Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program for Nurses and All Other Health Care Providers

This program addresses the special demands and pressures placed on these professionals – which can cause stress, burnout, depression, and the abuse of alcohol and drugs. Because many healthcare providers have easy access to controlled substances, they face triggers and temptations that few people in other professions encounter.

The goal of the Healthcare Professionals Program is to help them recover, as well as to address any licensing issues and facilitate the return to professional practice.

Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program for Professionals

The Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Treatment for Professionals Program at Impact Carolina Services is an addiction recovery program designed specifically for professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, safety-sensitive occupations who happen to be seeking treatment for addiction.

It’s not uncommon for professionals – partially due to the high standards associated with their chosen fields – to develop an alcohol or substance use disorder to handle the pressures of responsibility, smooth the edges of challenging workplace demands, or simply help their brains shut down and get some sleep at the end of a long day filled with tough, consequential decisions. What starts as a pattern of unwinding or letting off steam turns into an addiction that can have serious personal and professional repercussions. We design our Professional Program with these factors in mind, and with the full knowledge that you’re busy, you have a lot on your plate, and people rely on you every day. We tailor your treatment to meet your individual needs, make you whole again, and allow you to return to full participation in your work, family, and social life.

Why a Program for Professionals?

Professional occupations demand elevated levels of responsibility, accountability, and performance that separate them from other occupations. As a professional, you hold a license or official accreditation to do your job, you own a business, or you’re a member of your company’s executive leadership team. This often means that during a typical workday, you – a working professional – may have the lives, livelihood, and future of clients, customers, or complete strangers in your hands.

You’re probably a proud member of a professional organization with a special set of ethical and leadership guidelines, rigorous standards of practice, and regular requirements for career enrichment and skill development. You, your peers, and society at large hold you to a high standard because the decisions you make on the job have consequences that are disproportionately impactful when compared to other occupations. This default situation often leads to uncommonly high levels of stress and engenders a deep, internal obligation to appear in control, present a respectable public image, and handle everything that comes your way without showing weakness or emotion.

Professional Impairment

You’ll understand how addiction may have compromised your workplace performance, increase self-awareness around the personal and professional issues created by your addiction, review your professional principles and code of ethics, and learn healthy communication strategies to replace unhealthy patterns of communication associated with

Professional Boundaries

You’ll understand the importance of healthy workplace boundaries, examine past boundary issues if applicable, and develop a healthy boundary plan for your return to work.


You’ll understand the importance of a monitored accountability program and design an appropriate monitoring program for your return to work.

Vocational Impacts

You’ll identify the factors unique to your workplace that pose risks to your recovery and sustained sobriety, then develop a plan to navigate these risks when you return to work.

Relapse Prevention

You’ll learn to recognize triggers, define relapse warning signs, and identify patterns of behavior and thought that lead to relapse. You’ll learn to replace patterns of behavior and thought that lead to relapse with patterns of behavior and thought that encourage recovery.

Professional Health and Well-Being

You’ll learn to value the positive effects of healthy coping skills and responsible self-care, and develop a wellness plan that works for you, your personality, and your interests.
Treatment will also include one-on-one therapy, daily 12-step meetings, medical and psychiatric care, family therapy sessions (via phone), and an individualized combination of group sessions and integrative therapies including but not limited to:

  • Process groups
  • Psycho education groups
  • Expressive therapy groups
  • Specialty groups
  • Spirituality group
  • Relapse prevention therapy group
  • Self-awareness therapy group
  • Team building and resilience group
  • Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction group

Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse

Signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse depend on the specific drug. Because of their mind-altering properties, the most commonly abused prescription drugs are:

Opioids, including oxycodone (aka Oxycontin, Roxicodone) and hydrocodone (aka Vicodin, Lortab, Norco), are used to treat pain and can have these signs and symptoms of abuse:

  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Euphoria
  • Slowed breathing
  • Confusion
  • Poor coordination and motor skills

Anti-anxiety medications and sedatives, including alprazolam (aka Xanax), diazepam (aka Valium), and hypnotics, such as zolpidem (aka Ambien), are used to treat anxiety or sleep disorders and can have these signs and symptoms of abuse:

  • Slowed breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Poor concentration
  • Unsteady walking
  • Drowsiness
  • Problems with memory

Stimulants, including methylphenidate (aka Ritalin, Concerta), dextroamphetamine, amphetamine (Adderall XR), and dextroamphetamine (aka Dexedrine), are used to treat attention-deficit or hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and certain sleep disorders. Stimulants can have these signs and symptoms of abuse:

  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure
  • Agitation
  • Heart issues
  • Reduced appetite

Why Do People Abuse Prescription Drugs?

People abuse prescription drugs for many reasons, such as:

  • Feeling good or getting high
  • Relaxing or relieving tension
  • Reducing appetite or increasing alertness
  • Experimenting with the mental effects of the substance
  • Maintaining an addiction and prevent withdrawal
  • Being accepted by peers or to be social
  • Trying to improve concentration and academic or work performance

Risk Factors For Prescription Drug Abuse

Many people fear that they may become addicted to medications prescribed for medical conditions, such as painkillers prescribed after surgery. However, people who take potentially addictive drugs as prescribed don’t often abuse them or become addicted.
Risk factors for prescription drug abuse developing include:

  • Past or present addictions to other substances, including alcohol addiction symptoms and tobacco
  • A family history of substance abuse problems
  • Younger age, especially the teens or early 20s
  • Certain pre-existing psychiatric conditions
  • Exposure to peer pressure or a social environment where there’s drug use
  • Easier access to prescription drugs, such as having prescription medications in the home medicine cabinet
  • Lack of knowledge about prescription drugs and their potential harm

Older adults and prescription drug abuse

Prescription drug abuse in older adults is a growing problem, especially when they combine drugs with alcohol. Having multiple health problems and taking multiple drugs can put seniors at risk of misusing drugs or becoming addicted.

Complications Of Prescription Drug Abuse

Abusing prescription drugs can cause a number of problems. Prescription drugs can be especially dangerous — and even lead to death — when taken in high doses, when combined with other prescription drugs or certain over-the-counter medications, or when taken with alcohol or illegal drugs.

Medical consequences

Here are examples of the serious consequences of prescription drug abuse:

  • Signs of opiate use can include low blood pressure, a slowed breathing rate and potential for breathing to stop, or a coma. Overdose has a significant risk of death.
  • Sedatives and anti-anxiety medications can cause memory problems, low blood pressure and slowed breathing. Overdose can cause coma or death. Abruptly stopping the medication may cause withdrawal symptoms that can include nervous system hyperactivity and seizures.
  • Stimulants can cause dangerously high body temperature, heart problems, high blood pressure, seizures or tremors, hallucinations, aggressiveness, and paranoia.

Physical Dependence and Addiction

Because commonly abused prescription drugs activate the brain’s reward center, it’s possible to develop physical dependence and addiction.

  • Physical dependence. Physical dependence (also called tolerance) is the body’s response to long-term use. People who are physically dependent on a drug may need higher doses to get the same effects and may experience withdrawal symptoms when cutting back or abruptly stopping the drug. Physical dependence may also become evident if a drug the body becomes adjusted to over time, even without dosage change, is stopped abruptly.
  • Addiction. People who are addicted to a drug can have a physical dependence, but they also compulsively seek a drug and continue to use it even when that drug makes their lives worse.

Other Consequences of Prescription Drug Abuse

Other potential consequences include:

  • Engaging in risky behaviors because of poor judgment
  • Using illegal drugs
  • Being involved in crime
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Decreased academic or work performance
  • Troubled relationships

Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention

Prescription drug abuse may occur in people who need painkillers, sedatives or stimulants to treat a medical condition. If you’re taking a commonly abused drug, there are ways to ensure prescription drug abuse prevention and decrease your risk of needing drug addiction treatment or dependency:

  • Make sure you’re getting the right medication. Make sure your doctor clearly understands your condition and the signs and symptoms. Tell your doctor about all your prescriptions, as well as over-the-counter medications, herbs and supplements, and alcohol and drug use. Ask your doctor whether there’s an alternative medication with ingredients that have less potential for addiction.
  • Check in with your doctor. Talk with your doctor on a regular basis to make sure that the medication you’re taking is working and you’re taking the right dose.
  • Follow directions carefully. Use your medication the way it was prescribed. Don’t stop or change the dose of a drug on your own if it doesn’t seem to be working without talking to your doctor. For example, if you’re taking a pain medication that isn’t adequately controlling your pain, don’t take more.
  • Know what your medication does. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the effects of your medication, so you know what to expect. Also check if other drugs, over-the-counter products or alcohol should be avoided when taking this medication.
  • Never use another person’s prescription. Everyone is different. Even if you have a similar medical condition, it may not be the right medication or dose for you.
  • Don’t order prescriptions online unless they’re from a trustworthy pharmacy. Some websites sell counterfeit prescription and nonprescription drugs that could be dangerous.
  • Keep your prescription drugs safe. Keep track of quantities and keep them in a locked medicine cabinet.
  • Properly dispose of medications. Don’t leave unused or expired drugs around. Check the label or patient information guide for disposal instructions, or ask your pharmacist for advice on disposal.

Prescription Drug Abuse Treatment

The National Institute on Drug Abuse indicates that overdose deaths from prescription drug abuse in the United States are at an all-time high. Millions of people are affected by this epidemic, from young adults to the elderly. If you or someone else like a family member is suffering from prescription drug abuse, seek addiction treatment.


Impact Carolina Services provides behavioral health program that treats substance abuse disorder to impaired professionals particularly nurses. We are registered with North Carolina Nursing Board to provide this service to their members. We are committed to providing the highest quality professional service. As a mission-focused program we constantly strive to keep our price at a level that gives access to our services to the most people.

Program Fee

During the admission process, the responsible party for payment signs a “Financial Agreement” contract that obligates him/her for payment in full. The Program Fee is $2,500 and this covers initial assessment evaluation and 6 months of outpatient psychotherapy. A Deposit of $250 is expected at the time of intake. Following the completion of the initial phase of treatment, the Nursing Board expects a year of aftercare and costs $1000.


Impact Carolina Services does not accept insurance; however, we can file insurance for your button reimbursement basis only. Insurance reimbursements received during treatment will be applied to this payment process and the remainder is entirely the responsibility of the client. Insurance filing is a courtesy service. We will gladly provide you with complete information on the filing process and assist you accordingly. There is no guarantee that any given insurance company will pay out benefits, therefore the client must be prepared to pay out of pocket.