Free Refills: A Doctor Confronts Addiction
by Peter Grinspoon M.D.
Audio Book available from Hachette Audio (& many retailers)
For personal reasons too numerous to list, I was anxious to listen to this book. I was hoping to see opiate use, turns to abuse, a moment of awakening, and then the road of recovery from a practicing physician's point of view. Sadly, the narcissistic attitude I have come to face to face with many times in the doctor's office was ever present throughout Dr. Grinspoon's story. everyone around him. He goes so far as to blame others for not rescuing him from his addiction. Going into the book, I fully expected the Dr. to be a kind hearted, sympathetic man I would be cheering for. Nope! I found myself angered by his holier than thou attitude. The way he bad mouthed his wife was reprehensible and certainly did not endear him to me in any way. I have dealt with doctors that had that very same attitude. They were cold, judgemental, and had no empathy whatsoever for the suffering of others. People like this should not be doctors. I understand that the olden days of doctors carrying black bags, going out on house calls and truly caring about their patients has long since been replaced by a generation of money, power hungry people that pursue a career in medicine to feed their narcissistic needs.
Free Refills is nothing more than "feel sorry for me, look what other people made me do" story. It was difficult to stick with it and finish the book - except I am an optimist....forever hoping for that "Cinderella ending." So even with the end of the book drawing near, I kept hoping there would be a light bulb moment....a true moment of clarity and acceptance for Dr. Grinspoon. It never materialized. There's nothing inspirational or encouraging for recovering addicts within this story. If you're looking for inspiration there are far better choices available. If you have extra time to fill, this book shows how a doctor suffering from the same addiction as the people he so quickly judges still maintains that "white coat = god like" attitude.