21 NCAC 17 .0517             Drug testing and intervention

(a)  When information of suspected impairment of a licensee is received by the Board, the Board shall conduct an investigation and routine inquiries to determine the validity of the report.

(b)  Licensees suspected of impairment may be required to submit to personal interviews if the investigation and inquiries indicate the report may be valid.

(c)  The Board shall have authority to compel a licensee to submit to a mental or physical examination, including drug and blood alcohol testing, by physicians designated by the Board, if there is a reasonable suspicion that the licensee is consuming drugs or alcohol to such an extent or with such frequency as to impair the licensee's ability to practice dietetics or nutrition. The cost of examination shall be borne by the licensee being examined. The failure of a dietitian/nutritionist or nutritionist to submit to such an examination when so directed constitutes an admission that the licensee is unable to deliver dietetics or nutrition services with reasonable skill and safety, upon which a default and a final order may be entered without the taking of testimony or presentation of evidence, unless the failure was due to circumstances beyond the licensee's control. A licensee affected under this Paragraph shall at reasonable intervals be afforded an opportunity to demonstrate that the licensee can resume the competent delivery of dietetics or nutrition services with reasonable skill and safety. Neither the record of the proceedings nor any order of the Board based solely on a licensee's failure to submit to an examination shall be deemed by the Board to constitute a conclusive determination that the licensee engaged in any particular conduct.

(d)  Information received by the Board related to a mental or physical examination of a licensee conducted by a licensed health professional shall remain confidential as a medical record but shall be freely exchanged with the Board or its authorized agents, for the purposes of the investigation.

(e)  Information gathered shall be used to determine whether the licensee is a chronic or persistent user of intoxicants, drugs, or narcotics to the extent that the same impairs their ability to practice dietetics or nutrition.

(f)  The Board may make arrangements for a licensee with impairments to participate in intervention, treatment, and a monitoring program without disciplinary action.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 90‑356;

Eff. January 1, 2023.