“I came to alcoholism late in life. I was having problems sleeping, and most of the prescription medications were either ineffective or too expensive. Alcohol seemed to do the job, though, so I would drink at night in the den while on the web. I drank alone, and I have to admit I enjoyed the high. A bottle of vodka would last four or five nights. I progressed from buying a bottle once every three weeks to once every two weeks, and finally, to once a week. I began to stumble on occasion while on my way to bed. One night I fell while brushing my teeth and dislocated my artificial hip. The hospital staff thought I was using drugs because of the dried white residue of toothpaste around my mouth! Later they realized I was just plain drunk. My wife, after hearing too many of my empty vows to quit drinking, enlisted the aid of our grown children, and together they decided to call Dentists Concerned for Dentists (DCD). With the help of DCD, an intervention was arranged that took place right there in our home. It opened my eyes to what was going on and convinced me I needed help. I was admitted to a treatment center that very day. Of course, I was the oldest human being there amongst both patients and staff. I felt like Methuselah at a rock concert! But thankfully, it worked. I’ve been sober for a while now, and life is so much sweeter. I’m blessed to have a family who loved me enough to confront me, and I’m so grateful to the dentists from DCD for their understanding ways and timely assistance. Oh, I still have some problems with sleep, but I now know that inducing a coma with alcohol is a madness I can no longer afford.”
Dentists Concerned for Dentists (DCD) is a group of recovering alcoholic and/or chemically dependent dentists concerned about other dentists who might have problems in their relationships with alcohol and/or other mood-altering drugs. Although they receive their funding, for the most part, from the Minnesota Dental Association, they are a completely separate organization in all other ways. They function under a strict code of confidentiality. No information regarding the cases they become involved with is shared with the Minnesota Dental Association or the State Board of Dentistry. There are some cases that come to the attention of the Health Professionals Services Program (HPSP) before DCD is ever involved, and in those cases, and only with the written consent of the dentist concerned, they will provide limited “progress reports” when requested to do so by HPSP as part of their ongoing monitoring program. DCD’s primary purpose is to be available to afflicted dentists, helping them effectively address their alcohol and/or other drug problems, and providing educational and supportive services to them, their families, and their colleagues.
For confidential help, or to ask any questions you may have concerning DCD, please call (651) 275-0313 in the Twin Cities area or (800) 632-7643 toll-free outstate.