Can Substance Abuse Affect My Professional License?

Many issues can put a person’s professional license at risk, including substance abuse. Individuals working in some professions are more prone to substance abuse and therefore face potential trouble with the state licensing board.

Fortunately, a professional license defense lawyer has the knowledge and experience to handle your case and work diligently to limit any penalties or repercussions. S J Harris Law is ready to help you. 

What is Substance Abuse?

Substance abuse involves the consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol or drugs or using drugs in a dangerous way. Drugs can be prescription or illegal drugs.

Substance abuse and addiction are different but may overlap. When a person is abusing substances but does not have an addiction, they may be able to stop or change their behavior. Oftentimes, a person with an addiction cannot quit without help.

Some people may be able to hide their substance abuse well, while others exhibit signs like:

  • Frequent and repeated mistakes
  • Falling asleep on the job
  • Dilated pupils or droopy eyes
  • Trouble concentrating

Substance abuse can affect a licensed professional in various ways.

Licensed Professions and Substance Abuse

Anyone can be prone to engaging in substance abuse. However, certain professionals have a higher chance of overusing drugs and alcohol, including:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Pharmacists
  • Therapists

Those in the medical and healthcare field are surrounded by drugs all day, making drug abuse more likely to occur. Additionally, high-stress professions, like those related to law, also see high rates of substance abuse.

What Would Cause an Investigation into A Professional’s Drug Use?

Consuming drugs or alcohol outside of work would likely not lead to an investigation by the state licensing board. However, certain events may result in an investigation, including:

  • Complaints made against you indicating potential drug use
  • An arrest or conviction for a drug crime
  • A positive drug test conducted by your employer

After a thorough investigation, the state licensing board can determine what penalties to impose regarding your professional license.

If you face an investigation, consult with a professional license defense attorney as soon as possible.

Penalties for Drug Use by a Licensed Professional

In the most severe cases, your professional license may face revocation. However, that is not always the case for professionals dealing with substance abuse. The state licensing board may instead decide to do any of the following, depending on the circumstances:

  • Restrict your license
  • Suspend your license
  • Assess fines
  • Impose conditions
  • Issue a formal reprimand

A professional license defense lawyer can help limit the severity of penalties imposed for substance abuse. 

Consult with a Professional License Defense Lawyer

If you face challenges with your professional license due to substance abuse, you don’t have to handle it alone. A professional license defense attorney can provide valuable assistance.

S J Harris Law has years of experience representing California professionals. Scott J. Harris, Esq. focuses exclusively on representing professionals and businesses against governmental agencies. We use our skills and resources to pursue the best possible outcome for your case, potentially allowing you to keep your license and continue working. 

Contact our firm today to schedule a free, 30-minute consultation. 

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When dealing with these complex issues, you need legal representation that has a long track record of success in these types of cases. Scott Harris and the rest of our team at S J Harris Law will be ready to help you pursue any option available that allows you to keep your license and continue working, no matter what industry you are in.


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