Charges of substance abuse lead to medical license suspension in Texas

Obtaining a license in the medical care field in Texas requires dedication, years of diligence and great expense. The hard work is not over once a health care license is obtained, however. Doctors, nurses and other health care professionals must comply with costly continuing education classes and seminars as well as keeping up with licensing and registration renewal fees and costs.

Unfortunately, an entire career can be irrevocably derailed by an accusation or charge of substance abuse against the license holder. Earlier this month, an Austin, Texas doctor had his license taken away after federal law enforcement agents filed charges against him for possession of illegal narcotics. He and a partner were also indicted for intent to distribute prescription drugs illegally. Although he has yet to be found guilty of the charges, he may never practice medicine again.

Threats to license holders

Even an unfounded accusation can mean the end of a medical career. Attacks against doctors, nurses or other medical professionals may come from internal or external sources and can cause the following:

  • License suspension or revocation
  • Sanctions or fines
  • Public reprimands
  • Disciplinary action
  • Ostracism

Unfortunately, charges or allegations of substance abuse are a common threat to licensed medical care professionals. While many allegations are unfounded, the Journal of Addiction Medicine reports that many doctors, nurses and other professionals in the health care industry suffer from issues of addiction.

Self-medicating is a primary culprit leading to drug or alcohol abuse. Common reasons for acting as one's own treating physician include the following:

  • Depression or other issues of emotional turmoil
  • Work stress and pressures
  • Lingering pain from a physical injury or illness

Addiction or abuse concerns should be addressed immediately upon discovery whether you, a colleague or your employee is involved. Not only is that professional's license at stake, addiction affects a person's health, work ethic and performance as well as affecting all those who work with them. Even unfounded accusations can negatively affect the professional standing and reputation of the individual and his or her organization.

Maintenance of your professional license is imperative to the success of your career. From the initial steps taken to secure your license in Texas, through the development of your career and to thwarting threats to your status, professional help may be necessary.

Consult a lawyer

If you or a colleague or employee is facing charges or allegations of substance abuse or other threats to your medical license, consult an experienced licensing defense attorney. A lawyer knowledgeable about assisting health care professionals with licensing disputes can help.