Articles  |   February 2015
An Anesthesiologist’s Journey with Substance Use Disorder
Article Information
Pain Medicine / Pediatric Anesthesia / Pharmacology / Renal and Urinary Systems / Electrolyte Balance / Articles
Articles   |   February 2015
An Anesthesiologist’s Journey with Substance Use Disorder
ASA Monitor 02 2015, Vol.79, 47.
ASA Monitor 02 2015, Vol.79, 47.
One day, I self-medicated my physical pain with intranasal fentanyl, a mistake I will never forget. At the time, I had been in anesthesiology private practice for 18 years, 12 of which as medical director of the department.
Over the course of the following months, I experienced a relentless drag into an agonizing addiction, to a dark place with no perceivable way out. Suicidal thoughts often emerged. At the same time, despite the intense drive to acquire and use the drug, my outside appearance was normal. None of my colleagues, family or wife knew what was happening to me.
My lifeline eventually came in the form of a workplace intervention, following a nurse’s eyewitness account to one of my partners. As I was being driven by the interventionalist to the inpatient treatment facility, even with my professional life obviously in a tailspin, I felt immense relief; the great lie was over, and I was safe.
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