A significant number of doctors, nurses, and physicians are likely to struggle with addiction at some point in their careers. As such, medical professionals struggle with alcohol abuse and addiction at rates that are similar to, or slightly higher than, the general public. There are certainly a wide-ranging set of problems associated with having a substance use disorder. These effects can include potentially devastating effects on one’s health, relationships, work, and finances. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are naturally also concerned about possibly encountering major legal and licensure troubles. One of the most distressing thoughts can be, will I lose my license if anyone finds out? Fortunately, there are answers for professionals in recovery.
Drugs and alcohol can damage a person’s reputation at work, as well as their health and well-being. Fortunately, there are various treatment options available. We offer a range of programs that we have specifically designed for medical professionals. For more information about PHP with housing for health professionals, please call BoardPrep Recovery Center® today at 866.796.4720.
Will Professionals in Recovery Lose Their License?
Fortunately, most states have recognized organizations to help physicians, nurses and other healthcare workers get the help they need to recover from alcohol or drug dependence. As such, professional healthcare providers can enter addiction treatment. They can restore their health and protect their careers and licenses at the same time.
Several organizations provide addiction treatment referrals for impaired practitioners, including:
- Professionals Resource Network (PRN)
- Professional Assistance Programs (PAP)
- The Physician Health Program (PHP)
- Intervention Project for Nurses (IPN)
However, individuals oftentimes choose not to seek these treatment programs out, due to misinformation and fear.
As to the bottom line question mentioned above, here is how Florida’s PRN program answers the FAQ, “Does PRN protect a practitioner’s license?”
The Professionals Resource Network frequently aids participants in the Program who are in line with the program’s recommendations throughout the evaluation, treatment, and/or monitoring phase. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will work with hospitals, practice partners, insurance carriers, HMOs, disability insurers, DEA agencies, criminal courts, other state impairment programs, and other state licensing authorities; and provide assistance to participants if they are deemed disabled.
According to a manual for healthcare professionals struggling with substance use disorders, the majority of license denials are due to untreated drug abuse. The success rate of continuing recovery among health care professionals who have utilized the assistance programs is exceptional. In fact, it is much higher than that of the average person. Not only have patients’ lives been saved but the health care professional’s life and family members as well.
Will Seeking Treatment Lead to Negative Consequences?
The most prevalent misconception is that finding treatment will result in a physician’s license being revoked. The truth is that participation in an approved rehabilitation program through PRN, as long as the instructions are followed, is secure. When a person enters treatment proactively, the state board of licensure is not informed unless he or she falls out of compliance with the recovery plan and refuses to return on track. It is important to take specific measures to maintain privacy. Before the recovery monitoring begins, the treatment team will clearly define these measures in the form of a contract that the individual must accept prior to commencement. If the health professional does not keep the terms of the agreement, they might face some penalties.
Some of the requirements to ensure professional confidentiality for our patients may include:
- Regular monitoring
- Toxicology screening
- Individual and group therapy
- 12-step meetings for an agreed-upon length of time.
Another related point is that entrance into a professional recovery network program has nothing to do with the state board of licensing. These programs take great care in encouraging substance-dependent healthcare workers to seek alcohol or drug treatment. You can get help through state-recognized organizations like PRN or to seek addiction treatment in a quality (PRN-approved) facility.
Perhaps your concern is whether or not your particular medical field falls under the purview of such programs as PRN. However, throughout those states who have programs like PRN, PHP, and IPN, healthcare workers in many different fields can find the support they need to recover from substance dependence.
Seek Support at BoardPrep Recovery Center®
BoardPrep Recovery Center® offers a full continuum of outpatient care for healthcare professionals addicted to opioids and other substances. Our team has extensive experience in helping licensed professionals through all stages of addiction, from early intervention to long-term sobriety.
If you’re struggling with fentanyl addiction, don’t try to detox at home. BoardPrep can help you get the medical supervision and follow-up treatment you need to recover safely and successfully. Contact us today at 866.796.4720 for more information.