You can also contact the American Association of Nurse Attorneys for names of license defense attorneys in Illinois (www.taana.org
). I strongly recommend obtaining at least a consultation with an experienced license defense attorney to be sure your son's rights are protected. He has the right to remain silent, and anything he says to an investigator (police or licensing board) can be used against him. Most boards of nursing do not tell a nurse facing an investigation they are allowed to retain legal counsel. It's difficult to determine if he will face criminal charges at this early date. Obtaining an attorney does NOT in any way prove anything...it does assure your son will have the best shot at a good outcome. Many of the recovering nurses on this bulletin board will tell you they wish they had obtained legal counsel.
I also think the recommendation to contact the alternative program in Illinois is an excellent recommendation. If your son is indeed chemically dependent, he's going to need treatment, preferably in a facility with experience in treating health care professionals. The most prominent sign/symptom of the disease of chemical dependence is denial. As I heard one addictionologist say, "This is the only disease in which the person is convinced they don't have it, a majority have to be "caught" before they are diagnosed, and many, many are punished before receiving treatment."
Chemical dependence is a chronic, progressive, potentially fatal disease affecting the brain. The combination of a genetic predisposition, significant stress in their life, and exposure to mood altering chemicals triggers the disease.
I tell every person I meet with this lousy disease...you are not a bad person trying to become good. You have a disease and you want to become healthy.
Keep us posted on how things are going. There is a great deal of experience, strength, and hope here.
Prayers for your son, you, and your entire family.