Admission of Diversion Activity

drug diversion

Licensed professionals have a lot to lose if they admit to drug diversion. There is the personal aspect of embarrassment in front of colleagues and family as well as the potential to lose their license and income producing potential. If they were diverting in response to an addiction, it requires admitting to a “weakness” and a problem that I am sure seems insurmountable in terms of healing. So what can we do to improve the admission rate when we present them with the evidence and interview them in regards to the evidence?

I recently had a conversation with a fellow Drug Diversion Specialist about the interview process and rate of confessions. There are so many times the data shows us pretty clearly something is going on, the verbal as well as non-verbal behaviors tell us the suspected healthcare worker is being dishonest, and yet they refuse to admit to diversion. The facility has a decision to make at that point, which is often to terminate their employment and off they go still in need of help if they do indeed have an addiction problem. Would the admission rate be higher if facilities were open about the process after an admission and if that process allowed for the healthcare worker to be admitted to a rehab facility and if successful, maintain their employment for the organization? I would really like to hear from those of you involved in the interview process. How often do you have admissions and what do you attribute that success to? I sit in these interviews and as empathetic and encouraging as I try to be, they often just don’t budge. As sure as I am they are diverting, a tiny sliver of doubt remains they could be innocent, but more than anything, my heart aches at the thought of them walking away without the help they really need.

In books, as in life, there are no second chances. On second thought: it’s the next work, still to be written, that offers the second chance. –Cynthia Ozick

Terri Vidals
Terri Vidals

Terri has been a pharmacist for over 30 years and is a drug diversion mitigation and monitoring subject matter expert. Her years of experience in various roles within hospital pharmacy have given her real-world insight into risk, compliance, and regulatory requirements, as well as best practices for medication and patient safety.

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