Nearly three dozen Virginia health professionals have lost their medical licenses – the state’s harshest penalty – due to opioid abuse or irresponsible prescribing over the last two decades.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that a review of documents related to the 80 license revocations between 1998 and 2018 found that at least 34, or about 42%, involved opioids.
About half of the 46 revocations in the past decade fell into that category. Some coincided with other issues like sexual misconduct or financial fraud.
Health providers in Virginia can enroll in the Health Practitioners Monitoring Program, allowing them to get treatment and undergo regular drug testing without losing their license.
Information about its participants isn’t public unless they go on to experience disciplinary action or criminal cases.