If you’ve been asked to go into a peer assistance program or if you voluntarily choose to go into the program to protect your license, here some things you should know.
First, you will need to sign a recovery monitoring agreement which basically is a contract that you are entering the program and agree to certain of its requirements. Getting into the program, you will need to know how long they want you to participate in it. Usually there is a monthly participation fee and the fact that there also is urine drug screen means that it can be costly. The shorter time you are in the program, the better.
If they offer you three years, ask how you can get that amount of time reduced. And ask that before you sign the contract!
The second thing to know is that you will be required to attend meetings. So, you might want to look at this ahead of time to see what meetings are in your area and when do they meet. Also, find out if these will qualify for the types of meetings that you are expected to attend.
There are A.A. meetings, N.A. meetings and nurse support group meetings. If you’re required to attend a nurse support group meeting and there are none in your area, you may want to challenge that provision. Again, do that before you sign the agreement.
When you go into this program, set yourself up for success and do your homework ahead of time so that you can do the program as easily as possible to get through it successfully.
Number three: you will be required to have a worksite monitor where you are working. That person will send reports to the administrators of the peer assistance program.
So, if you currently have a job and before you sign the agreement, make sure that your boss is supportive of what you’re going to do. If the boss is reluctant to support you, it might mean you should perhaps look for another job.
Random drug screens will be another facet of the program. You should research this because you will be required to pay for the screenings and you will want to make sure that you will be successful with these screenings.
I am fully aware of how difficult these programs can be. I tell my clients that they should work these programs like their lives depended on it. Some clients will tell me: “I don’t have an issue so why do I need to be doing this?” Again, it’s the best way to protect your license.
After completing the program, a number of clients have told me how it was an eye-opening experience and that they learned so much.
If you do have a problem and really need the peer assistance program, I want to congratulate you for realizing your need to take action to help yourself. This will be the way that you can be healthier and overcome the problem that you’ve been facing. Personally, I have great admiration for those who are willing to admit to having a problem and then undertake the necessary treatment to better their lives.
Although no one wants to be in a program like this, especially one where they are monitored and made to feel like they are being watched constantly, it is the best way to protect your license.
Not only will you learn about substance abuse, you will learn so much about yourself and be a better person when you get through the program.
Here’s wishing you the best of success.