By the way quick note: I just had a family practice group in the mountains call me and ask me: “Hey Doctor Edrich, can you help us get a Suboxone clinic going up here? [i was intreagued initially- wow are they showing interest??]. Anyways, their next phrase caught me in what I realize is reality. “Hey we heard you can make a lot of money doing this and we are always looking for stuff to add to make more money”.. I let out a sigh of despair and recommended they take up Botox, or massage or sell some goofy quack facial creams or fake vitamins like a lot of docs do (or maybe just get better jobs) because I’m only interested in helping doctors who actually want help treating real patients with real disease compassionately and with respect. Cmon !!! REALLY?? So, for those of you who think that all doctors are out for your own interest… beware!. There are many and by asking them simple questions you can figure out if they are really interested in addiction or just in it for the money:
1. So doc, do you feel addiction is a disease or a choice?
2. What would you do if im under treatment and I relapse? Would you kick me out or work with me? [hint: if they say they would discharge you ask them if they would do the same for a diabetic that ate a box of Oreos or the fat heard disease patient that just ate 3 cheeseburgers…. then turn your back and walk out.
3. Do you belong to a professional organization that treats addiction? Do you belong to the ASAM (American society of addiction medicine) AND more importantly are you “board certified” in addiction medicine. Make sure to ask them if they are really board certified or JUST have the “Suboxone waiver” which is like a quick weekend course that allows them to prescribe… There is a big difference.
4. Ask them what part of their practice is patients with addiction and what is other diseases. You dont want a doc that just dabbles in this.
5. Ask them if they also treat mental health disorders (ie properly… NO not with a handful of Xanax!!! But for real. Like fluoxetine/Zoloft real psychotherapy, acupuncture etc etc. )
If they cant answer the above questions keep on moving to another doc. It’s totally ok to tell a doc that you dont feel they are a good fit ok? You have to look out for your own priorities.
Andreas J. Edrich MD FASAM ADM MRO “the addiction doc”