Smokers will do whatever it takes to get their nicotine fix even when a place like a locked psych unit doesn’t allow them to do it other than during scheduled smoke breaks. Case in point: a female patient woke up at about 3 A.M., goes to the bathroom then goes back to bed. But she left the water running in the sink. I went in the room and saw a lot of baby powder spread on the floor. When I opened the bathroom door, there was a towel on the floor blocking the gap between the door and the floor. Furthermore, when I turned off the faucet, I saw leftover ashes on the sink. All telltale signs of smoking. Let me explain: baby powder to mask the smoke odor, towel on the floor to block the smell of cigarettes from wafting out to the hallway, and running water to wash the ashes down the drain. All too familiar tricks of patients in a psych hospital or inmates in jail and I’ve seen it too many times before, so it was not a surprise. This patient had the gall to deny it but then again you can’t expect any less from a habitual liar and manipulator. Minutes after I showed the nurse the evidence and left the room, the patient demanded that her room be searched for further evidence. We declined because who knows what body orifices she tucked the rest of the cigarettes and lighter in?
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