I treat addiction because my heart aches every day for the loss of my son Daniel who accidentally overdosed on U47700, on August 15, 2016. I am treating addiction because it is all I can do to help heal myself and those hurting so badly as a result of this disease. I treat addiction because the need to provide compassionate care and change the entire paradigm surrounding substance abuse is overwhelming. After being told by the police investigator that Daniel had bought this ‘research chemical’ online legally from a website in China, in disbelief, I immediately asked how could that be, and what I could do about it. Since that time, I have been reading and researching about the opioid epidemic and addiction constantly. Although my first approach was to try to make change through my state legislation, I have come to the conclusion that a more grassroots approach of treating those with substance use disorder, while simultaneously educating medical professionals, community leaders, and everyone else, will give me the opportunity to make a meaningful difference.
I contacted the ASAM office looking for contacts to help me find where I could direct my energy and commitment to saving at least one life. I was met with open arms and immediately obtained my Buprenorphine waiver. I continue to be shocked at how the government, the legal system, and more shamefully, my own medical community is failing to acknowledge this crisis. I treat addiction because as a doctor, a human being, and a father, I have no choice!