For 20 years, Russ Nix worked in the public safety and law enforcement arenas; while working as an undercover narcotics officer, he saw the impact of the growing opioid crisis and addictions to other medications.
Now, Nix works as a drug diversion specialist at Piedmont Athens (Ga.) Regional Medical Center, a job he pitched to the 360-bed hospital and got. He’s one of a growing number of specialists working in hospitals to tamp down on illicit diversions of drugs.
Drug diversion is the taking of medications outside of the hospital or pharmacy and it is primarily done by inside personnel, such as a nurse or physician and possibly a pharmacist. In general, however, pharmacy departments are put in charge of drug diversion programs given they usually have the most access, Nix explains.