Nurses may be inclined to divert drugs if there is a lack of systemic drug control procedures in the workplace. A lack of awareness, poor adherence to control procedures, and apathy of other practitioners create a culture of drug diversion. It is likely that initially, a nurse may choose to divert drugs not for substance abuse but for self-medication. It is an inappropriate approach to managing the stresses of the profession, such as fatigue and work overload with pain medication.
Other factors may include a nurse choosing to divert medication for a family member who is in pain or suffers from substance abuse. More rarely, nurses may divert drugs for the purpose of the financial benefit of selling them. Drugs offered in medical settings are commonly more potent and stronger than outpatient pain medications. Therefore, the sale of drugs to others with substance abuse may influence a nurse to engage in such behavior.