A Message from the Impaired Practitioner Review Committee
You made it through Thanksgiving with a smile. And now comes the holiday doubleheader of Christmas and New Year’s when most everyone seems to ooze good cheer and merriment.
All of us deserve the richness of life, restoration and connection that the holiday season can bring. For many, the end of the year brings images of happy families gathered around a Christmas tree, big dinners of turkey and stuffing, holiday music, and cozy fires. For others, the holidays can be a much darker and more difficult time – a time of family conflict, financial strain, loneliness, grief, or depression.
If you find the holidays to be an emotionally difficult time, you are certainly not alone. A Google search for “grief and the holidays” shows nearly 2.2 million results. In 2021 more people searched for “how to heal“ than ever before. During two years of the pandemic the world has felt the emotional and spiritual struggle that is so often part of both addiction and mental wellness. The emotional strains of the holidays and winter weather take a grave toll, the CDC reports that alcohol-and-drug-induced deaths spike during the holiday months of December and January.
For a safe and happy holiday, it’s important to be aware of the dangers, triggers, and strategies needed to keep anxiety, depression, stress, and addiction under control. If it all gets to be too much, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.
The Iowa Dental Board established the Iowa Practitioner Review Committee (IPRC) to evaluate, assist and monitor the recovery or rehabilitation of dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants who self-report possible impairments.”Impairment" means an inability to practice dentistry, dental hygiene, or dental assisting with reasonable safety and skill as a result of alcohol or drug abuse, dependency, or addiction, or any mental or physical disorder or disability.
The Iowa Practitioner Program is designed to encourage practitioners who have impairments to get the help they need.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or feelings of loneliness, anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts throughout this time, there are resources to help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- Iowa Concern Hotline (800)447-1985
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800)273-8255 or text TALK to 741741
- Your Life Iowa (855)581-811 or text (855)895-8398
- Iowa Practitioner Program (515)281-5157
- SAMHSA Treatment Helpline (800)662-4357
- Poison Control (800)222-1222
If you’re personally having a hard time with addiction during the holidays, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation offers virtual meetings for alcoholic and narcotics anonymous groups seven days a week.
Wishing you peace, hope and joy this holiday season.
Tiffany Allison, Associate Director & Impaired Practitioner Review Committee