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Medical Legal: What Happens When A Physician Is Suspected of Abusing Drugs or Alcohol?


Physicians suspected of abusing drugs or alcohol are reported by a multiplicity of mechanisms. The vast majority of  complaints today are sent to the state impaired-physician program. Physicians suspected of abusing drugs or alcohol are usually sent for a residential evaluation and assessment by a team of professionals trained in addiction. Most physicians today are treated at state medical society and licensure commission approved residential treatment facilities. There is life and the practice of medicine after successful treatment, depending on a compliance contract with the state, a treatment plan, and urine drug screens. Most hospitals today are recovery-minded. Relapse of physicians after quality treatment is rare, but, when it occurs usually results in death or prison.