History continued

The group of pharmacists who were interested met several times. By-laws were drawn up as well as prototypes for contracts that new members would sign. The by-laws created the Executive Board for governing and the Impaired Pharmacists Committee to deal with compliance of contractees.

Alot of mistakes were made and the whole process was a learning experience. At first, the organization had contractees sign a two year contract which was later extended to four years and then finally to five years. It was decided that each contractee would have a contact person (someone in the group with a period of sobriety to sponsor that person and be in close contact with that person). At first this sponsor was responsible for calling urine drug screens but this proved to be a problem because of the close relationship between the two. Then certain members of the group were given the responsibility of calling the screens. Finally, MARP decided to hire a third party to do the calling.

Today, MARP is still a viable group responsible for the monitoring of approximately fourty five pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. We meet monthly in Jackson and now have support group meetings held weekly in Jackson and twice a month in Meridian, Batesville, Tupelo, Biloxi and in Hattiesburg. We have an office complete with a modem computer and a part time secretary. MARP conducts a seminar in one of the latter months of the year dealing with some aspect of addiction. The seminar is approved by ACPE for continuing education contact hours for pharmacists and other groups. We have participated in seminars throughout the country that deal with addiction and supplied them with updates on our program. We have a contract with the Board of Pharmacy which enables us to receive state funds every year for our operating expenses.

The Mississippi Association of Recovering Pharmacists has for over twenty five years provided quality monitoring for the impaired pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in Mississippi and extensive education to the friends and families of those with addiction problems. We provide assistance to the impaired pharmacists without being punitive. We feel we have grown up and frankly we feel we are the future.