Besides no one knowing what causes addictions, no one knows what consists of a "good" and effective rehab. Many addicts get perfect recovery without a detox or a rehab. So to mandate a particular rehab, again is absurd. Misconceptions like this run rampant in addictions because of the myths, rituals and superstitions that abound in this entire area unlike any other area of medicine. These myths and superstitions in addictionology are why I call the whole kit and caboodle a religion (the psychological/religious paradigm). Remember, I had gotten sober in 1978 after a 30 day
rehab and was continuously sober for over 8 years between 1978 and 1986. This whole episode was a relapse to begin with and I already had experienced much fact and fiction about addictions and recovery. I was not naïve like the first time addicts who blindly followed the rituals of recovery due to ignorance and fear. Believe it or not, naïve newcomers have a much easier time recovering because they readily buy into the superstition of recovery.
I had already failed in that kind of recovery and needed a new and more realistic approach, one that doesn't exist except in my book. There is vast power in superstitious belief in first time recovery that by necessity isn't present the second time around. This is one of the reasons, I believe, I had such a hard time with this attempt at recovery. In fact, this is the reason why many relapsers either fail to reenter recovery or actually commit suicide; they can't get that old-time religion back after the relapse. It has already failed them once. At the present time there is no realistic alternative so the rehab counselors push the same old spiritualism nonsense on relapsers as they do on newcomers, as if it were real and the only way to get sober. I know I'm blabbing, but getting into recovery is not as straightforward of you might believe; just decide to do it, just want to do it, just do it. It's not like that. It takes a surrender to another person, and there needs to be a person in your vicinity that you trust enough to surrender to. When you're being beaten over the head by people mandating your recovery while threatening you with career related and criminal punishments, betrayed by loved ones and partners in business, people pushing you this way and that or else, as well as being pushed around emotionally and physically by your disease, an addict gets weary and angry. The only succor is the drug even though you know it's against your best interests. It's quite a struggle to get straight and addicts frequently fail a few times in the beginning. When you receive punishments for these failures instead of acceptance and encouragement, it is not hard to just give up and wish for a swift death. Through my many failures these things occurred repeatedly despite my best attempts to get sober. Following the episodes I will now relate, that's what I did. I gave up resigned to die a "junkie." I want to thank all the bastards who helped me reach that point.
The rehab in Virginia was fine. I did three months there and felt pretty good about my recovery when I was discharged. One problem I was having that wasn't dealt with despite my many requests was my relationship with my wife. Although everything else that went down at that time hurt me deeply, including my own self-hatred, so-called remorse, the marriage scared the hell out of me. I was so emotionally out of whack in the relationship it made me crazy. Later, in my own studies of addictions I would realize that I was addicted to my wife; she was a drug to me. This addiction was hurting me more than the drugs and I thought family therapy or something like that would help us (me). Whatever
therapy we got only made it worse. I was always infuriated by the confusion caused by this addiction. I was in relapse the minute I got home from rehab. I won't go into detail about people addiction here, read about it in my book, but it is the most damaging one of all and the most difficult from which to recover. I and we never did recover from it and this addiction caused me to keep relapsing in my drug addiction. People addiction has special recovery
needs. Either both partners (both are people addicts) get into real and separate recovery or the relationship is not only doomed and one or both members may well die or continue to relapse indefinitely. People addiction of one sort or another is the most common cause of relapse and recovery failure in the course of other addictions and is the most nebulously handled part of most addict's recoveries because of the failure of the addictionology and recovery movements to recognize it as a true addiction.
Within two weeks of returning home from the rehab, during the razzmatazz of Christmas, I picked up drugs again. In the rehab I was advised to hook up with the CPH on Long Island to prepare for getting my license back. I contacted them but was using by then and didn't bother following up with the contact. However, they began instituting urine monitoring which I tried to get around but failed to hide my readdiction from them. Months later I was again confronted by the health dept. through my lawyer to reenter rehab or else the health dept. prosecutor was going to turn me over to the DEA. So, back I went. This time, they wanted to add one additional month in their psychiatric hospital and
four months instead of three in the rehab (extra time for a relapse). I had no intention of doing five months there so I tried to negotiate a reasonable (three month) rehab with the director of the program. He pulled intimidation threats on me, "If you don't do exactly what we tell you to we will not advocate for you with the CPH and the health dept. concerning your license." I was willing to do three months, not five, with the added necessity of treatment for me and my wife. What difference did it make to him? If I failed it would be my fault anyway. Why not let me do three months? He refused to allow any compromise. It was not about advocacy or anything to do with my recovery. It was his authority, his power, his expertise, his need for me to obey him. Can you imagine any other kind of doctor reacting this way? Exactly my way or no way? I was already well detoxed so I left in a huff, back to Rockville Centre, hoping to stay clean in A.A. meetings. Before I got home, he had called my wife, without my permission (breaking confidentiality rules), and told her I was coming home "to beat her up." I was actually in a great mood on the way home, looking forward
to getting family therapy at home while getting out of that rehab jail. When I got home, my wife and baby daughter were not there. I went to my parent's house who informed me that the director of the rehab had called my wife and scared the hell out of her. She was in hiding somewhere with our daughter. That totally flipped me out. It made me absolutely crazy. Despite A.A. meetings and attempts to calm down, I was so agitated by my wife addiction
and her being in hiding from a bogus story the rehab director told her out of spite for my leaving his rehab, I picked up again. I later found out that the rehab director was himself in relapse with his own drug addiction at the time he was messing with my case and had been fired. I have yet to receive an apology or an admission of their mistreatment of me from that rehab. I was blamed by the health dept. for leaving that rehab. My story about the rehab director was ignored as part of my "rambling." The addict is always wrong and needs more punishment right?
When I picked up during that debacle, I immediately called the doctor at the CPH, the one who was monitoring my case for future relicensure. I called him because I still needed help. He told me I had two choices: Go to a rehab in Arizona or to a
14 month T.C. (therapeutic community). I took Arizona. I needed support and reassurance. He gave me more threats.
When I got to Arizona, I was detoxed cold turkey for a few days and thrown in with the rest of the rehabbers, most of which were not drug addicts but had all other addictions including many "co-dependents", sex addicts, recovering people going crazy in their recoveries, sexually abused people. In other words, it was a rehab that dealt with all the goofy side issues of addictions not just active drug addicts who have particular
needs to mainly just calm down in a rehab. There were many people there who were "wounded" by addicts and they were all angry as hell at the addicts. It was like a little war there - addicts against victims of addicts. It was messy and abusive to the addicts who were routinely accused of being abusers by these victims of abuse (survivors). There was group and spiritual therapy up the wazzoo and lectures about spousal abuse, sex abuse, and
other stuff that mostly made me feel guilty and crazy. One particularly abusive thing happened to me. Right off the bat I was confronted for smoking in unauthorized locations and was threatened with being shipped off to a sex addiction rehab if I didn't stop being
a smoking criminal. Besides having to smoke only in authorized areas, quite difficult and unnecessary for someone trying to get clean from opiates, we couldn't chew gum, drink real coffee, suck life savers or have any of the usual oral relaxers most of us were used to relying upon while we were just trying not to walk out of this goofy place.
When I was confronted about the smoking, they told me I was also a wife beater and a sex addict (both untrue). I was coersed into acknowledging wife beating despite never injuring my wife in any way, other than yelling, which is considered equal to beating by these wounded rehab therapists. I believe that the CPH doctor, Dr. Blum, the one who had sent me there, had spoken to my wife and had relayed spousal abuse, in her opinion, to the rehab administrators who told the therapists to have me deal with this issue or else. This behavior by my license monitor is unconscionable and illegal besides being immoral and unethical. Yet, these self-righteous bastards do this kind of thing routinely because they see themselves a public saviors and are personally responsible for cleaning up the life of the addicts under their regimes. This kind of abuse is the stuff causing murders and suicides among addicts in rehabs and elsewhere.
I was also forced to join a special group at the rehab for sex addicts. Moreover, they made me wear a sign on my shirt at all times saying I was not allowed to talk to any females at the rehab for the entire stay there. If I were caught breaking any of these rules I would be kicked out.
This was supposed to be place for me to recover from addiction? I was spinning in a tight spiral at that point. This rehab was so abusive to me and my needs, I eventually actually got kicked out because of my demands to speak to my wife. Telephone
privileges were up to the group therapist and the group who voted against me talking to her. This was three days prior to discharge, a discharge I was not ready for anyway because of the bubkus nonsense going on in the rehab instead of helping me just get back into
recovery and organized with my wife for my return home. I was absolutely flaming at that point.
As soon as I packed my bags and left the rehab I went into Tucson and wrote a prescription in a pharmacy for Hycodan and was readdicted, one more time. I was so angry at my wife and Dr. Blum, I went home and gave up on recovery altogether.
When I got home, my wife, who had given me such a hard time over the last two months, returned home as if nothing had happened. I called a friend who was a heroin addict to see where I could get heroin instead of Hycodan because continued use of Hycodan was illegal and I knew that. I didn't want to get arrested for illegal prescriptions. I switched to heroin and being completely warped at that point, just dug a hole to die in and used heroin to help me into a terminal delusion.
Seven months later the DEA broke down my bathroom door while I was shooting up and arrested me for the prescriptions I had written during the time period between having surrendered my license and returning home from Arizona. They found 50 bags of heroin in my pants, I had just bought two days supply, and without realizing what I was doing, told them my whole dreary story. This was all used against me as you might expect them to do. I had no idea I was supposed to clam up. I was arraigned that
afternoon and sent off to the Metropolitan Correction Center that evening as I was going into withdrawal. At that time, the US Attorney promised I would never be a doctor again. I don't know what they did to ensure that, but it has come to pass. That was 11/90. It seems they kept their word.
After two days of no detox and no cigarettes in jail, I saw a doctor who gave me some methadone to relieve my vomiting and writhing. My body hairs finally laid down and went to sleep. Three days later I was allowed to go to my last rehab in Westhampton Beach, LI, my recovery turning point. Aside from the usual treatment nonsense, there actually were some loving and kind people who helped me to start caring about myself. They were mostly ancillary personnel like the janitor, night watchman, and the Rev., a recovering businessman who had gone through similar ostracizing and betrayal experiences who became an addiction minister instead of returning to business. These people helped me finally see I was worth more alive than dead.
At the rehab my lawyer advised me that my wife was divorcing me, and had gotten an order of protection as an attempt to steal my house. Orders of protection against drug addicts can be obtained with no evidence of danger, just ask for one and it's given. My lawyer told me not even to bother fighting it, no use. (This order was later used at my revocation hearing as evidence I was a dangerous and violent person and part of the
reason for revoking my license despite my never putting a hand on my wife. Notwithstanding this order, after I was released, she continued our relationship and even eventually reconciled with me after she was removed from the house by the divorce court. So much for being dangerous. We eventually got divorced, amicably. She and my daughter have their own place.)
Besides this news, my lawyer also told me the feds had taken my automobile under the drug war law that allows impounding of autos from addicts who use it for transporting controlled substances - right, from Brooklyn where I purchased the heroin
to my home where I used it. The DEA actually even tried impounding my house because they suspected (don't ask me how) that I was also a drug dealer - 50 bags of heroin in my pocket, remember? He also told me the negotiations were complete concerning my exit
from the dialysis and medical practice I had made the mistake of making my partners equal partners in. He also extracted his fee from my check book which my wife had given him, $25,000. All of this was just great news. Thanks all.
Following my stint in the rehab I found a house to rent and reentered recovery and A.A. besides being allowed out of jail on $250,000 bail! Alleged murderers get less bail than that. That $250,000 got on my credit report I was later to find out when at a later date I tried to refinance my house. I had been forced to sign a judgment that was filed with the Nassau county clerk's office. I was placed on pretrial probation by the federal court in Uniondale and had to sign in there every day for the next 10 months. The US Attorney told my criminal lawyer that I was facing 2 ½ years jail time for the amount of hycodan
prescriptions I had written and advised me to become an undercover drug stoolie and wear a wire in the city to help them find drug dealers in order for me to get sentencing leniency. I actually got as far as discussing potential jobs for them before my lawyer discovered they had made a mistake calculating my criminal points and actually was probably not facing more than six months and $250,000 fine. So wearing a wire was dropped.
All this for being a doctor drug addict.
During this time, my wife and I were dating and having occasional sex in either house. One time while I was visiting at her (my) house to discuss a dispute over the divorce negotiations and to see my daughter, she called the Rockville Centre police to arrest me for violating the order of protection in front of my daughter and the neighbors. They arrived within 2 minutes and despite no evidence of any altercation, arrested me and took me off to Nassau County jail from which I was released that afternoon after a hearing, promising never to go back to the house. That wasn't enough for my wife and her need for divorce revenge. She called my probation officer about my arrest. He immediately arranged
a hearing in Federal Court to have me incarcerated for violating the terms of my probation. At the hearing, the judge asked if there was any ongoing relationship with my wife as mitigating circumstances for the visit. I told him about the ongoing relationship and her using this as divorce negotiation revenge. He called her in and we had a trial that afternoon. During this makeshift trial, the US Attorney conspired with my wife to make false testimony
against me, that we had no ongoing relationship during that time and that there were no mitigating circumstances for my being at the house that day I was arrested. This was done in front of a federal judge, no less. My lawyer cross examined her about all the times we had been together, mostly the ones where there were witnesses including a weekend at the Plaza when we shopped and enjoyed a Broadway show together, and she lied about them all while the US Attorney sat there with his thumb up his ass. The judge got so angry at her testimony that he dismissed the whole hearing and had me promise not to see her again. I did. Why he didn't punish my wife for perjury and the US Attorney for conspiracy I don't know, but it was obvious to me that this kind of thing happened just too frequently.
This nonsense was getting just too preposterous, but, as I soon found out, it was just the beginning.
You might ask, what the hell am I doing with that woman? Well, that's people addiction. It's just the same as drug addiction except to a person. It's completely irrational and emotionally driven. You think and feel like it's love. You think it's a relationship.
You think it's a marriage. You think it's your child's mother. It's not. It's a delusion driven by an addiction. It's the most painful and panicky addiction among addicts. Spousal abuse actually stems from this addiction. I've written about people addiction extensively in my book, Hypoic's Handbook, because it is so prevalent among addicts and so disastrous as well. Most addicts don't know about it and don't recognize it to be an actual addiction. Nonetheless, it is the most common addiction and the most damaging. It is irresistible
despite personal and family damage. Most of my inability to regain my recovery was due to this addiction. The tragedy of people addiction compounds other addictions into which they all cycle and reverberate. Until this was realized, I was in for more trouble. It took another
few years for me to find this out. But I did finally find it out. Much personal damage was done in the finding out though. The licensing administrations have no concept that this was my main failing, responsible for my many relapses. Since dealing with it thoroughly in my recovery, as well as finding real recovery, which I never had before, my life is a breeze. But that was years in the future.
By three months after discharge from the last rehab, finally clean, I contacted Dr. Blum at the CPH to restart my monitoring and relicensure process. His response was to demand I go to another rehab for eight months, "the right way." I told him that would be abusive and unnecessary. I was OK. My aftercare therapist felt I was doing fine and was ready to start the process of my career rehabilitation. Dr. Blum insisted I at
least get evaluated by the rehab director whom I called about that. He asked me to come down to Mississippi for evaluation to which I agreed. He then added that I would have to stay in their detox for the week. I asked if it would be all right to stay in a motel, he could get urines on me daily, and I would spend the day doing whatever he wanted. No. That wasn't enough. Detox for a week or nothing. I told him no thanks, hung up the phone and cried. I was dead in my own mind. Either I accepted the abuse or had to forget about ever being a doctor again. I didn't believe that he would clear me anyway. I believed he would just find that I needed the eight months of rehab, the evaluation being a ruse. How many mandatory evaluations proved I didn't need what the evaluation was supposed to rule out? None. Never. You get evaluated by biased experts and lo and behold, they find you actually do need their
program. I refused more abuse so I withdrew from the attempt to reenter the CPH program.
I believe that Dr. Blum, a rigid disciplinarian and self-righteous bastard, marked my chart as closed and forever prejudiced my license reinstatement bid in the minds of any future directors of the CPH. Dr. Mansky, the present CPH medical director,
has handled my case, despite my continued recovery and compliance, as if this is that actually happened, but this is skipping ahead too far.
With the CPH out of the way, I had to deal with the probation dept. and my federally mandated "aftercare treatment." I continued to sign in every day and went to
the proscribed treatment. This "treatment" was given by an untrained (as if it mattered anyway) person who was acting merely as a cop for various probation programs in various jurisdictions of the drug war and drunk driving. Why him? They couldn't find a credentialed counselor to do the job. So much for "mandated treatment." Nevertheless, I had to go there in order to fulfill my probation requirements, so there I went. I was also going to A.A. which was my mainstay, but could not find a sponsor who suited me. This would cause future trouble because you can't do recovery thoroughly without one. I knew that, but didn't get a sponsor. I just didn't run in to anyone I cared to have as a sponsor. That was a bad decision and I paid for it.
I was silently suffering, which I thought was normal for someone in my position, so I resigned myself to this feeling. I was impatiently waiting for my sentencing in federal court which I truly feared. Who could relieve me of that fear? No one, I thought.
As it happened, one day that summer I had a very bad day while visiting my daughter at my mother's house. I was living on the north shore of Long Island at the time. I had moved as far away from my wife as possible to decrease the chances of
me impulsively visiting her. But, every time I saw my daughter I would die. I felt so needy for my wife while hating her simultaneously. This day with my daughter was worse than most. Additionally, the sentencing was a week away and my divorce negotiations seemed to demand material things from me which I resented to no end. On the way home from my mother's I stopped at a liquor store and bought pint of booze. Although I had relapsed in 1986 with Hycodan, I hadn't drunk any booze since 1978 when I first got sober. I went home to my rented house in Bayville, the end of the earth, and got drunk. It made me sick and angry. It relieved nothing. Consequently, I went to Brooklyn, the spot, to buy heroin. I snorted half a bag and got pukeingly sick. I stayed sick for two days thereafter. I couldn't get high and couldn't get relief from my panic, anger, and neediness. Stupid me. Get readdicted right before your sentencing. Brilliant. I vowed to stop right then and there but couldn't. I went back to Brooklyn for more and this time got high. Now I was sunk. I had to get off this stuff before court. I couldn't. I went to my sentencing on heroin. Luckily, if you
want to call this luck, at least it wasn't jail time, I received five years probation and a $5000 fine. I was supposed to go directly to probation downstairs but knew if I did they would get a urine and I'd be in jail by the weekend. So I took off to find a detox. It was Friday, late. At about 5 PM I called probation and told them I forgot to show up, so excited was I that I didn't have to go to jail, I forgot. They gave me an appointment for the following week. I had seven days to get clean.
Luckily, I met a guy whom I admired, a counselor from a previous detox, at an A.A. meeting. I called him to help me find a detox and to be my sponsor. While he was working on that, I called my aftercare program also asking for help. That was a BIG mistake. They agreed to hear what I needed as purely confidential. I told them I had picked up heroin and needed to find a detox. They said they couldn't help me, but what they did
do was actually betray me. They called probation and told them I was using. In the meantime, my sponsor found me a detox which I entered and got clean in two days. I had no time to relax there. I had to get out fast and clean. It was hell, but I made it and left. That was Halloween 1991. I've been clean since. When I was called in to probation, I was clean. When they asked me about what the aftercare snitch had told them, I denied it. One of the
rare lies I have ever had to tell; many others I should have told. When you're an addict, believe me, lying is the best policy when dealing with the punishers. Now I get punished for telling the truth. That's why I'm writing this article instead of practicing, because I couldn't tell the powers that be in a convincing fashion, in other words lie convincingly, that I was a bad boy and would promise to be good. In all honesty, however, I would rather have written my book and this article than lose my integrity and be a pussy with a license. I stupidly believe that I will eventually have my integrity and my license. I pity the addicts who succumb to the pressure to lie for the sake of getting their licenses back. They will remain intimidated their whole lives. Besides, by acquiescing to the authorities, they are making sure that the next group of addicted doctors will have to go through this same process, over and over, indefinitely. My efforts, although not appreciated by too many scared and intimidated doctors right now, will eventually lead to a change in policy for future generations
of addicted doctors and others. I hope so anyway.
I persist in my attempts for license restoration because I'm a doctor and I deserve to practice. I don't need any other reason. I think if you asked my medical colleagues they would say the same thing about me. "He's a doctor." When asked by the "Peer" panel of the Ed. Dept. why I wanted my license back I told them because I was a doctor. They judged that statement as nebulous and vague and used it against me. The nerve! They don't even know me, or know what I am, or know what kind of doctor I am. They never took the time to even find out. In fact, they knew nothing about me other than what
they were told beforehand by the prosecutor and his helpers. How can they judge me without knowing about me from my patients and colleagues whom they never asked? How arrogant and unjust.
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