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What to know before agreeing to the Voluntary Recovery Program

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2022 | Medical Licensing

When licensed professionals are facing charges or complaints of alcohol or controlled substance misuse, the Professional Health Monitoring Program may contact them about participating in the state’s Voluntary Recovery Program.

This program seeks to help professionals manage physical or mental disorders they may have and potentially avoid disciplinary action. Participants receive assistance with appropriate treatment and undergo a period of monitoring to ensure they can continue to practice responsibly.

How the VRP process works

After receiving a VRP letter, licensees have a limited amount of time to contact a program-approved evaluator. This evaluator will determine whether there is a diagnosed mental or physical disorder and may recommend a treatment plan for the course of the program.

Conditions of VRP participation

Licensees participating in the VRP must follow the recommended treatment plan and consent to at least three years of monitoring and other conditions. Terms of program participation include:

  • VRP supervision of treatment, ongoing recovery and work performance
  • Attendance of professional support groups
  • Abstinence from prohibited substances
  • Random substance testing

Additionally, those entering the VRP must agree not to continue or pursue work that requires licensure until a VRP case manager determines they are able to do so. So long as participants adhere to program terms, they can avoid license suspension or revocation.

While participating in the VRP can often be beneficial, in some cases, it may not be appropriate. If a licensee does not, in fact, have an alcohol or substance abuse issue, agreeing to program restrictions may result in needless loss of income and job standing.