife about my past. I suffer from depression and anxiety and had a year or so where I started to use drink and drugs as an escape. This was around 3 years ago I have not touched drugs since and I drink on the odd occasion although have not and will not drink whilst pregnant. I am more or less free from my depression but still get anxiety. I have never needed rehab or medical treatment for drink or drugs (never injected or smoked hard drugs). My midwife is insisting I need a referral to drug and alcohol team. I disagree and feel this is a waste of time and money. She's even told me that they will have to do a drug test on me. I am shocked at this as I have been quiet open and honesty with her. I will refuse drug test out of principle but then it will look like I have something to hide.anyobe had similar alarmist

EmilyJane86 Thu 27-Feb-14 19:23:26

*anyone had a similar response or alarmist midwife

getagoldtoof Thu 27-Feb-14 19:49:11

I am a child protection social worker. I would say your best option is to be totally honest, keep explaining how things are now, and agree to meet with the drug and alcohol team. Yes, it is a waste of your time, but if you object too much, or don't engage, you may be seen as presenting a risk to baby. It might be a pain for you, but they will just be trying to make sure not to miss anyone.

If you tell the drug and alcohol midwife what you've said here, s/he is likely to discharge you. My team, for instance, wouldn't open a referral for your baby on the info you've given - not by a long stretch.

wowsaidtheowl Thu 27-Feb-14 19:52:20

Slightly different but still relevant! I really wish that I hadn't confessed to a history of depression/self harm. When I had my baby, it was scribbled all over my notes, 12hrs after giving birth I had some one at my bedside questioning me over the details and then every midwife or HV who came in the next few weeks brought it up. It made me feel watched and slightly under pressure not to get tired or emotional at all!

This time I'll be saying absolutely nothing! Maybe you should speak to the supervising midwife - it sounds nuts especially testing you without any proof or concern.

theduchesse Thu 27-Feb-14 19:55:41

I was also open with my midwife about my drug use many years ago. I am the same as you and would not drink or take drugs during pregnancy. My midwife just asked if I mind having a tox screen done. I said that was fine and that was the end if it. Is there a reason you don't want the drug test?

EmilyJane86 Thu 27-Feb-14 19:56:16

Thanks. I'm an adult nurse and we are always told to use our clinical judgement as well following policies and procedures. She seems more interested in my past than my future which is a tad frustrating. I'm seeing the gp every two weeks for a check up due to me being weaned off my antidepressants. I just feel like she's not looking at me as an individual and just hearing the words drink and drugs. It's really frustrating. I know honesty is best but wish I had kept my big gob shut now tbh

EmilyJane86 Thu 27-Feb-14 20:00:16

I'm hoping that a trained drug and alcohol professional would not ask me to take a drug test once they actually speak to me. I just couldn't imagine asking my patient's for a drug test unless there was strong evidence to suggest they were using and needed treatment. Maybe adult nursing/medicine is different. I've also been suicidal in the past but wouldn't expect them to want to section me based on my part history. What's happening here and now should be the main focus....

morethanpotatoprints Thu 27-Feb-14 20:01:40

I wouldn't have said anything tbh as it has nothing to do with now, and as so has nothing to do with a midwife.

EmilyJane86 Thu 27-Feb-14 20:05:44

Well I've learnt my lesson.....

EmilyJane86 Thu 27-Feb-14 20:15:00

Also my midwife kept referring to me as an interesting case.....openly admitted how she doesn't know anything about drugs etc....I felt like saying she should come and do a shift on an adult medical ward them see what really interesting cases are.

Armadale Thu 27-Feb-14 20:17:31

Hello, I think goldtoof gives you good advice upthread, I'd take it on board.

Take the test, get it over with and forget about it.

Yes it is ridiculous you have to do it, but just smile and nod and don't give them reason to think you are non-compliant.

I have a slightly different experience in that I have been open about the level of anxiety I have in this PG (have lost the previous 5 pg's so it is hardly surprising) and like you I really wish I'd kept my mouth shut now.

I think the problem is that the MW meets you for so short a time, and makes a judgement just on that short time and things that have been said in the meeting, not your life as a whole which they don't get to see.

I also think there is some ridiculous ticking of boxes going on- mention of anxiety- quick, refer. Mention of drugs- quick, refer.

My friend even got a social services referral for booking in late in this pregnancy as "pregnancy concealment" is a big red flag. (They seemed completely unable to grasp that because she lost her last PG at 15 weeks and was then chased up by Midwives who hadn't updated their notes regarding her loss, she naturally didn't want to start the ball rolling until she thought the PG would be viable).

The thing is, when you see them, they give you a lot of talk about how they want to support you, help you etc, and that may be true, but they are also plugged into this larger system and it has all sorts of other stuff going on in the background.

As you have said something that has obviously ticked one of their boxes, I think you have to humour them, because not doing so would be seen as more evidence that there is a problem.

EmilyJane86 Thu 27-Feb-14 20:26:27

Yes I know what I said...that I had used drink and drugs three years ago. I'm just going by what I would do in this situation. If my patient told me they had a drink or drugs problem three years ago and I had no reason to suspect they were lying that would be that. She would never of known about my past had I not said anything. My bloods have all been fine. I've attended all my appointments and I hold down a full time job as a nurse.

EmilyJane86 Thu 27-Feb-14 20:29:39

I will go to the referral once I get an appointment and I will just hope that they see sense. I also don't like how it's all written in my notes now. Wish that kind of stuff would be kept separately. I'm dreading anyone seeing my notes now

Armadale Thu 27-Feb-14 20:30:16

Yes, it would be much better if they could just listen to you and make a judgement like you would with one of your patients but I think the moment the word drugs came out it triggered some ticky boxy response and you are unfortunately now stuck with it, daft as it is.

MoreSlummyThanYummy Thu 27-Feb-14 20:30:28

I was honest and then she said 'hmmm perhaps I should ask that question again as any drug use within the last 12months would trigger a social services referral', the next time anyone asked I wasn't so honest wink

Armadale Thu 27-Feb-14 20:31:47

you could always lose your notes wink

WhitWoo Thu 27-Feb-14 20:32:55

I'm a service manager for a drug and alcohol service. In this situation we wouldn't drug test, we would talk to client and of they said they hadn't used for three years, and there was no evidence of drug use, we would discharge. And tell ss that no intervention was necessary in our opinion.

WhitWoo Thu 27-Feb-14 20:33:11


cansu Thu 27-Feb-14 20:38:31

You should have kept quiet. professional judgement has gone now. Everyone covers their arses by referring everything. This is probably why services are over stretched and children die because social care are busy with ridiculous referrals. I was reading on here someone wanting their hv to refer their partner's ex wife to ss because their dss had nits. The best thing you can do now is smile and nod, do what they say and be seen to engage and agree with everything that is said to you. They will fill in all their paperwork and will eventually leave you alone.

HorraceTheOtter Thu 27-Feb-14 20:38:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HorraceTheOtter Thu 27-Feb-14 20:40:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheRaniOfYawn Thu 27-Feb-14 20:46:52

I think that midwives do tend to make sure that all potential problems get referred to an expert and let it drop at that stage. It's not at all the same thing but I'm a carrier for a fairly rate genetic illness which doesn't affect pregnancy and wouldn't affect any of my children until adulthood but my midwife referred me to a consultant anyway just to be sure. I went to the appointment, he agreed that there wasn't a problem and I went back to midwife care.

EmilyJane86 Thu 27-Feb-14 20:48:50

To be honest I'm extra frustrated with this as my partner has a severe disability in his family. His brother and uncle are affected and it's a hereditary condition. The midwife is aware of this but has not discussed this with me or made a referral to anyone and I feel that this is more important as my partner has never been tested to see if he is a carrier.

EmilyJane86 Thu 27-Feb-14 20:55:34

The condition I'm referring to effects babies as soon as they are born. Why can't she be quick making a referral about this instead

Davmallem2013 Fri 28-Feb-14 16:08:47

Hi emily I am not trying to judge but your in a profession where you understand the need like your MW to do ACE (arse covering exercises), I am in a similar profession so fully understand. However I don't think what they are asking is that bad to get it ruled out and you may be sensitive to it all but ultimately in your own words you originally tried to deal with your depression and anxiety with drink and drugs and you have had past suicidal tendencies because of your illness. That is important for your health professionals to know as you will understand being a nurse because they have to make sure they are looking after not only you but also the unborn child. Without a persons medical history how can a full accurate assessment be done? You can try but you may miss something important which could (I am not saying it will) cause severe problems or consequences in the future. Drug & alcohol abuse/ misuse (of what ever level) is not your MW area of expertise just like ask you say children's nursing is not yours so therefore you would refer to those that do know that area which is all she is asking. It may be pointless but ultimately is a ticky box ACE so she will just be following her rules like you do within nursing. Are you concerned because your profession doesn't know about your history? I honestly think if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to worry about, it is frustrating you have to prove yourself but this is the world we live in. I think with holding medical and psychological health history is not the right thing, feel proud you have dealt with your problems and acknowledged them and that you are recovered and don't feel frightened or worried about being sectioned as I think your a long way off from that.

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