Prescription  |  Vol 11 Issue 1  |  March 2016
From The Executive Director by Kevin Rich
I hope everyone is having a great 2016 so far, and staying healthy both mentally and physically during this unusually mild Oklahoma winter season. Always remember to take care of yourself to stay healthy. If you find yourself struggling, please don't hesitate to reach out to OPHP for help. This is a tremendous opportunity.

Self-reporting issues of mental health or chemical dependency ensure you are able to get well or get into recovery, and if there are no legal issues or complaints, the Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy does not get involved.      
In this issue of "Prescription," Tom House of Partnership for Professional Wellness (PPW) has written an article "Knowing Your Lab." I consider Tom an expert in the field of drug detection, screening and compliance. Correct interpretation of drug screen results is vital to the OPHP program since we are dealing with human lives and careers. In the OPHP program, drug screens are one of the important tools used to monitor compliance. Someone who manages drug screen results without a clear understanding of the results is very dangerous to a program's credibility. I would like to thank Tom for this informative article. 
Dave Marley, Pharm.D., former executive director of North Carolina Pharmacists Recovery Network, has allowed OPHP to reprint an article he authored "Enabling: When You Can Love Someone to Death!" Although we love someone, it is hard putting in place good healthy boundaries. So difficult at times that it requires professional assistance. Also, Charlie Broussard has allowed OPHP to reprint from his website,, a checklist of symptoms leading to relapse. I would like to thank Dave and Charlie for these two articles for our readers.
Also in this issue, Enterhealth, a treatment center based in Dallas, TX, has allowed OPHP to use an article from their October 2015 newsletter, "The Impact of Chemical Dependency on Society & How to Address the Crisis.
I encourage you, or if you know a pharmacist or student pharmacist you think may be struggling, to call the OPHP Help Line now.  I assure you it is the best thing you could do for a family member, friend, colleague or yourself. 

OPHP Helpline:
1-800-260-7574 x 5773 (statewide)
405-557-5773 (local)
KnowingLabKnowing Your Lab
By Thomas R. House  |  Compliance Consult, PPW

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services regulates all laboratory testing (except research) performed on humans in the U.S. through the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). In total, CLIA covers approximately 251,000 laboratory entities. The objective of the CLIA program is to ensure quality laboratory testing. Although all clinical laboratories must be properly certified to receive Medicare or Medicaid payments, CLIA has no direct Medicare or Medicaid program responsibilities.

enablingEnabling: When You Can Love Someone to Death!
By Dave Marley, Pharm.D.  |  Former Executive Director of North Carolina, P.R.N.

In the nine years that I have been working with impaired pharmacists, I have had the pleasure of watching hundreds of seemingly hopeless cases of impaired pharmacists, regain their families and their careers. While my preferred role as Executive Director of the North Carolina Pharmacist Recovery Network, Inc. has always been that of the advocate, assisting in the relicensure of the recovering pharmacist, I've always believed that what we at NCPRN are about is saving pharmacist's lives, not necessarily pharmacy licenses. We always hope that the pharmacist can recover and return to practice. Unfortunately. positive outcomes such as returning a pharmacist to practice are not always the case. In fact, when dealing with an addictive disease, sometimes the outcome is the death of a pharmacist, whether it be from a car accident, accidental overdose, or even suicide.
A Checklist of Symptoms Leading to Relapse

  1. EXHAUSTION: Exhaustion allows yourself to become overly tired or to develop poor health. Much of this is within our control. Some people in recovery are also prone to work addiction, perhaps they are in a hurry to make up for lost time! Good health and enough rest are important. If you feel well, you are more apt to think straight. Feel poorly and your thinking is apt to deteriorate. If you feel badly enough, you might begin to think a drink or a drug "couldn't make it any worse".
  2. DISHONESTY: Dishonesty begins with a pattern of unnecessary little lies and deceits with fellow workers, friends, and family. Out of this may come significant lies to yourself. This is called rationalizing, making excuses for not doing what you do not want to do, or for doing what you know you should not do. Small deceits sow the seeds for major dishonesty.
Impact Of Chemical Dependency On Society & How To Address The Crisis


Substance abuse is a major public health problem that impacts society on multiple levels. Every family and community is affected by alcohol and drug abuse and addiction, either directly or indirectly. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), substance abuse costs our nation more than $484 billion each year. When you compare that to the national annual costs of other chronic diseases, such as cancer at $171.6 billion and diabetes at $131.7 billion, the number is alarming.
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