When David Myers, MD, tells his patient that he is going to do everything he can to make detox treatment easier, he means it.
“I’m am a drunk and drug addict hooked on Valium. I went through treatment a lot—and not voluntarily—at least initially,” he said. Before his addiction absorbed his life, he was a chief anesthesiologist working in a prestigious medical center. He says his treatment was nearly lethal.
He relapsed twice after two different 48-day programs. He stayed sober six weeks after a four-month treatment. After his fourth rehab, he stayed with the program. Addiction was a very painful time in his life.
“People commit suicide over this type of stuff. I take care of professional people who have incredible educations and can’t figure out how to walk past the drug store or the liquor store. They destroy themselves.”
He’s been there. Dr. Myers gave up medicine for three years while recovering. Walking his long road, he realized he wanted to teach recovery. He regained his medical license in 1982, dropped anesthesia and trained in addiction medicine. Now 30 years sober, Dr. Myers is medical director for the Gracepoint affiliate, Agency for Community Treatment Services.
“At ACTS, we use drugs that have been the most effect in this type of program because they vary from a person’s drug of choice. The most important thing we can do while people are here is to get them into a stable environment where they’re able to go to meetings regularly for a long time. We know that alcoholics who have over 50 years of recovery do it through Alcoholics Anonymous because it teaches you to live with the disease. That is a special talent,” he said
“I have learned to maintain my own sobriety by going to meetings, having a sponsor, working the steps, and helping other people do the same thing. I remind myself daily that I’m vulnerable to doing this all over again if I’m not careful.”