How do you know if you have an opioid problem?

Anyone can develop an addiction to painkillers. Doctors, nurses and all healthcare professionals are tasked with monitoring patients to whom opioids are prescribed. We hear news stories about pill mills, billing fraud and monitoring programs to keep patients safe and prevent drug diversion and downstream black market sales. Meanwhile, who is monitoring the healthcare professionals up stream? It is too easy to imagine what an addict looks like or where they are getting their pain killers, sometimes it is harder to look right in the mirror.

People with abuse and addiction propensities may not be aware of the stronghold opioids can take on someone’s life. It is said that at stages of addiction the synapses are not firing the same and judgment can be impaired. The moment of realization of not being able to quit taking opioids can certainly be one of shock, fear and loss of control.

You might be able to stop for a day or more, maybe a week or two. Without getting proper detox and rehabilitative care, the cycle of use and addiction is not likely to stop on its own. Once people accept that they have no control over the addiction it can be easier to ask for help, especially when they can accept with the help of others that it is not their fault and it is a disease, from which they can be cured.

Not everyone who uses opioids safely and under a physician’s monitoring is or will become addicted. There are a few signs and symptoms of which to be aware.

Salem, Virginia’s Mount Regis Center for hope, treatment and recovery shares a list of symptoms of opioid addiction as follows, noting that not all individuals with addiction will display all the symptoms. That said, the following are common[i]:

“Mood symptoms:

  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Euphoric mood for a few hours
  • Irritability

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Forging prescriptions for opiates
  • Stealing narcotics from friends and family
  • Robbing pharmacies and other medication dispensaries
  • Not fulfilling familial and other responsibilities
  • Decreased performance at job or school
  • Preoccupation with obtaining, using, and recovering from usage of opiates
  • Lying to others to cover the amount of drug taken
  • Withdrawing from once-pleasurable activities
  • Social isolation
  • Restlessness
  • Lethargy

Physical symptoms:

  • Exhaustion
  • Pain relief
  • Respiratory depression
  • Sedation
  • Muscle spasms
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Constipation
  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

Psychological symptoms:

  • Addiction
  • Memory problems
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Paranoia
  • Worsening of mental health
  • Decrease in emotional well-being
  • Increase in symptoms of mental illness”

The article about opioid abuse and addiction is worth your review and covers co-occurring disorders, statistics, causes, symptoms and the effects of opioid withdrawal.

The more we learn and share about addiction, the more proactive we all may be in helping our family, friends and colleagues when we see someone may be in trouble and not know why.

About us: Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C. is a health law, litigation and licensing firm in Chicago representing individuals, healthcare professionals and organizations with civil legal matters as well as professional licensing and regulation.

Chicago health law and litigation attorney Michael V. Favia and his associates in several locations and disciplines, advise and represent private individuals as well as healthcare professionals in all types of litigation and administrative matters involving licensing and regulatory agencies.

Michael V. Favia and Associates, P.C. represents individual physicians and health care organizations in the Chicago area with a variety of legal matters. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. Michael V. Favia & Associates is available at (773) 631-4580. Please visit www.favialawfirm.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You can also review endorsements and recommendations for Michael V. Favia on his Avvo.com profile and on LinkedIn.

 

[i] Mount Regis Center website, Opiates – effects signs and symptoms

Advertisements

Financial services industry and IDFPR issue prevention and regulation – Podcast

Jordan Matyas

Jordan Matyas, Attorney of Counsel to Michael V. Favia & Associates 

Today’s interview with Illinois licensing and regulation attorney, Jordan Matyas, focuses on the financial services industry and regulation by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) and its Division of Financial Institutions.  In addition to working with financial businesses in defending and responding to regulatory inquiries and discipline, Mr. Matyas also works with companies proactively, to spot issues and prevent potential regulatory infractions.

Please use this link to listen to the podcast

Topics covered in this 30-minute interview:       

  • Overview of common financial industry regulatory complaints and issues;
  • How consumer financial providers can prevent legal and regulatory infractions;
  • Tips on best steps to take if ever contacted by the IDFPR or similar agency;
  • The general process through which IDFPR investigates and disciplines licensees.

Jordan Matyas, Principal of Matyas Law Firm, and an attorney of counsel to Michael V. Favia & Associates, who works with Illinois consumer financial businesses on administrative, litigation and regulatory issues. A former employee of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Matyas has independent knowledge of the Department and how its Division of Financial Institutions operate. Matyas earned his Juris Doctorate from The John Marshall Law School and his Bachelor of Arts from The George Washington University.

# # #

Michael V. Favia & Associates are available to advise and represent healthcare professionals and the general Chicagoland community with a variety of legal issues. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburbs, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion.

For more about Michael V. Favia & Associates’ professional licensing work, please call (773) 631-4580, visit www.IL-Licensing.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You may also connect with Attorney Michael V. Favia on LinkedIn and on Avvo.com where you may also read client endorsements and reviews.

How safe is your day or med spa, and what do you know about regulations?

Illinois LicenseTechnology has increased the options in cosmetic health and wellness beyond the days of plastic surgery being the main alternative procedure when face creams and treatments fail to do the job. Today we can go to an esthetician at a medical spa for laser treatments and Botox injections with as much ease as going to get a haircut. While Day and Med Spas are becoming increasingly popular, so are the occasional news report of a problem with a service or treatment. Would you know whether the person performing skin laser treatments is required to be licensed and at what level? Is the person working with you covered by their malpractice insurance? To whom would you make a complaint? The more information we know about the law and Med Spas, the better we can use these facilities and share knowledge with one another.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Responsibility (IDFPR) regulates medical spas.

There are several Esthetician[i] professions regulated and licensed by the IDFPR. These state licensed health and wellness professionals must complete specific education requirements and pass state required examinations to obtain their professional license required to practice.

Esthetic services provided at day and med spas are “treatments that affect layers of skin below the surface or treatments that affect other soft tissues of the body, or which are injected (Botox) or removed from the body (liposuction) are medical procedures that which require direct medical supervision. These procedures should only be performed by a licensed cosmetologist or esthetician.

What may happen when injuries or damages occur at a med spa?

In 2010, the IDFPR issued a news release warning the public to be more aware of spa treatments that can be performed by a licensed cosmetologist or an esthetician.[ii] With an increase in day and med spas, there are more people new to using these types of services, who may be at risk of “infections or injuries caused by untrained or unsupervised attendings performing what, in some cases, are actual medical procedures.[iii]

In the event of injury or infection, a patient may seek reimbursement for damages directly or through and insurance claim or lawsuit. If the damages are a result of medical procedures performed by an untrained or unsupervised attendant, and not the licensed cosmetologist or esthetician, there could be additional investigations and discipline on the behalf of the state, through the IDFPR and other authorized agencies.

About the American Med Spa Association and its resources

To learn more about the day and med spa treatments, particularly those considered medical procedures requiring a licensed esthetic professional, the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa) website for Illinois offers answers to frequently asked questions by the consumers of day and med spa services. The site covers issues involving federal, state and local laws and regulations, as well as FDA and DEA information about the substances and products used in treatments.

If you have more questions about day and med spas in Illinois and want to learn more, contact the health law firm of Michael V. Favia & Associates in Chicago.

About us: Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C. is a health law, litigation and licensing firm in Chicago representing individuals, healthcare professionals and organizations with civil legal matters as well as professional licensing and regulation.

Chicago health law and litigation attorney Michael V. Favia and his associates in several locations and disciplines, advise and represent private individuals as well as healthcare professionals in all types of litigation and administrative matters involving licensing and regulatory agencies.

Michael V. Favia and Associates, P.C. represents individual physicians and health care organizations in the Chicago area with a variety of legal matters. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. Michael V. Favia & Associates is available at (773) 631-4580. Please visit www.favialawfirm.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You can also review endorsements and recommendations for Michael V. Favia on his Avvo.com profile and on LinkedIn.

 

 

[i] “The practice of esthetics covers a wide array of techniques that may include (but certainly is not limited to) steaming, waxing, extraction, chemical peels, and pore cleansing.” http://www.estheticianedu.org/what-is-an-esthetician/

[ii] IDFPR News Release: State Warns Holiday Shoppers to Remember: Safety First, Many Day and Med Spa Treatments Need Doctor Supervision. Dated December 15, 2010.

[iii] See HNii above.

Licensed healthcare professionals can also suffer and recover from opiate abuse and addiction

Opiate addiction is something that can sneak up on good people who might not realize they are becoming dependent on painkillers. People from all walks of life are prescribed an opiate or opioid narcotic for pain management following for injuries and chronic conditions. Like other addictions, an opiate use can turn into abuse and reliance on the drugs. Many people who suffer from opiate abuse and addiction report that they did not think they had a problem and would go for days without using opiates, assuming they were able to stop at any time.

Healthcare professionals may have a unique risk of opiate abuse and addiction

Physicians and healthcare professionals may be particularly likely to manage their own use of opiate narcotics and one day realize they are on the way to or are already hooked. For many, the opiates seem to sneak up on them without the user noticing anything because the neurotransmitters in the brain and the systems affected by opiate drugs are altered; the user is not thinking normally.

The healthcare industry can be notably stressful and physicians and professionals must be disciplined and resilient to that which might be too difficult for others to manage daily. Knowing you may be a tough doctor or nurse might give you the illusion that you may be in a better position to get the use of opiates under control, even though you might not be able to manage the addiction on your own.

The causes of opiate addiction are variable among several factors, some of which might not be within the control of the individual experiencing addiction.[i]

  • Genetic: Some of us are pre-disposed to addiction through our genetic makeup. When immediate family members and close relatives have addictions, those close in relation are often more likely to also suffer from abuse and addiction. This is not always the case, however and within a family some may “have the gene” while others do not.

 

  • Biological: Some of us naturally lack the endorphins necessary to trigger the right responses in our brains and central nervous systems, impacting our physiology. When introduced to our systems, certain people respond very well to opioids to remedy an underlying neurotransmitter deficit.

 

  • Environmental: What we experience as children can significantly influence our likelihood of certain behaviors as adults. The children who grow up with substance abuse and addiction are more likely to use substances and are more prone to addiction themselves.

 

  • Psychological: In the event one may be suffering from a mental illness or disorder, one may not be thinking clearly when using addictive narcotics to self-medicate other symptoms. There is a common correlation between mental health and propensity for addiction.

Opiate abuse and addiction can be cured and underlying causes and symptoms can be addressed.

Licensed professionals with their livelihood on the line may be more likely to cover up the use, abuse or addiction to opiates. The last thing any physician or nurse wants is to be questioned as to their fitness to practice. Individuals with addiction might be under the effects of narcotics to the extent that they are not making otherwise clear decisions, while some others may be better able to catch and cure a problem.

Too often people fear being looked at like a failure or a weak person. It is important to realize that opiate abuse and addiction is a temporary illness which may not have been avoidable based on causes that are not the healthcare professionals’ fault.

Being proactive with opiate abuse and addiction issues can save a healthcare professional’s career.

In many cases there are options for healthcare professionals to self-report a struggle with abuse or addiction. Being the first to notify your professional licensing and regulatory body, and with representation by a professional licensing attorney, physicians and nurses are likely to experience better results and a reduction in the risk of discipline or adverse action taken against them.

About us: Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C. is a health law, litigation and licensing firm in Chicago representing individuals, healthcare professionals and organizations with civil legal matters as well as professional licensing and regulation.

Chicago health law and litigation attorney Michael V. Favia and his associates in several locations and disciplines, advise and represent private individuals as well as healthcare professionals in all types of litigation and administrative matters involving licensing and regulatory agencies.

Michael V. Favia and Associates, P.C. represents individual physicians and health care organizations in the Chicago area with a variety of legal matters. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. Michael V. Favia & Associates is available at (773) 631-4580. Please visit www.favialawfirm.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You can also review endorsements and recommendations for Michael V. Favia on his Avvo.com profile and on LinkedIn.

 

[i] Mount Regis Center website, Opiate Abuse & Addiction Effects, Signs & Symptoms.

ISBA lawsuit seeks injunction of IDFPR discipline of two attorneys for unauthorized real estate appraisal practice

Illinois Professional Licensing Consultants 5Two Illinois attorneys face potential prosecution by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) but the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction and declaration that IDFPR lacks the authority to regulate certain practices.

At issue in the ISBA complaint filed July 11, 2017 in the Circuit Court of Cook County, is whether the IDFPR acted with authority and appropriately when the Department initiated formal administrative prosecutions of two attorneys in April of this year. The IDFPR alleges that he attorneys engaged in the unauthorized practice of real estate appraisals in two different property tax assessment cases.

Illinois regulates real estate appraisals

The Real Estate Appraisal Licensing Act of 2002 is the controlling law on the regulation of real estate appraisers in Illinois. The legislative intent section of the statute reads in part, “The intent of the General Assembly in enacting this Act is to evaluate the competency of persons engaged in the appraisal of real estate and to license and regulate those persons for the protection of the public.[i]” The IDFPR uses its administrative rules and guidelines in issuing professional licenses to practice real estate appraisals.

At issue is whether the IDFPR was proper in disciplining the two attorneys for practicing real estate appraisal without a license to do so.

Meanwhile, it is a common practice for real estate attorneys to represent their clients before the bodies hearing challenges to real estate tax assessments and valuations. Property owners have a right to challenge the appraised value of their property and reduce their tax burden. The two attorneys in this case filed briefs supporting their clients’ tax challenges to the Property Tax Appeals Board and the DuPage County Board of Review. In its news release on point, the ISBA states, “Neither lawyer purported to submit an appraisal or act as an appraiser.[ii]

The court is likely to receive briefed arguments focused on the scope of the authority of the IDFPR, and what power the Department may have to determine what specific conduct gives rise to a violation. The ISBA contends, “the IDFPR lacks authority to prosecute, discipline, or sanction lawyers for engaging in the practice of law by advocating on behalf of clients in real estate tax assessment proceedings.[iii]

Takeaways for all professionals in Illinois

It is important in any profession to be aware of and compliant with state laws and regulations of professions. Prior to the enactment of The Real Estate Appraisal Licensing Act of 2002 an individual might have been actively engaged and working as a real estate appraiser when the law passed, then requiring the individual to obtain a license from the IDFPR. The regulation of professions may change and adapt with state law and public policy.

Just because one license may be broadly applicable, such as a license to practice law, it does necessarily mean that such licensure applies ubiquitously; regulatory bodies have authority to determine the scope of a professional practice. In this case, the limits of IDFPR authority are being tested.

As there are new developments in this case we will share that news, as many are interested in the outcome of this lawsuit.

About us: Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C. is a health law, litigation and licensing firm in Chicago representing individuals, healthcare professionals and organizations with civil legal matters as well as professional licensing and regulation.

Chicago health law and litigation attorney Michael V. Favia and his associates in several locations and disciplines, advise and represent private individuals as well as healthcare professionals in all types of litigation and administrative matters involving licensing and regulatory agencies.

Michael V. Favia and Associates, P.C. represents individual physicians and health care organizations in the Chicago area with a variety of legal matters. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. Michael V. Favia & Associates is available at (773) 631-4580. Please visit www.favialawfirm.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You can also review endorsements and recommendations for Michael V. Favia on his Avvo.com profile and on LinkedIn.

 

 

 

[i] PROFESSIONS, OCCUPATIONS, AND BUSINESS OPERATIONS

(225 ILCS 458/) Real Estate Appraiser Licensing Act of 2002.

[ii] ISBA, Illinois Lawyer Now, ISBA Files Complaint to Enjoin IDFPR Prosecution of Lawyers.

[iii] See HNii above.

JOIN A SAFE HAVEN JULY 15 – 5K RUN TO END HOMELESSNESS

If you are looking for a way to give back and make a difference to help the homeless get back on their feet this summer, then A Safe Haven has great news! You can join a team and run/walk with A Safe Haven to end homelessness!

A Safe Haven Foundation will host its 7th Annual 5K RUN! To End Homelessness, on Saturday, July 15, 2017 in Chicago’s beautiful Montrose Harbor Grove 16 at 600 W Montrose Harbor Dr., Chicago, IL 60613 starting at 8:30 a.m.

7th Annual 5K RUN! To End Homelessness – Saturday, July 15, 2017

5K Image

The online registration period runs through race day. You may also register for the Kids Fun Run, a free event. Use this link to Register for the A Safe Haven 5K.

A Safe Haven Foundation, established in 1994, uses a sustainable model to help with temporary housing, treatment and recover, education, job training and placement, employee retention and permanent housing. With a roof over your head and three-square meals a day, A Safe Haven program graduates move on to help others. Many of the program participants are veterans and battle addiction, post-traumatic stress and other challenges. Fundraising events like the annual 5k run help put success in reach.

Michael V. Favia is active on the board of directors for A Safe Haven and enjoys helping in supporting community events raising funds and awareness of the causes that affect friends and neighbors in the Chicago area.

# # #

About us: Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C. is a health law and litigation firm in Chicago representing individuals, healthcare professionals and organizations with civil legal matters as well as professional licensing and regulation.

Chicago health law and litigation attorney Michael V. Favia and his associates in several locations and disciplines, advise and represent private individuals as well as healthcare professionals in all types of litigation and administrative matters involving licensing and regulatory agencies.

Michael V. Favia and Associates, P.C. represents individual physicians and health care organizations in the Chicago area with a variety of legal matters. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. Michael V. Favia & Associates is available at (773) 631-4580. Please visit www.favialawfirm.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You can also review endorsements and recommendations for Michael V. Favia on his Avvo.com profile and on LinkedIn.