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The addiction treatment process for professionals, particularly those in the healthcare industry like physicians and physician assistants, can be more complicated than the treatment process for the rest of the population. Doctors struggling with substance dependency are typically motivated not only to achieve long-term recovery but to restore their careers and personal reputations as well. This more extensive process usually means working with other entities, such as medical boards and employers that may have a rigorous process in place for these professionals to return to their workplace.

The Center for Professional Recovery understands the complexities of treating licensed professionals in the healthcare industry because that is our primary focus in addiction treatment. We work with the organizations that play a role in the restoration of your professional status to make your development as seamless as possible. Allow our team of experts to guide you through the steps necessary to reclaim your professional passion.

Diversion Programs

Healthcare professionals often struggle with substance abuse long before that abuse becomes evident to their patients and peers. When the problem is revealed, physicians may have the option of completing a diversion program confidentially without the need for disciplinary action by a medical board. A diversion program is a carefully monitored program that takes the individual through every step of the rehabilitation process, including:

  • Referral of the individual by a peer, patient or family member
  • Evaluation of the initial referral to ensure it is valid and realistic
  • Notification is given to the physician with the option to enter treatment and monitoring
  • Comprehensive assessment of the physician
  • Referral of the individual to an appropriate treatment program
  • Referral to a counselor that will offer therapy throughout the recovery process
  • Aftercare that allows the physician to re-enter the medical community with regular monitoring and support

Entry into a diversion program usually requires the physician to sign a contract agreeing to the terms of the rehabilitation order. If the agreement is not upheld, disciplinary action can be recommended.

Physicians Health Programs (PHPs)

Physician health programs or PHPs were first established in the 1970s to provide necessary support to physicians that were struggling with substance abuse and dependency at that time. Since their origination, they have expanded to include other licensed professionals, including physician assistants, veterinarians, dentists, and pharmacists. The program has also evolved to encompass mental and physical illnesses and disabilities.

To participate in a PHP, a physician must typically agree to adhere to the following steps in the process:

  • A report from the physician, a peer, a family member, licensing board or hospital
  • A preliminary assessment to determine whether the initial allegation is valid
  • Intervention that includes a presentation of concerns and request for a formal evaluation
  • Formal evaluation at a selected site that serves as the foundation for a personalized treatment plan
  • Detoxification and treatment, preferably through a program designed specifically for physicians and other licensed professionals
  • Long-term monitoring that includes random drug testing and documented therapy sessions and other recovery-oriented programs
  • Relapse prevention to provide the support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety

Working with Employers

In addition to the organizations and programs physicians must participate in as part of their recovery, these individuals must also be held accountable to their employers to restore and maintain their positions in hospitals, groups, or private practices. The Center for Professional Recovery works alongside our patients and their employers to ensure a seamless transition back into the workplace. Our goal is your goal, to find a way to restore your professional reputation, position, and title.

Professionals struggling with addiction often see the rehabilitation process as one that is extensive and unattainable. Our team of experts will help you navigate that process with confidence and success, so your personal and professional life can eventually be restored. To learn more about our program, contact the Center for Professional Recovery at 866.298.0056.

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