Can an RN use prescribed narcotics and work at the same time? Also, if you are referred to a required substance abuse program, can a nurse decline these services and still keep a nursing license? I’m also interested to know if a nurse can sue the person who reported this narcotic use and is slandering someone without just cause.
Your questions are important ones. They need to be directed to a nurse attorney or attorney in your state who works with nurses in professional disciplinary proceedings who can respond to them and represent you in a case before the state board of nursing.
Insofar as suing the individual who reported you to the board of nursing, that question is also one to discuss with your attorney. Generally speaking, if the report was made in good faith, most times such a reporting is not actionable. Be certain to inform your attorney of all of the facts (as you know them) surrounding the report to the board, so the attorney can evaluate it carefully.
Although it sounds that you may have been falsely accused of having a substance abuse problem when you have been prescribed a narcotic for a specific medical problem, if you do have a substance abuse problem — whether with prescribed controlled substances or not — carefully evaluate your situation and seek treatment. Analyzing the need of the narcotic for your medical condition might be a part of that treatment so you can resume a life, both professionally and personally, that is as substance-free as possible.