Navy Healthcare Provider Cleared of Drug Offenses

A Naval Officer and healthcare provider self-enrolled in a rehabilitation program for an increasing dependence on sleep medication.  While enrolled in the program, the officer continued to test positive for the metabolite for the sleep medication, leading her providers to believe that the officer was continuing to abuse the drug.  Further, the officer also tested positive for an anti-seizure medication, which led to her removal from the rehabilitation program.  The Navy initiated proceedings to revoke the officer’s privileges to practice medicine within the Navy.  The officer retained JAG Defense to represent her through this process.  At her subsequent Peer Review Panel, we presented the testimony of two forensic toxicologists to demonstrate that our client’s continued positive urinalysis tests were due to the metabolite for the sleep medication lingering in her body due to longterm abuse prior to entering the rehabilitation program.  In addition, we presented evidence and testimony of numerous other individuals in the rehabilitation program who inexplicably tested positive for the same anti-seizure medication.  We also challenged the reliability of the testing program due to its lack of a formal chain of custody and the employment of a civilian laboratory, rather than a DoD testing laboratory.  Result: The Peer Review Panel unanimously found that none of the bases for the adverse privileging action were substantiated and our client was awarded full privileges.