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Pharmacists with addictions can face job loss and jail


Few people have easier access to controlled substances than licensed pharmacists. After years of education, they have a thorough understanding of the risks posed by different medications, including what combinations of drugs might lead to dangerous interactions and which come with the highest risk of serious side effects.

Unfortunately, it can be easy to ignore all of that knowledge and training when you’re dealing with an addiction. Pharmacists work long hours at a stressful job, and addiction is a common issue among them. California even has a special program specifically to help pharmacists with substance abuse disorders. If a pharmacist gets caught possessing medication outside of work or writing fraudulent prescriptions, they could lose their freedom and their career.

Professional and criminal consequences are possible

Every pharmacist in California has to maintain state licensing to keep their jobs. That means adhering to a very strict professional standard of behavior and avoiding illegal activity, especially in relation to their employment. Pharmacists who write themselves prescriptions or who steal from work could face criminal charges related to drug possession or fraud. They could also lose their professional license.

You have the right to legal representation both when facing criminal charges in court and when defending your license in front of the state board. Some pharmacists who have been accused of professional misconduct related to substance abuse will need to plan a proactive response, which may include voluntarily seeking treatment while they’re waiting for their hearings. Fighting back against accusations of drug law violations will protect pharmacists who want to maintain their careers.

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