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Addiction Treatment for Highly Accountable Professionals: What Makes Parkdale So Special

At first glance, the title may lead one to believe that the response would seem egocentric or ostentatious.  I suppose I would think the same thing if I came across this post.  Having said that, I will address the title in two parts.  The first of which will be objectively focused with peer reviewed information and empirical data.  The second, I’m afraid, will be my honest testament to you as to what makes Parkdale so special.  It seems fitting that our first blog entry address the question we get asked many times.  It is our strong desire that, in the very near future professionals that had first hand account of the program will answer the same question.

The obvious and common question is: “Why do Professionals need special treatment?”.  After many years of slightly more than trial and error, it was determined that a certain demographic of the addicted population require a treatment program that is above and beyond the industry standards.  This group of professionals is at a higher risk not only for addiction, but also relapse.  They are defined by their occupation and include physicians, nurses, lawyers, judges, pilots, pharmacists, and essentially any professions that share a group of common risk factors.  Some of these factors include increased accessibility to medications, high stress, long hours, and positions of status.  In addition to the differentiation of risk factors, potential consequences also differ from those of the general population.  The addicted professional is often required to address issues of licensure, legal statutes, certifications, professional board hearings, professional reentry, and litigations.  It is the combination of the above- mentioned risk factors and consequences that place the professional in a category of their own.  Common characteristics of the addicted professional may also come as a surprise.   According to Dr. Bernadette Roche, author of Substance Abuse Policies for Anesthesia Providers, common traits of the addicted provider include graduating in the top third of their class, well respected by peers, hold positions of leadership, and described as highly intelligent.

When evaluating industry standards, one needs to look no further than the respective professional organizations to ascertain the importance of specialized treatment.  For example, the American Association of Nurse Anesthetist recommends that the addicted CRNA refrain from working as an anesthesia provider for one year after diagnosis.  The Indiana State Nurses Assistance program requires nurses with substance use disorder to be monitored for up to three years while the Indiana Pharmacy Recovery Network requires monitoring for five years.  In addition, treatment recommendations are predicated on the specialty of the center providing the treatment.  The center must offer services that, at minimum, meet the industry standards for treating the professional.  The reality for many standard treatment centers is that they simply are not familiar with the various regulatory agencies’ requirements and may inadvertently lead professionals into further legal or licensure issues.  Programs specifically for this population, like Parkdale, work closely with these regulatory bodies to ensure compliance and accountability above and beyond the standard approach to treatment offered by traditional programs.

So now comes the question:  “What makes Parkdale so special”?  When looking at the overall program, the answer becomes readily apparent.  Parkdale is the only program for professionals that effectively address the 5-point spectrum of the addiction cycle.  First, Parkdale is aggressive in prevention and education to not only minimize the likelihood of addiction but also identify the onset early.  Much time, resources, and effort is spent on educating and informing the general population, employers, and regulatory agencies of the growing epidemic of addiction.  Parkdale’s executive staff speaks frequently around the country in an effort to educate on the myriad issues surrounding professionals and substance abuse.  Second, the specialized treatment program adheres to the strict requirements of the American Society of Addiction Medicine while incorporating alternative and nontraditional therapies.  Each care plan is uniquely designed to promote long-term sobriety.  Third, the Parkdale Aftercare program is one of the most seamless and comprehensive programs in the country.  The program is designed to walk hand in hand with the recovering professional for up to two years while working closely with all state, federal, and regulatory agencies.  Fourth, the one of a kind Professional Reentry program is designed to assist the professional with employment opportunities while mitigating potential adverse outcomes for the employer. Fifth, the Parkdale Diversion Prevention Program provides employers with the unique opportunity to improve their current system of diversion prevention, identification, and reporting.  This program is unique in scope and execution by simultaneously protecting the interests of the institution, the public and the addicted professional with a comprehensive program of analysis and action.

While the program in itself is special, the essential component is the team behind the program.  The dedicated group of providers has an intimate understanding of the disease process.  Many of Parkdale’s providers have first hand account of the trials and tribulations that accompany successful recovery and have also formal education and experience as Highly Accountable Professionals themselves.  Parkdale’s specialized training, education, skills, and established network give the recovering professional the best opportunity to successfully recover and reenter their profession safely.  Most importantly, the team is compassionate for the struggling professional and passionate about their role in the professional’s recovery while ensuring that employers and the general public are protected from compromised employees.  Understanding this is often one of the darkest times in the professionals life, the team at Parkdale strives to be supportive, helpful, and effective.  If you, a colleague, or a loved one would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact Parkdale today.