Addiction, Relapse and Recovery
There is growing recognition by health regulators that addiction is a disease for which recovery pathways exist, and that those recovery pathways should be separate from complaints and discipline. CDSBC operates in this manner and works with registrants seeking treatment. The way CDSBC deals with health matters is confidential.
If you suffer from an addiction/dependency disease, you have a duty to protect the safety of patients and legal/ethical obligation to cease practice immediately and notify CDSBC in confidence through Manager, Monitoring and Compliance, Moninder Sahota's direct phone line: 604-714-5300 (ext. 5345).
Additionally, if you are aware of another CDSBC registrant's addiction/dependency, it is your professional, ethical and legal duty to report it to the College.
CDSBC's collaborative approach to treatment and monitoring guides registrants through treatment and provides a pathway back to safe practice. The essential elements of the addiction recovery pathway typically include:
Practitioner's agreement to voluntarily withdraw from
practice until deemed medically fit to return (failing a voluntary
agreement, CDSBC has the ability to take action under the Health Professions Act - section 35)
- Counselling support is available through the MAP and DWP Programs
- Access to practitioners able to step in as locums (to maintain the practice on behalf of the practitioner while undergoing treatment) can be accessed through the BCDA
Assessment by a physician with addiction medicine expertise recognized by CDSBC
Treatment (in accordance with expert recommendations)
Post-treatment assessment and planning for return to work
A formal agreement with CDSBC to fulfill certain conditions for return to practice (and during continued practice)
Upon return to work, a period of ongoing monitoring by the addiction medicine expert and the treatment team, which includes monitored return-to-work protocols
Addiction is a chronic brain disease with a complex etiology and a tendency for relapse; however, success rates for professionals who enter a structured program are high. The data for physicians who undergo rigorous standards of treatment and monitoring (similar to those of the CDSBC Wellness Program) indicates that 5-year abstinence rates from substance abuse disorders are in excess of 80 per cent, which far outperforms other treatment programs*.
Should relapse occur:
*Six lessons from State Physician Health Programs to Promote Long Term Recovery: DuPont, M.D. and Skipper, G.E. 2012; Journal of Psychoactive Drugs Vol. 44(1), 72-78