occupational hazard

A GP talks candidly to Australian Doctor about his personal battle to beat his drug problem and the moment he realised he could not do it alone

I want you to know a few things about addiction.

It doesn't discriminate.

It doesn't always have family origins, like uncaring parents or a sibling's suicide.

Addiction can happen to anyone, and it happened to me.

I had a comfortable, middle-class upbringing. I never wanted for anything.

I was never beaten and I never saw my father drunk. 

When I was younger, I had an experimental attitude towards drugs.

It started off with alcohol and recreational drugs, but eventually my position as a GP steered me towards pharmaceuticals, in particular OxyContin (oxycodone hydrochloride).

For a long time, I resented the profession for the way it made it so easy to get drugs. I would write scripts for OxyContin, and patients proved to be a good source as well.

I ran a pain clinic and they would often return any pharmaceuticals they did not need.