Are you in danger of being labeled an “Impaired Professional”?
You could well be in more danger that you think. Consider Dr. X.
Dr. X called us eighteen months ago to report that his alcohol consumption seemed to be increasing as he scaled back on the size of his surgical practice in the Pacific Northwest. We said that this was common and suggested he schedule a few days with us to sort out alternatives and get his drinking back to moderate levels. He decided to wait, and we advised him to be careful about talking about this, so far, minor problem.
Six months later he called back. At his own routine annual physical he happened to mention to his physician that he’d occasionally thought he was, perhaps, drinking a bit more wine with dinner than he was comfortable with at his age. His doctor said nothing but, after the appointment, immediately called the state board.
Turned In By His Own Physician!
It turns out that Dr. X’s physician is an ardent AA/12 Stepper. Turns out so is the head of the state’s Health Professionals’ Program (HPP). The next day Dr. X. received a call and was ordered to appear within 72 hours at a specific program for 90 days of residential AA/12 Step treatment. No choice. No options. No time. No discussion.
When Dr. X suggested, correctly, that he didn’t meet the criteria for alcohol dependence, he was told that meant he was in denial and might require even longer treatment.
$120,000 In Treatment Costs And Even More In Lost Income.
Results? Three months of treatment at $120,000 (a chunk of which was kicked back to the HHP Director as a “referral” fee, we suspect), 3 months lost income, a totally disrupted practice, an “impaired professional” label, 5 years minimum testing and “supervision” and a probable return for additional “treatment” every time the program needs to fill a bed or the state director wants another kickback.
And all of this to “treat” a “disease” the doctor never had, using a method with an efficacy rating of ZERO!
Yes, that really happened and it happens to other professionals every day of the week and, with minor variations, everywhere across the U.S. and Canada.
Doctors, dentists, lawyers, teachers, nurses, therapists, and many others can be blackmailed into inappropriate and ineffective treatment for conditions they don’t have and labeled for life without any due process, diagnosis, appeal, or remedy.
Protect yourself! Preempt the system. Address your own concern effectively, efficiently, confidentially, and with whatever outcome you select – moderation or abstinence.
No groups; no labels; no steps; no “in recovery”; no blackmail.
Dr. X. will eventually spend $300,000 on “treatment” and as much more in lost income. He has also lost his privacy, dignity, and control of his day-to-day life for as long as he continues to practice or wants a license to practice.