From Prescription Drug ‘Samples’ To Addiction: One Doctor’s Journey To Hell And Back

In In The News by Barbara Jacoby

LLH network pressThe painful truth: Physicians are not invincible when it comes to drug addiction. Dr. Steven Farber was on top of his career as a respected cardiologist when, suffering from professional burnout after twenty-five years of taking care of acutely ill patients, this passionate doctor discovered medicated bliss through prescription drug samples that were constantly being brought to his office. This escape eventually turned his life upside-down. After losing his medical license and the life of a friend, Dr. Farber finally hit rock bottom and admitted himself into intense rehabilitation.

In Sick As Our Secrets, perhaps the most candid book ever written about addiction, Dr. Farber takes you on a journey … his journey. Dr. Farber’s raw recollections of his darkest days are powerful and readers celebrate with him as he eventually realizes a life absent of chemical dependency.

“It’s meant to hit the reader in the gut,” says Dr. Farber. “It is important to understand the destructive forces of addiction and its deadly impact on our society. Addiction affects millions of people every day, and we must tackle it head-on and find solutions.”

The unsightly scene among health professionals addicted to prescription drugs might look like something out of the movie “Flight.” Denzel Washington’s character, a charismatic and successful commercial airline pilot, remedies a sleepless night of hard partying with a couple of lines of cocaine and a cocktail of prescriptions meds. He then rushes to work where he flies a plane full of passengers.

Now imagine your worst nightmare … the doctor who is to perform your surgery is traveling on the same destructive path during the hours leading up to your operation. Make no mistake, it happens. When you consider that doctors and nurses have very easy access to prescription drug samples, it’s not surprising that addiction is an epidemic that is rarely spoken of in medical communities.

Addiction to prescription drugs is responsible for more deaths in our country than traffic accidents. Further, half of all adults over eighteen have a friend or family member who is suffering from alcoholism or addiction to illicit or prescription drugs.

The numbers are astonishing. According to Sanjay Gupta, MD (CNN), “Every 19 minutes, a person dies from prescription drugs.” In addition, data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) confirms that deaths from narcotics have quadrupled over the last decade.

“As Sick as Our Secrets is the powerful and compelling description of my journey to hell and back,” says Dr. Farber. “Some readers will see themselves reflected in its pages and identify with my feelings and experiences. This could be your story or the story of a friend or loved one. The good news is that there absolutely is a proven path to recovery.”

About the author:

Steven H. Farber, MD, received his medical degree from Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital. He completed an internal medicine residency program and cardiology fellowship at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He founded a non-profit organization called HEART of Montgomery County to improve access to affordable healthcare for the community’s indigent and uninsured population. In 2003, Dr. Farber published Behind the White Coat, a personal memoir, and then co-authored Stepping Stones to Success with Deepak Chopra and Jack Canfield in 2011.

Available at, and

As Sick As Our Secrets
Steven Farber, MD
ISBN-10:  16000477011
ISBN-13:  978-1600477010
Page Count:  222 pages
Publisher:  Wasteland Press