Why Does This Doctor Talk about His Addiction? Because “Secrets Make You Sick”

[The following post by Dr. Peter Grinspoon has been shared with us by Harvard Health Publishing after originally appeared on their website in May of 2019.]

Going Public with Sobriety…

 

Alcoholism is hardly a rare disorder in the United States. According to recent studies, 12.7% of adult Americans currently suffer from alcohol use disorder, more commonly known as alcoholism; according to other studies, 29% will meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder at some point during their adult lives.

If you add drugs to the mix, addiction (substance use disorder, including alcoholism) is even more common: it is estimated that in 2015, 20.8 million Americans met criteria for a substance use disorder within the prior year.

Given how common this problem is, one might think addiction would be readily accepted by our society, and that all one would have to do in order to get support is to admit one’s problem and ask for help. Right? Continue reading “Why Does This Doctor Talk about His Addiction? Because “Secrets Make You Sick””

The Orphaned Patient: Treating Chronic Pain with Opioids

By Peter Grinspoon, M.D.
February 1, 2018

[Part 1 of a 3-part series.]

The commonly cited proverb, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” was coined in the twelfth century by a French abbot named Bernard of Clairvaux. In no case is this adage more apt than as applies to chronic pain patients, who have been cut off from their longstanding and stable supplies of opiates by physicians who have been convinced, cajoled, intimidated, mandated, and cowed into no longer prescribing high-dose opiates for chronic pain patients in response to the current opiate epidemic. Continue reading “The Orphaned Patient: Treating Chronic Pain with Opioids”

A Primary Care Doctor Delves into the Opioid Epidemic

November 14, 2017

[The following post by Monique Tello, MD, MPH, has been shared with us by Harvard Health Publishing, having originally appeared on their website in February 2017.]

Our nephew Christopher died of a heroin overdose in October 2013. It had started with pain pills and experimentation, and was fueled by deep grief. He was charismatic, lovable, a favorite uncle, and a hero to all the children in his life. His death too young was a huge loss to our family. I have always felt that I didn’t do enough to help prevent it, and perhaps, in a way, even contributed. Continue reading “A Primary Care Doctor Delves into the Opioid Epidemic”

National Recovery Month: Jack’s Story

“I used to follow the signs on the highway to find a hospital, and I would fake an injury.”

Every day, we hear distressing news about the impact of the opioid epidemic on our communities and on our loved ones, but this month we are focusing on something positive—recovery.

Each year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) designates September as National Recovery Month, and we are encouraged to turn our attention toward stories of hope instead of despair.

Several courageous individuals recently shared their personal stories of opioid addiction and recovery with Harvard Medical School to inspire more healthcare providers to treat opioid use disorder patients. Jack’s story is the third of three inspirational patient videos we are sharing with you in recognition of National Recovery Month:

After 13 years in recovery, Jack Kelly is now the chief addiction policy advisor to the Boston City Council. and has a mobile app called iRecover which connects people with drug and alcohol use disorders to the resources they need for recovery help.


Jack’s story is part of HMS Global Academy’s Opioid Use Disorder Education Program—an accredited, free, online medical education program intended for nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians, and other healthcare professionals collaborating to treat patients with substance use disorder. We encourage you to click on the link above to learn more about the program, and to share this valuable resource with other healthcare providers.

Together, we hope to bring healing and recovery to our communities.


[View Shannon’s Story. View Bugzy’s story.]

National Recovery Month: Bugzy’s Story

September 21, 2017

Once I started to change who I hang with, what activities I did, because of that new state of mind, I was making the right choices, and I moved forward.

Every day, we hear distressing news about the impact of the opioid epidemic on our communities and on our loved ones, but this month we are focusing on something positive—recovery.

Each year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) designates September as National Recovery Month, and we are encouraged to turn our attention toward stories of hope instead of despair.

Several courageous individuals recently shared their personal stories of opioid addiction and recovery with Harvard Medical School to inspire more healthcare providers to treat opioid use disorder patients. Bugzy’s story is the second of three of these short inspirational patient videos we are sharing with you in recognition of National Recovery Month:

Jose Matine, nicknamed Bugzy, is the proud owner of the Canal St. Gym in Lawrence, Ma., a nonprofit boxing gym that has produced multiple champions.


Bugzy’s story is part of the HMS Global Academy’s Opioid Use Disorder Education Program—an accredited, free, online medical education program intended for nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians, and other healthcare professionals collaborating to treat patients with substance use disorder. We encourage you to click on the link above to learn more, and to share this valuable resource with other healthcare providers.

Together, we hope to bring healing and recovery to our communities.


For further inspiration, view Shannon’s Story. Jack’s story will be published on Sept. 28th. Follow this blog to receive an email notification of the post.

National Recovery Month: Shannon’s Story

“There’s so many people who are going to be remembered for how they died because they overdosed, and I want to be remembered for how I lived.”

Every day, we hear distressing news about the impact of the opioid epidemic on our communities and on our loved ones, but this month we are focusing on something positive—recovery.

Each year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) designates September as National Recovery Month, and we are encouraged to turn our attention toward stories of hope instead of despair.

Several courageous individuals recently shared their personal stories of opioid addiction and recovery with Harvard Medical School to inspire more healthcare providers to become educated on how to better identify and treat opioid use disorder patients. The following video is the first of three short, moving patient stories we are sharing with you in recognition of National Recovery Month:

Shannon is now a certified recovery coach and community health educator currently serving as the community outreach coordinator for the Charlestown Coalition.


Shannon’s story is part of HMS Global Academy’s Opioid Use Disorder Education Program—an accredited, free, online medical education program intended for nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians, and other healthcare professionals collaborating to treat patients with opioid use disorder. We encourage you to click on the link above to learn more, and to share this valuable resource with other healthcare providers.

Together, we can bring healing and recovery to our communities.



Follow this blog to view Bugzy’s Story and Jack’s Story, which will be published in the coming weeks.