CleanSlate Blog

“You’re the First Person Who Made Me Feel Like I Was Worth Anything;” National Addiction Treatment Week Shows the Profound Rewards of Addiction Medicine

by Flora Sadri, D.O. | Oct 21, 2019

I have a good feeling when I walk into the office and start my workday every morning as an Addiction Medicine physician

 

On a recent afternoon at the Athol, Massachusetts, center of CleanSlate, a national provider of outpatient addiction medicine, I met with two new patients who suffer from substance use disorder. One told me how badly she felt about herself. When I thanked her for the privilege of allowing me to work with her, she looked down at the floor.

“I’m just an addict,” she said softly. The other patient sat in silent agreement.

No, I corrected them: I don’t see “addicts” when I meet with patients. I see people who have a chronic disease, no different than other chronic diseases like diabetes. I see people who are battling not only addiction, but also the stigma of addiction, which only multiplies the obstacles to recovery.

“Can you talk to my family?” the patient asked. “They think I’m not anything. They won’t even let me in the house.”

I told this young woman that I’ve seen many families welcome back their loved ones after they had proven their commitment to recovery.

You’ll have to earn back their trust, I told her. But it’s possible.

“As we go through the process of recovery, you will rediscover hope,” I said. “You can reclaim your life. You can regain everything that you’ve lost.”

The patient started crying. I asked her why.

“You’re the first person who ever made me feel like I was worth anything,” she said.

This is why I do what I do.

I am an addiction medicine physician. The American Board of Addiction defines that as a physician who is trained and certified to provide comprehensive care for addiction and substance related disorders, including the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of such health conditions. I define it as a doctor who treats addiction with the evidence-based practices that every disease requires, and who treats patients with the same compassionate care that every person deserves.

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During National Children's Dental Health Month, Let's Discuss the Risks of Dental Opioid Prescriptions

by Flora Sadri, D.O. | Feb 18, 2019

February is National Children’s Dental Health month, an observance sponsored by the American Dental Association (ADA) that brings together healthcare providers and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children and their caregivers.

This year, the ADA’s theme is “Brush and clean in between to build a healthy smile!” But for dentists and teens, the most important lesson of children’s dental health could come through increased education about a danger far more serious than plaque: an opioid prescription.

That’s because the first time that many American teens receive a prescription for opioid painkillers is at the dentist’s office. While teens in other countries are rarely prescribed opioids after dental surgeries like wisdom tooth removal, American teens are much more likely to be prescribed highly addictive drugs such as Vicodin.   

And the danger of addiction is real. A majority of all heroin users started by taking prescription painkillers, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and morphine.

A 2015 study in the journal Pediatrics found that prescribed opioid use makes teens 33% more likely to abuse opioids later on. A more recent study, published last December in JAMA Internal Medicine by the Stanford University School of Medicine, found that teens and young adults who receive an initial opioid prescription from their dentists or oral surgeons are at increased risk for opioid addiction as soon as the following year.

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Recovery from Addiction Includes Recovering Trust

by Flora Sadri, D.O. | Dec 20, 2018

When people start treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction, they begin to regain control of themselves and their lives. Their newfound mental clarity is an important development in recovery, but it comes with a catch. With a clear view of the wreckage their disease has caused all around them, patients can feel a debilitating sense of shame and guilt.

We see this every day in our work with patients. At CleanSlate, physicians and staff practice medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to help patients suffering from opioid or alcohol addiction. Patients make appointments at one of our outpatient centers, and their experience is similar to a routine visit to any doctor’s office. After beginning treatment with medications such as buprenorphine (Suboxone) or naltrexone (Vivitrol) to ward off cravings and prevent relapse, many of our patients report feeling “normal,” like their former selves, sometimes in a remarkably short amount of time. 

But for most patients, medication is only one component of recovery.

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If you or someone you know suffers from the disease of addiction, please call 833-505-HOPE to speak with a professional.

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