PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY CONCERNING FENTANYL AND FENTANYL-LACED SUBSTANCES

Emergency Medical Services

Peer Assistance Program

The Tennessee Professional Assistance Program (TNPAP) is a voluntary program made available through the Tennessee Board of Emergency Medical Services. The program offers consultation, referral, and monitoring for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Providers whose practice is impaired, or potentially impaired, due to the use of drugs or alcohol, or psychological or physiological condition.

A referral can be made confidentially by an employer, Employee Assistance Program, co-worker, family member, friend, or the practitioner her/himself. If the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Provider is willing to undergo a thorough evaluation to determine the extent of the problem and any treatment needed, all information is kept confidential from the EMS Board and the EMS Provider does not face disciplinary action against his/her professional license.

Addiction is a significant problem among all health care professionals, in all areas of the country. It is a chronic, progressive illness that can be treated effectively. As with all chronic illnesses, the earlier the identification and treatment, the better the prognosis.
Some signs of addiction in EMS Providers are listed below:

  • Mood swings; inappropriate behavior at work; frequent days off for implausible reasons; non-compliance with acceptable policies and procedures; deteriorating appearance; deteriorating job performance; sloppy, illegible charting; errors in charting; alcohol on the breath; forgetfulness; poor judgment, concentration, and lying.
  • Other characteristics of addiction include high achievement, both as a student and an EMS Providers, volunteering for overtime and extra duties, no drug use until prescribed following surgery or a chronic illness, and family history of alcoholism or addiction.

Of course, any of these characteristics may be symptoms of a number of other problems besides addiction.

If you have questions or concerns, contact the Tennessee Professional Assistance Program. The staff is centrally located in Nashville, but will assist with an EMS Provider in any part of the state. TNPAP can also be utilized to provide educational presentations regarding addiction for institutions, professional organizations, EMS educational programs and schools.  You can contact their office for more information or to schedule a presentation.

Tennessee Professional Assistance Program
545 Mainstream Drive, Suite 414
Nashville, TN 37228-1201
Phone: 615-726-4001 or
Toll Free: 1-888-776-0786
Fax: 615-467-6616
Email: www.tnpap.org
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday