Legal And Ethical Responsibilities Toward Drug Abuse

1806 words - 7 pages

INTRODUCTIONAs students, we have observed many different situations that have led to our professional development. Most situations were expected educational experiences; however, other things were ethical dilemmas in which we had unexpected learning experiences. In private practices there are similar situations; therefore, recognizing these difficult decision-making situations is key to protecting the profession of Dental Hygienists. Although we are students, it is imperative to form ourselves into ethical individuals who are responsible for our own actions as well as the actions of our peers. Our profession has set forth a code of ethics by which we as Dental Hygienist’s are to abide by in order to help us make choices that will protect us when our judgment is at issue. Being aware of our surroundings is one of the ways to protect our patients in order to prevent undue harm onto them. This essay will show the ethical issues surrounding peer drug abuse.Concrete Experience During my senior term at San Joaquin Valley College, I became involved with a junior student because she was my cousin. I chose to mentor my cousin NAME as a big sister. Through her, I became familiar with some of the other junior classmates. One day she told my cousin NAME told me that a shy classmate, student X had confided in her that one of the girls was smoking marijuana on a regular basis. My cousin admitted that she had heard that as well, but had not heard it from Michelle herself. I told my senior classmate Kim about the incident, but did not tell any of the Instructors since I did not have first hand knowledge about Michelle’s actions. Although I did not know this Michelle personally, the story sounded plausible since the many details that surrounded it were so elaborate. My cousin confided in me that during the weekend student X had been over to study at Michelle’s house and witnessed her smoking large amounts of marijuana. Student X said that Michelle smoked constantly throughout their study session and admitted to smoking all day. In fact, Michelle boasted that she chain-smoked marijuana all day, even at lunchtime in her car during school days! Student X went on to say that Michelle confided her whole drug history to her. Michelle told student X that she had been doing drugs since the age of eleven. Then Michelle said she became a methamphetamine drug dealer while in High School. Michelle went on to say that she has been using “crystal meth” for many years, but gave it up temporarily for the Dental Hygiene program. She said that she has every intention of continuing her habit once she graduates. Amazingly, the story becomes even more believable when she states that she carries fake urine samples with her in case she gets drug tested. Remarkably, the story gets worse when she said that Michelle had threatened student X. My cousin NAME said that Michelle remarked to student X that if anyone turned her in she would kill them! Michelle went on...

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