My name is Dr. Blanche, and I wanted to share examples of some real-life cases I worked on of patients struggling with addiction in America, and my addictions treatment experience in my blog “Le doigt dans l’oeil”. Literally, this translates as “finger in the eye.” I think that addiction is like finger in your eye – it’s not what your body used to do and to feel, and you even don’t know why, but you do it.
I finished medical school in France, my home country. My training specialized in drug and alcohol addiction treatment and rehabilitation. I had a practice at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in France for several years. A friend and colleague of mine in my practice in France left to pursue work in America, where he was very successful as there is a great need for addiction specialists in the United States. Inspired by him, I came to America to work in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center a few years ago.
Addiction is a problem in every part of the world. Like cancer, almost every person knows someone or is personally affected by addiction issues. I had never been to the United States before moving there to work. My concept of what America was like was entirely gleaned from what I saw on television, or read, or heard from my friend who lived there. Of course, I had seen reports in the news about the opioid crisis in America. When I first started working in rehabilitation in the United States, I was shocked by the sheer number of people who were struggling with addictive substances. My friend and a former coworker were absolutely correct when he urged me that there was a great need for addiction specialists in this country. As a doctor, the demand for my services is a double-edged sword; I am happy that I can help change lives while learning American culture, but it is deeply saddening to see new people day after day who are struggling with substance abuse and their own inner demons.
I created this blog to share the stories of a few patients who stood out or exemplified the addiction to their drugs of choice. I hope that it will inform readers who are, or know somebody who is, struggling with substance abuse. Doctor/patient confidentiality and trust are of utmost importance, and so names and personal details have been changed to protect the identities of the patients. Also, all patients from my blog permitted me to tell their stories.