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Professional golfer Tiger Woods was recently charged with impaired driving. Apparently, he was under the influence of a concoction of sleeping pills and pain killers that were prescribed after he had back surgery.

It is all too common that what seems to start as the reasonable and lawful prescribing of opioid’s as pain medication, leads to addiction. To some degree, I see this in my practice nearly every day. Blame the doctors? Some do. Blame the pharmaceutical companies? Ohio’s Attorney General Mike DeWine does. But at the end of the argument of how this addiction was started or caused, we should also be emphasizing treatment.

As with Tiger, this addiction problem in our country is not affecting a certain social class or color. Rich, poor, African American, Caucasian; opioid addiction runs rampant through all classes. No one is immune. Addiction isn’t picky.

The scary part about opioid addiction is that it can start from reasonable and lawful medical treatment. So, even you, or your brother, or daughter, or father, or any of your friends or family could fall victim to addiction.

Tiger has publicly stated that he is receiving professional help to deal with his pill issues. Hopefully, Tiger’s public statement will encourage others to do the same thing. It may be a hard battle, but it’s not a losing battle. I’ve seen great people turn into a shell of a person over this stuff. It’s heart wrenching. But I’ve also seen those same great people who were at rock bottom, rise up and defeat their addiction; regaining health, wealth, and reputation.

If you know someone in this fight, motivate them that it doesn’t have to be this way. They need to keep fighting. Like Tiger, they need to acknowledge the issue and address it with professional help. It’s our responsibility to encourage treatment for those people that need and want the help. Always remember, no one is immune to this type of addiction. Not even you.

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