Join Free! | Login 

   Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
Where Authors and Readers come together!

Signed Bookstore | Authors | eBooks | Books | Stories | Articles | Poetry | Blogs | News | Events | Reviews | Videos | Success | Gold Members | Testimonials

Featured Authors: Hank Nuwer, iLark Pogue, iG. Rynk, iMs Beeds, iRichard Rydon, iRon Cox, iHank LeGrand, i
  Home > Biography > Articles
Popular: Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry     

Sandi Lyn Schraut

  + Follow Me   

· 247 titles
· 1,385 Reviews
· Share with Friends!
· Save to My Library
Member Since: Jun, 2001

   My Blog
   Success Story
   Contact Author
   Message Board
   Read Reviews

Short Stories
· A short, not so sweet love story.

· We must think of others today

· Teaching understanding and tolerance

· My dance with breast cancer

· All in a day's work!

· Goodby to addicts!

· Big Deal Part #3

· Big Deal Part 2

· Big Deal

· Love Letters in Time

· The Value of truth

· Standstill

· Crack!

· Breath of Life

· True love

· A parental lament

· The dread profound

· Time Slide

· Winter frosting

· With Luck!

· The goal unsought

         More poetry...

Sandi Lyn Schraut, click here to update your web pages on AuthorsDen.

Good Chemistry
By Sandi Lyn Schraut
Last edited: Tuesday, September 03, 2002
Posted: Monday, September 02, 2002

Share    Print   Save
Recent articles by
Sandi Lyn Schraut

• We must think of others today
• Teaching understanding and tolerance
• My dance with breast cancer
• All in a day's work!
• Goodby to addicts!
• Big Deal Part #3
• Big Deal Part 2
           >> View all 25
This is an interview in Nurse Week magazine.

Good Chemistry
Nurse's work with substance abusers inspires
therapeutic writing

By Phil McPeck
July 1, 2002

"I can tell you ways to get high you wouldn't believe," Sandi Schraut, RN, says with such conviction that you know it must be true .

Schraut, 52, deals with the chemically dependent in a 28-bed alcohol rehabilitation unit and 12-bed detox unit at the Anoka (Minn.) Regional Treatment Center. In eight years at the state hospital, starting as a float nurse and for a time as an admissions RN, she also has worked with the facility's mentally ill: schizophrenics, bipolars and anti-socials.

"Anti-social personality disorder seems to go hand-in-hand with chemically dependent folks," Schraut said. "Anti-social people don't think rules are meant for them or they think that if no one sees them break a rule, they haven't broken it."

The nursing staff has to meet regularly to agree on rules to put up a unified front, Schraut said, because "It's easy for these people to do staff splitting. If one staff says no, they'll go to the next staff and the next until they can find somebody who's a little more easy to push around."

It's alcohol, though, that makes for a tough crowd. In detox, "A lot of times they're brought in by the police and they're not happy about being there," let alone for the minimum 48 hours, Schraut said.

In treatment, about 90 percent of patients are committed by the court; many are resentful and unmotivated. Some go through treatment three or four times before they see-if they ever do-the benefits of sobriety, she said.

But even in them, Schraut sees the positive. They are living examples for the younger people, testimonies to the effects of drinking for 25 or 35 years.

Particularly memorable for Schraut was a woman in her early 50s with "a lovely Southern accent," a standout in Minnesota. "The sweetest lady you'd ever want to meet in your whole life could not stop drinking," Schraut said, and despite having gone through treatment several times, she was found dead of liver disease with a bottle in her hand.

Chemical dependence RNs see all manner of liver, kidney, pancreatic and brain disease.

Schraut said she's seen patients who, at 40, are in the late stages of dementia. Then there is Wernicke's syndrome, the alcohol-induced deterioration of the brain that is roughly equivalent to Alzheimer's disease. And the facility sees more than its share of AIDS patients. At one time, three of 28 treatment beds were AIDS cases, Schraut said.

She said she set out to be an RN after high school and worked as an LPN in orthopedics and orthopedic surgery while rearing six children. Ten years ago, she completed the RN program at Anoka-Ramsey Community College and soon found her way to the state hospital.

The nursing staff's priority is to stabilize patients medically and then pursue treatment, whether it be solely for alcohol or abuse of alcohol and other substances that ranges from "huffing" paint to the use of heroin or cocaine.

"It's easy to get real sour when you're working with these people," Schraut said.

To cope, it's important to remember that you're dealing with an illness, she said. "Nobody sets out in life saying, 'I'm going to be a drunk.' When you're a young kid and you're looking at your future, that's not what you're looking for."

Schraut has another way of coping: writing.

Her first book of self-published poetry was colored by life experiences. Her next, to be titled Psychotica, will draw heavily on her work with the addicted and mentally ill, she said.

She also has a couple of novels in the works. "One is medical fiction, surprise, surprise," she said. "The other is science fiction.

"Writing is part of the outlet, part of the way I deal with emotions that come out of working with hard cases and difficult people," Schraut said.

It's also her way of speaking personally to thousands of people on the fringes of mental illness and chemical dependence. Between depression and alcohol, not to mention other substance abuse, "Everybody has had some experience with it, either personally or with a family member," she said.

As a nurse and a writer, Schraut said her heart goes out to the chemically dependent "because you know how big that monkey is on their back."

Contact Phil McPeck at

Web Site NurseWeek Magazine

Reader Reviews for "Good Chemistry"

Want to review or comment on this article?
Click here to login!

Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!

Reviewed by Mary Grace Patterson 9/13/2006
Great article. I worked in Mental Health for years and found it quite rewarding....
Reviewed by Ronald Dondiego 10/3/2002
A great article... You are truly a great soul.
Reviewed by Janet Caldwell 9/10/2002
This is terrific Sandi! I am so glad that you posted it here. Good going.

Love, JC xoxoxo

Popular Biography Articles
  1. A Dark View in General
  2. Moving Pictures--Book Review
  3. I Was a Male War Bride - the real story
  4. Stumbling Toward a Bio for Doc PenPen
  5. Max Brand, the Big Westerner--Book Review
  6. Sons of Wichita--Book Review
  7. Alexander the Great, book review
  9. Are we doomed?
  10. The Loss of Something Precious

You can also search authors by alphabetical listing: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us

Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen

AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.