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The Professional Assistance Program (PAP) assists professionals who have substance abuse problems, but who have not harmed patients or clients. Such professionals may voluntarily surrender their licenses while receiving treatment rather than face charges of professional misconduct. All applications to the program are confidential.

A three-member panel of the Committee for Professional Assistance interviews applicants for admission to PAP and considers petitions for license restoration. A member of the State Board for the profession of the licensee whose case is being considered is also present to help address issues which may be specific to that profession. The meetings are informal and confidential, and no transcript is made.

The criteria for admission to the PAP include:

  • total abstinence from all mood-altering substances including alcohol;
  • temporary, voluntary surrender of the professional license;
  • participation in treatment at an agency approved by the PAP; and
  • an agreement to be monitored by the PAP for at least two years after reinstatement of the license.

Monitoring includes toxicology reports, work-site reports, and random observed drug screens at specified frequencies. Other conditions may apply as appropriate to the individual situation and the recommendations of the treatment provider.

Learn more about the benefits of the PAP by viewing this Public Service Announcement.


For further information to help yourself, a colleague, or a friend, telephone or write the Professional Assistance Program at:

Professional Assistance Program
80 Wolf Road
Suite 204
Albany, New York 12205-2643
518-485-9380 (voice)
518-485-9378 (fax)

The application forms, instructions, and related information are available here (89 KB).

The PAP Brochure is available here (934 KB).

The SPAN Brochure is available here (94 KB).

SPAN, the Statewide Peer Assistance for Nurses program is a resource for RNs coping with chemical dependency (alcoholism and/or drug addiction) problems, SPAN's assistance is provided in the areas of identification, education and prevention.  SPAN's Confidential HELPline: 800.45.SPAN.1 [800.457.7261] (toll-free in New York/New Jersey) 518.782.9400, ext. 265 (all other states), or

The Committee for Physician Health, a division of the Medical Society of the State of New York, operates a similar program for physicians, physician assistants, and specialist assistants affected by substance abuse, mental health problems, and cognitive disorders.

Committee for Physician Health
99 Washington Avenue, Suite 410
Albany, NY 12210
Phone: 518-436-4723 or, in state, 1-800-338-1833
Fax: 518-436-7943

The CPH Brochure is available here (405 KB).