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Well-Being Program

The Well-Being Program exists to assist dental community members who suffer from alcohol and/or chemical dependency. It’s also a referral source for other disorders such as Bipolar, depression, diabetes, glaucoma, Parkinson’s, sexual addiction and sexual boundary issues. Assistance is offered through component and regional well-being committees who encourage individuals to seek treatment needed to preserve their life, privilege to practice dentistry and maintain public safety. 

If you believe someone has an alcohol or chemical dependency problem, contact CDA or a regional Well-Being committee near you for confidential assistance.

Download the brochure here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is chemical dependency?

It’s an illness or disease characterized by addiction to a mood-altering chemical, including both drug addiction and alcoholism. The dependent person is unable to stop drinking or taking a particular drug despite serious consequences. If left untreated, it is progressive and chronic. Sadly, it can also ruin the lives, careers and the health of dental professionals as well as compromise patients’ safety. 

What are the warning signs?

Warning signs include, but are not limited to:

  • Frequently lateness or absenteeism from work 
  • Difficulty meeting scheduled appointments or deadlines 
  • Impaired motor coordination 
  • Prescribing large doses of controlled substances 
  • Frequent and prolonged bathroom breaks; periods of isolation 
  • Obvious physical changes; lack of attention to hygiene or appearance 
  • Dramatic mood swings 
  • Unexplained family and/or financial difficulties 
  • Decline in quality of care; exercising poor judgments 
  • Slurred speech 
How do I refer?

To learn more about the Well-Being program or to make a confidential referral, contact your local dental society or a Well-Being committee near you: 

Will my referral be kept confidential?

Yes, unless you advise the committee otherwise.

What happens next?

An investigation will take place to determine the validity of the claim. If accurate, an intervention will be facilitated and, if necessary, the individual will be referred to a professional evaluation team for a treatment recommendation. A contract will then be drawn between the individual and the Well-Being committee.

Will the Dental Board be informed?

As long as an individual complies with the recommended treatment/monitoring and there are no issues regarding patient safety, the Board will not be notified.

What treatment is available?

Available treatments include:

  • Individual, group and family counseling 
  • 12-step group involvement (e.g., Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous)
  • Education to address the individual’s physical, mental and emotional needs 
How does the program work?

Confidential peer-to-peer support and professional assistance is provided through assessment, treatment, recovery and monitoring. The program aims to help individuals restore dignity and self-respect, provide an opportunity to gain support from fellow dental professionals in recovery and maintain quality health care along with the safety of the general public through ongoing monitoring.

How are members of the Well-Being committees chosen?

The committee is composed of volunteer member dentists, allied dental health professionals and dental society staff who are selected for their specific experience, expertise and willingness to serve. We also try to find those with similar experience or pertinent knowledge.

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