1. The SWOSU/OPHP Student Policy
The College of Pharmacy has created a College of Pharmacy Chemical Dependency Committee (known as the COPCDC). Composed of the Associate Dean, faculty and student members, the COPCDC works with Oklahoma Pharmacists Helping Pharmacists (OPHP) and the Oklahoma Board of Pharmacy to help with students who have Chemical Dependency (CD) problems. The objective behind this policy is to intervene and help students through the disease process of CD. The State Board of Pharmacy recognizes this policy.
2. How the Process Works with OPHP
The pharmacy student who feels s/he may be impaired or a concerned other person calls or contacts the COPCDC designated Faculty liaison, student (peers) or OPHP directly. If the COPCDC is contacted first, OPHP is contacted after the contact has been verified. Once OPHP has been notified, the College of Pharmacy faculty are not involved in the process. OPHP performs the initial intervention, which may include an observed urinalysis or a drug screen.
This initial process, called an Evaluation and Referral (E & R), is paid for by the OPHP Program. During the E&R, the individual is evaluated by a CD professional who is certified to evaluate CD cases. The professional is the person who decides if a CD problem exists. If treatment is recommended, OPHP sends a contract for the individual to sign and return that will indicate to the student what conditions must be met in order to remain in the OPHP Program and negate the need for the Board of Pharmacy or the COP to take any action. The individual must begin a treatment suited to his/her needs at this time. Treatment is at the expense of the student. An OPHP liaison/mentor is assigned to the case who will visit with the student on a regular basis to offer support and encouragement.
Progress is monitored throughout the treatment and aftercare phase. As long as the individual adheres to the contract, both the COP and the Board stay out of the picture. An OPHP contract does not absolve the student of personal responsibility for his/her actions. Students will have to answer to other legal agencies not connected with the pharmacy profession if these agencies choose to get involved, i.e., law enforcement.
Contracts last for the duration of pharmacy school and continue into practice. IF the student under contract moves out of state upon graduation, that state’s impaired pharmacist organization is contacted.