30 Years of Change Campaign

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Dean Steinberg, MD

Oct. 12, 1988: DEA agents invaded my home in search of evidence regarding distribution of controlled substances. More than 70,000 doses were registered to me and not accounted for. That day was the first time I ever admitted (to the agents) that I was a drug addict. They had “other ideas.” This was the end of life as I knew it.

My Pennsylvania medical license and DEA registration were suspended/revoked, as were my hospital privileges. Felony charges were issued three years later. I had to stop using narcotics, and that was not possible.

On Oct. 14, two days later, knowing that my supply was frighteningly low, I did prepare for suicide. I prepared two syringes, one with Midazolam and one filled with Pavulon, and placed them in my top drawer. That same day, an old acquaintance of mine who had previously been in much trouble accepted my call. He gave me a phone number and said, “You do not have to feel this way anymore. Life can be beyond your wildest dreams.”

The phone number was for the PHP. I spoke somewhat honestly for the first time about my addiction. They sent a gentleman to my home to escort me to Marworth, a rehabilitation facility. I have been involved with the PHP as a participant, monitor, and committee member for the past 27-plus years, with continuous sobriety since Day One. PHP provided the framework for my recovery, monitoring, and letters of support whenever needed. I owe them my life.

I resumed practicing anesthesia in 1989 and have been professionally successful since that time. This is a direct result of PHP intervention. My story is a miracle. My path would not have been feasible without the support and guidance of PHP.