New Uniform Standards For Licensees With Substance Abuse Issues

Posted in Licensing Defense

Being a health care professional is a rewarding career but also comes with its demands and stressors. The profession can require working long hours to help others in physical and emotional need, thereby sacrificing the healer’s personal and family life. The pressure on the health care professional may be overwhelming and if not addressed constructively may lead to the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol, which in turn may have devastating consequences to the health care provider’s license or an aspiring licensee.

On July 1, 2015 Senate Bill 1441 was implemented to standardize the monitoring of Physician’s and other Healing Arts Professionals impaired by drugs and/or alcohol. The new Regulations detail uniformed standards for monitoring, counseling, treating, and dealing with Health Care Professionals who are impaired by drugs and/or alcohol. Some Licensing Boards affected but the list is not limited to, include:

  • Acupuncture Board
  • California Board of Behavioral Science;
  • Dental Board of California;
  • Medical Board of California;
  • Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians;
  • Osteopathic Medical Board of California;
  • Physical Therapy Board of California;
  • Board of Registered Nursing;
  • Respiratory Care Board of California; and
  • Veterinary Medical Board.

The New Regulations detail the responsibility of the Health Care Licensee and his/her worksite monitor, the frequency of random drug/alcohol screenings, criteria for Petitions for Reinstatement as well as several other topics. The new regulations allow for uniformity amongst Healing Arts Professionals, and can be found at: Senate Bill 1441.

Prior to Senate Bill 1441, individual licensing boards had more autonomy when determining how to monitor its Licensee, and thus the various Boards could discipline and monitor their Licensees, with the same underlying conduct, in vastly different ways. However, now, the Boards are bound by the new uniformed Regulations.

Whether you are a professional facing discipline from your licensing board due to such issues or you are aspiring to hold a California license, substance abuse may significantly impact your professional license.   At the Law Office of Nicole Irmer we understand the emotional, physical, and legal issues of those licensees confronted with Substance Abuse.   Please contact us to discuss how your license may be impacted due to the new legislation.