It has been two years since I successfully completed monitoring.
Much of what I could add has already been said but I can add one thing.
The last month of my monitoring, I test positive for alcohol (I did not consume). I went from getting ready to complete to limbo, quickly. My caseworker's attitude towards me changed. I kept hearing "we have to discuss this" and "continue monitoring for now" for weeks, during which they decide to do an ETG on the original positive result. This allegedly was positive. I kept pressing for resolution. During these extra weeks I was tested again, which was negative. They continued to string me along, until one day I contacted the program director to inquire into my finishing the program. He contacted me back, stating that the ETG was NEGATIVE and I would be successfully discharged within a few hours. I was, but before the final papers were sent I also requested a copy of that ETG, and downloaded all my other test results.
All those weeks of worry. Those that are on the other end have no idea how much worry. The second guessing one's self, the sheer panic (how did this happen? I have not used or drank, but THESE PEOPLE THINK I'M LYING, etc), and the evasion on the part of my case worker. The case worker that probably didn't even know how to read the test! The test in question, on the results, was VERY OBVIOUSLY negative.
I know that for some, these programs are lifesaving. But there are many, many problems that really need to be addressed...but who's going to do it? Nurses are likely not going to, because that would make them "troublemakers" and put a target on their back.
There needs to be real accountability and oversight in state governments for these programs. I'm not just talking about the Board of Nursing. There needs to be an advocate for nurses (and other professionals) that are caught in the no win situations these programs create, within the state government, that is not connected to either the program or the Boards, that can intervene in these situations on their behalf. I do not mean a lawyer. I mean an office within the government that can help the nurse and is accountable to the citizens of that state.
These programs are out of control. The casualties are plenty on this forum.