The Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program (SARP) is a five-year program which exists to assist nurses who have problems with alcohol and/or other drugs to return to practice while protecting the public's health, safety and welfare. The SARP is established in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 112, section 80F, as a voluntary alternative to disciplinary action for nurses who have alcohol and drug problems.
The Board's appointed Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Evaluation Committee (SAREC) believes that
- chemical dependency is a biopsychosocial disease affecting the cognitive, spiritual, emotional and physical being of the individual chemical dependency is a chronic, progressive health problem that responds positively to intervention and treatment
- behavioral change is possible and every nurse has the right to pursue recovery
- relapse prevention is a part of ongoing recovery
- recovering nurses are vital contributors to the health care system
- nurses in recovery, given appropriate adaptations and accommodations, can safely continue or resume the practice of nursing
Length of Program
The SARP is a five-year program, and participation begins on the date that the nurse participant's signed Consent Agreement for SARP Participation (CASP) is also signed by the Board's Deputy Executive Director.
Consent Agreement for SARP Participation (CASP)
Signing this legally-binding document outlining the nurse's individual recovery plan requirements is required of all SARP participants, with the understanding that the Contract is valid for at least five years. Contract requirements include formal therapy, toxicology screening, attending self-help groups, regular self-assessment of the individual's progress in recovery, and stipulations for employment, as well as the use of prescribed and over-the-counter medications. Failure to comply with the terms of the CASP may result in termination from the SARP and referral to the Board for appropriate action.
All files pertaining to a nurse's participation in the SARP are kept strictly confidential. While SARP participation is confidential, communication among the SARP and the licensee, therapist, nurse employers, and other appropriate individuals is necessary, as specified in the CASP.
SARP Participation Outcomes
At the end of the five years of participation, it is expected that participants will be working as nurses without restrictions in practice; that they will be sober and integrated into the recovering community; and that their self-esteem will have been enhanced by their active participation in the rehabilitation program.Click the following link for the complete Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program Participant Handbook. For more information on SARP, please call 617-973-0800.
This information is provided by the Division of Health Professions Licensure within the Department of Public Health.