The chance to take care of others played a large part in my choice to become a healthcare provider. Earning a living by helping people every day—that was my calling. Over the years, I built a thriving practice and was enjoying a wonderful life with my family.
Then in one unforgettable moment, I was faced with a health crisis on the most personal level.
I stumbled across evidence that my own adult son was using opioids. The more I pressed for answers, the worse the situation looked. He was struggling with opioid addiction.
As a father, I was shocked and completely unprepared. As a healthcare provider, I saw a problem and I was determined to take action.
A new journey began for me, a journey I certainly never intended to make. As I looked for ways to help my adult son fight his opioid addiction, I educated myself about the nature of opioid dependence. I wanted to understand the science behind what was happening to him.
Along the way, I studied so exhaustively that I ultimately became board-certified in addiction medicine, completely changing my healthcare specialty. My new life’s work became helping other families discover the treatment that was right for them.
Through my experience, I’ve learned it’s important to understand that opioid addiction is not a lack of willpower. It’s not a matter of moral failure. It is a disease. And it affects two important parts of the brain. If you’re curious about how that works, watch my video, “The Science Behind the Disease of Opioid Addiction.”
In short, it’s time to stop talking about the lack of willpower, guilt or shame, and start talking about treatment options.
One of those options is VIVITROL® (naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension). It's a non-addictive, once-monthly treatment that, when used with counseling, is proven to prevent relapse to opioid dependence, following detox. VIVITROL also helps to reduce cravings. It played an important part in my adult son's battle with opioid addiction and his recovery journey.
Everyone who struggles with addiction needs a plan that’s right for them. As a caregiver, you play a crucial role in helping guide your loved one through treatment options.
Just like you, I was navigating an unfamiliar world of opioid addiction, and it can be very overwhelming. Having a thorough understanding of your options is a great place to begin changing this conversation.
Healthcare Professional Discussion Guide
Wondering how to get the most out of an appointment with a healthcare professional?