I am a residency-trained, American Board of Emergency Medicine–certified emergency physician and proud of it. I have enjoyed a broad and rich clinical practice. Truthfully, as much as I enjoy a challenging trauma or critical care case, no other part of my clinical practice gives me as much professional satisfaction as the work I do running an opioid addiction treatment clinic.
How Did I Wind Up Working with Opioid Addicts?
For years, in my emergency department it seemed that the number of patients seeking opioids through the emergency department was growing exponentially, so in 2012, we implemented a very successful opioid-seeking recidivism reduction program, which dramatically cut ED opioid-seeking visits. However, the rapid rise of heroin abuse and opioid overdose in our community continued.
I then realized that the better way to keep an opioid addict from frequenting the emergency department for drug seeking or dying from an overdose would be to enroll that patient into opioid addiction treatment.