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HOT TOPICS: Drug and Alcohol Treatment  Heroin

Nurse OD'ed on Ecstasy at Addiction Clinic

A British addiction nurse is in trouble for getting drunk and high with her patient/boyfriend.


Not what the doctor ordered Photo via

By Fionna Agomuoh


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A nurse working at a British addiction clinic is under review for allegedly binge drinking, taking ecstasy and overdosing in front of her lover and patient. Amy Sutherland met the man—referred to only as Service User A—outside of work in 2009, but soon realized that the drug addict—who had a criminal record and a personality disorder—was being treated at the Botchergate Centre clinic in Carlisle, where she was employed. Sutherland soon admitted her affair to her boss, Karen Nicoll, and was ordered to end it—but she didn't. She's accused of taking ecstasy in front of her lover at the clinic and drinking for hours in his presence; after overdosing, she apparently asked her mother to call in sick for her the next day: "Ms. Nicoll received a telephone call from the registrant's mother indicating that Amy Sutherland would not be coming to work for health reasons," says a Nursing and Midwifery Council representative. Later that day, Service User A's mother called Nicoll to complain that he hadn't received his methadone prescription because his partner/clinician had been hospitalized for drug overdose. Nicoll put two and two together and Sutherland folded when confronted, admitting that she'd continued the relationship and had overdosed. If found guilty at an NMC hearing, she faces being banned from her profession.

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