Podcast: The Foundation of a Movement
Hello ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to the first episode of Invictus4Core with your host and humble physician here: Dr. Tovar.
Today is our first episode and I wanted to dive in and introduce this movement called Invictus4Core. And I call this a movement because we are more than just an Opioid Addiction Clinic. And in this movement we focus our efforts and time into giving patients more than just medication. We focus on helping you decrease stressors and improve your life. We do this by decreasing stressors in the four cores of your life — which is where the “4 core” of Invictus4Core comes from. This includes your financial well-being, physical health, interpersonal (Which includes relationships outside of you: Maybe this is your wife, your significant other, your kids, or within your community – which is very important!)
I want to give you a little background on myself: I’m a board-certified family medicine physician who just, by chance really, happened to be catapulted into this field of addiction medicine as it pertains only to opiate addiction. My first encounter with this issue was this big problem, which is now a crisis Nationwide. It was back in 2010 when I was just fresh out of residency and had just started my career as a hospitalist. I ran into a psychiatrist there and I got to know him well and in that relationship he discussed with me how he was helping other people through his addiction clinic.
He actually requested my help because he was overwhelmed with the amount of patients that need help. And first I got to be honest with you all — I was very reluctant because of the stigma that surrounds addiction and my personal experience with patients who have addition in the hospital setting as a resident. So I was very reluctant getting into this field. But my colleague, the psychiatrist, was very adamant that I helped him out as he thought I would be great at it. He said I had the right mindset for it, and at the time I didn’t really understand what he was talking about. But he made it really easy for me to try it out and he said to me “I’ll offer to pay for your training and your malpractice insurance if you can help me out, try it for a month, and if you don’t like it there’s no commitment. You can just leave.”
So I went home to talk to my wife about it and she said “Why won’t you just give it a try and see what happens?”. During the first month of being there I was really moved by some of the stories that patients shared with me about how they started their addiction. There is an underlying common threat there: The common threat was that most of these patients had been prescribed opiates by their Physicians or through E.R.s, or some of the patients had dental work. Or other underlying problems like Mental Health issues such as anxiety or depression. Or maybe they had some childhood trauma that they were trying to sedate. And these opiates or pain killers that were prescribed all of a sudden made them feel better. Before they knew that they were depending on them just to feel normal. They weren’t even looking to feel high anymore.
So these stories really moved me in that sense. But during those stories nobody ever mentioned that they intended to be an addict. In other words, nobody told me “Hey Dr. Tovar, I just woke up one day and said ‘hey why not being an addict’”. No one ever mentioned that.
So here I was given the tremendous opportunity to change people’s lives in a real way. And I’m not just talking about prescribing medication like Suboxone, I’m talking about really working with people. Just like you or just like people that you know who had this opiate addiction. We treat in ways that actually work. And taking the stigma out of addiction, in other words, I really feel and believe that the human mind has a capacity to change and evolve. It’s a concept called growth mindset that was introduced and studied by Dr. Carol Dweck at Stanford University.
In particular, Dr. Dweck studied students and found that student mindsets, in other words how they perceive their abilities, play the key role in their motivation and achievement. So students who believe that their intelligence can be developed actually outperformed those who believe their intelligence was fixed. So how does this apply to addiction? (Here’s a disclaimer Dr. Dweck’s study only pertained to students and how they learn, but I feel that this could be applied to our scenario.)
So if you were in the mindset that if you were “once an addict, always an addict”, then I think your chances of growth and experiencing fulfillment in life could potentially be jeopardized. However, if you are the mindset that you can evolve and change and that your intelligence and ability to learn new things and ways to cope with stressors and problems in life, then I think that your mindset will start changing from a problem oriented mentality. In other words, all you see is the pain at hand and the problems it has caused you. As opposed to going with a problems-to-solutions-oriented mentality.
This is thinking in the terms of “something happened to me so I’m allowed to have the feelings that I’m having towards that, but what am I really gaining by sedating myself with these drugs? What am I really gaining from that?”.Nothing, really.
Instead of coping with your pain and problems through the sedation of addiction and using drugs, you could go towards a solutions-oriented approach where you’ve identified a problem and can identify the solution that will actually help me get out of the situation, or maybe make my situation different. And I believe that if you’re able to do that behavioral change in your life, then I think that you’re going to find much more success in your journey towards recovery and fulfillment of life.
So in closing, this is one of many things that we do at Invictus4Core in your journey towards recovery. I hope you enjoyed this short episode. If you or someone you know is thinking of joining this movement, this tribe of people that wants you take a new approach towards recovery of addiction as it pertains to opiates, then please do not hesitate to contact us. You can private message us. You can send us an email at email@example.com. And you can follow us on social media as well.
I look forward to hearing your comments and questions and giving you the value that you’re looking for that goes beyond just the medication. Thank you for joining us today and have a great day Jesus Tovar