We are all the same and yet we are all different. The art of medicine, yes – medicine is an art as much as a science – dictates the need for individualization of care. Every person with hypertension has elevated blood pressure and every person with diabetes has high blood sugar, but approaching every patient with the same illness in the same manner results in cookie cutter medical care and ignores the need for individualization of care.
The same may be said of those afflicted with the disease of addiction. We all must keep an open mind regarding the best treatment approach. Having preconceived notions that a twelve step program should work for everyone; or that believing in a higher power is essential; or that suboxone is better than methadone; or that no replacement medication is better than any; or that underlying anxiety should never be treated with medication if the person has a prior history of addiction; or that one type of psychotherapy is best . . . or that every patient with hypertension first must alter their salt intake before starting medication; or that every diabetic will carefully watch their diet; or that . . . or that . . .
You get my point. I commend Mike Tyson, former heavy weight boxing champion, for telling us his story and finding his path to recovery.
Written By Steven Kassels, M.D.
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