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Clinical Crossroads
Clinician's Corner
September 15, 2004

A 35-Year-Old Physician With Opioid Dependence

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Dr Knight is Associate Director for Medical Education, Division on Addictions, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass, and Associate Director, Physician Health Services, Massachusetts Medical Society, Waltham.


Clinical Crossroads Section Editor: Margaret A. Winker, MD, Deputy Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(11):1351-1357. doi:10.1001/jama.292.11.1351

DR REYNOLDS: Dr L is a specialist physician in practice for several years who became addicted to hydrocodone. Dr L lives with his wife, who is also a physician, and his 2 young children.

Dr L was well until several years ago, when he was grieving after a stressful life event. He began taking antidepressant medication from the sample closet in his office. He stopped taking the medications after several months because he had no relief from his symptoms. Gradually, most of his grief symptoms resolved.