Controlled Substance abuse and addiction is becoming a growing concern for PAs and other providers in Idaho. The Idaho Board of Medicine is seeing an increase in reported abuse/misuse of narcotics and an increased number of complaints regarding the inappropriate prescribing of controlled substances by providers around the state.
Methods of Misuse or Abuse
There are several ways in which misuse or abuse of controlled substances can occur including: inappropriate management of patients when prescribing, inappropriate use of narcotics by a provider, and/or diversion. Diversion is a criminal offense in which a provider is diverting drugs to inappropriate individuals, including themselves, and is sometimes done out of ignorance or mismanagement, but can be with purposeful intent. Inappropriately prescribing, diverting or misusing controlled substances can lead to investigation and possible disciplinary action by the Board of Medicine.
Addiction is a disease that can include, but is not limited to, an unhealthy dependence on alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription medications, food, sexual behaviours, online gaming, gambling or shopping. If you or someone you know may be struggling with addiction, there are resources available. Click here to learn more about addiction or contact the Southworth Associate's toll free crisis line for assistance, (800) 386-1695.
Physician Recovery Network (PRN)
The Physician Recovery Network (PRN) is a confidential, non-coercive, and non-punitive alternative to formal disciplinary action offered by the Idaho State Board of Medicine.The PRN is a program to facilitate prevention, identification, intervention, and rehabilitation for Idaho physicians or physician assistants who have, or are at risk for developing disorders, which are associated with functional impairment, or suffering from chemical abuse or dependency, mental health issues, or behavioural problems. The PRN works in a manner consistent with the laws and medical practice acts of the State of Idaho to provide a safe environment in a medical setting and in conjunction with the Idaho Medical Association. The purpose of the program is to assist professionals and their families in identifying alcohol, drug, or behavioural problems that pose a potential threat to that professional, the family, or the patients/clients.
For more information about the PRN program, please visit the Southworth Associates website: http://southworthassociates.net/monitoring/physician-recovery-network
For more information and resources on self-reporting or filing a complaint, visit the Idaho Board of Medicine website at http://bom.idaho.gov/BOMPortal/BoardPage.aspx?Board=PAC.
To learn about the Board of Medicine's policy for prescribing opioids for the treatment of chronic pain, click here.
For a brochure from the Southworth Associates on how to tell if you or a colleague has a problem with addiction, click here.