I chose the field of addiction medicine because of gratitude. When I entered addiction medicine, the scientific evidence for the efficacy of addiction treatment was published but my own experience was limited. With time and experience working in an OTP, I found that patients were grateful for the help I provided them. By providing treatment I have collected thousands of stories of transformation. Patients who transition from addiction to recovery recognize the gift that they have earned.
There are some patients who succumbed to the disease of addiction. I am grateful to them for sharing their stories with me nonetheless. By joining with me in the treatment process, I have been able to bear witness to their struggle and acknowledge their fundamental humanity. Though the patient may be gone, the gratitude lingers among friends and families.
Nobody wants to suffer from the disease of addiction. However, the authority to treat is an honor that I experience every day no matter the outcome of treatment. Addiction medicine provides hope, healing, and the opportunity for change.