Whether you are a doctor, an attorney or a psychiatrist, you definitely worked hard to earn your professional license. Years of schooling and thousands of dollars went into getting you where you are today. It’s important to understand how addiction can play a role in losing everything you fought so hard to build, and how you can prevent that from happening.
Addiction can lead to loss of professional licenses and worse
Every profession that requires a license to practice also has some sort of regulatory board that establishes the standards that its practitioners must uphold in order to maintain their license. These boards hold hearings to decide whether a person’s conduct warrants the indefinite or permanent revocation of their license.
Violation of the rules can lead to the loss of your professional license, even in cases when your conduct wasn’t against the law. For example, having an addiction to alcohol or other legal substances isn’t a federal or state crime, but if it affects your ability to fulfill your responsibilities, your regulatory board can still revoke your license.
There are resources to help you
Most professions that require a license have some sort of support group designed specifically to help members of the profession overcome addiction and other issues. Often, the best place to look for help is from your peers who are going through similar circumstances as you are.
For example, the California State Bar offers a service for attorneys in the state, called the Lawyer Assistance Program, where attorneys who are struggling with substance abuse issues, mental health issues or job-induced stress can find support and further resources from trained therapists. The Physical Therapy Board of California has a similar program in place for physical therapists.
Addiction is a serious matter, and – when left unchecked – it can have devastating effects on someone’s professional career and personal life. The good news is that no one has to face addiction alone, and no one has to sacrifice their career in order to take the steps necessary for recovery.