Earlier this month I had the privilege of participating for three days in the Betty Ford Center’s Professionals in Residence program at this world famous drug and alcohol addiction treatment hospital in Rancho Mirage, California. This program gave me insight into the Betty Ford Center’s Professionals Program, where licensed professionals, typically physicians and attorneys, receive treatment tailored to their needs. Betty Ford Center’s longstanding treatment of professionals, particularly physicians, accords their facility a certain stature and credibility that can be critical in a license discipline case. Of course, if one is struggling with addiction, it is absolutely imperative to confidentially seek treatment before the addiction interferes with work and becomes a board discipline matter.
The Betty Ford Center has a twenty seven year track record of successfully treating individuals, both famous and not-so-famous, for the disease of addiction. As the first licensed chemical dependency treatment hospital in California, Betty Ford has unparalleled facilities and trained medical staff for detoxification at entry and the management of medical issues throughout treatment. The treatment program focuses upon treatment and recovery in a therapeutic environment, using individual and group counseling, addiction education through dynamic speakers, and fellowship with similarly situated individuals. The Betty Ford Center also has educational and counseling programs for the families and children of patients, which helps the entire family heal from the ordeal of addiction and invests them in the patient’s recovery.
BFC also offers the Clinical Diagnostic Evaluation, whereby a licensee or license applicant who is suspected of or suspects having an diction problem can be evaluated for addiction. According to Dr. Harry Hartounian of BFC, about 1/3 of CDE patients are found to be free of addiction, about 1/3 go on to treat at BFC, and finally 1/3 seek treatment elsewhere. The CDE can be a useful tool to confirm or exclude the diagnosis of substance abuse, allowing the results to be used to demonstrate to a licensing agency the absence of an addiction issue, and facilitating access to confidential chemical dependency treatment with or without the use of insurance.
Accessing chemical dependency evaluation and treatment services is a highly personal decision that involves willingness of the individual involved or the intervention of loved ones around them. Our firm works with Betty Ford Center and other smaller treatment centers, such as Cornerstone of Southern California in Orange County to provide our clients with quality treatment referrals consistent with their personal and legal needs. Our effective defense strategies include proactively resolving professional competency issues before they result in license discipline, loss of a license, or to ready a professional who has lost their license to seek relicensure.