Airway & Respiratory, Patient Care

Substance Abuse

Lately, there has been a lot of attention on drug testing in EMS. With a safety-sensitive job like EMS, career and volunteer departments need to ensure for the public that all personnel that provide care on the streets are free from the influence of illegal drugs.

There have been a number of recent cases involving the use of illegal drugs, as well as the misuse of drugs (like morphine) from the service drug supply by EMS personnel. These cases often end with jail time and the loss of a career for the EMS provider. Bad publicity and tainted morale for the entire EMS agency also results.

In 2007, an Indiana paramedic admitted to police that he stole morphine and meperidine (Demerol) and replaced the syringes with other harmless but ineffective liquids. His paramedic certification was suspended and after a plea agreement, he got 15 days in jail.

And the problem isn