In a groundbreaking case that could help to define the rights of recovering drug addicts, a federal judge in Scranton has ruled that the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing must answer a lawsuit that says the agency has a secret, unwritten policy that forbids any nurse from holding a license while receiving methadone treatment for a chronic opioid addiction.

Requiring nurses who are recovering from heroin addiction to prove that they are “weaned” from methadone may be found to violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, U.S. District Judge James M. Munley held in Reynolds v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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