I began speaking publically about my 15-year struggle with addiction in the fall of 2010. It led to full-time employment opportunities that allowed me to support those working in the field as well as those struggling with the disease.

The following highlights some of my key opinions.

1. There are many incredible and selfless individuals working in this field

It is a well-known fact that many working in this field have personal experiences with addiction. I am not referring to those individuals here; I am referring to those clinicians that have gone into this field simply to help those that are sick. They acknowledged a public health crisis and felt it was their duty to help.

2. There are some in the field that have motivations other than helping those in need

Unfortunately, there are also those that saw an opportunity to take advantage of those in a vulnerable desperate state. I have mixed opinions about cash-only clinics, but I do have a big issue with those charging large monthly fees (as high as $400) and providing nothing but a prescription.

3. There is not one method that is more appropriate than another in addiction treatment

There is a lack of consensus and consistent data published in the medical literature concerning what interventions work best in specific individuals. In addition, there is so much inter-patient variability and multiple co-morbidities that have to be dealt with. For this reason, it is very hard to standardize care.

4. We don’t talk about the goal and concept of recovery consistently

Believe it or not, it is the rare clinician that breaches the topic of recovery at a patient’s entry into treatment. Some claim that it is too daunting for a patient to think about acutely. I disagree; it needs to be made clear that the end goal is truly recovery. Each patient needs to identify what recovery looks like to them personally and strive towards achieving it. If that requires medication for an extended period or even for life, then so be it.