September 13, 2013
September is National Recovery Month, an annual nationwide observance that celebrates the accomplishments of those recovering from a substance use disorder. It promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible and laudable. Research tells us that dentists are no more (or less) susceptible to drug and/or alcohol problems than the general public. However, an untreated substance use disorder in a dentist can place patients, and the practice itself, in jeopardy. It can also threaten the dentist’s health, life and family stability.
Recovery Month is an opportunity to show support for your colleagues who may be struggling with a substance use disorder. Through rallies, picnics, motorcycle rides, walks/runs and other community events, Recovery Month spreads the positive message that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can (and do) recover. Above all, it reinforces the notion that those in recovery are valued in their communities and are never alone.
In Colorado, dentists can seek help for themselves or a colleague through Concerned Colorado Dentists (CCD). CCD is a group of dentist volunteers, most of whom are in recovery from chemical dependency and other former impairments. They work to help impaired dentists address their afflictions before patients are harmed or other damage occurs. CCD complements the Dentists Peer Assistance Program (DPAP), which provides services for dentists and other members of the dental team who are dealing with emotional, psychological or physical problems that could become detrimental to their ability to practice dentistry. DPAP is funded through Colorado dental license fees. There is no cost for these confidential services. For assistance in these matters contact:
Dr. Michael Ford, CCD, at 303-810-4475
Peer Assistance at 303-369-0039 or www.peerassist.org