Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
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1472 Dr. Brett Kessler, DDS, Trustee to the ADA 14th District on Substance Abuse and Recovery : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

1472 Dr. Brett Kessler, DDS, Trustee to the ADA 14th District on Substance Abuse and Recovery : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

10/1/2020 3:00:00 AM   |   Comments: 2   |   Views: 591
Brett Kessler, DDS has been practicing esthetic, functional and reconstructive dentistry since 1995. Dr. Kessler serves as a Past President of the Colorado Dental Association. He also serves as the chairman of the Well Being Committee for the State of Colorado and is a consultant for the American Dental Association, serving on the Dental Well Being Advisory Committee and the Council on Dental Benefit Plans. He is the Trustee for the 14th District to the American Dental Association. In the fall of 2007, Dr. Kessler testified on behalf of the American Dental Association before the United States Congress on the ravages of methamphetamines on the oral health. He speaks internationally to various organizations and dental societies on Wellbeing issues in dentistry and more recently on the subject of “Passionate Leadership Concepts.”

VIDEO - DUwHF #1472 - Brett Kessler

AUDIO - DUwHF #1472 - Brett Kessler

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*****Please excuse typos as this was digitally transcribed

It is just a huge honor for me today to be podcast interviewing Dr Bett Kessler DDS who's been practicing aesthetic functional and reconstructive dentistry since 1995. he has been published doctor of dentistry magazine catalyst magazine self magazine more magazine worlds woman magazine the New York fashion magazine lacer dentistry today journal of the Colorado dental association and journal of the American dental association on various subjects with respect to cosmetic dentistry well-being issues and ethical issues Dr Kessler has also been featured on the local nine news nbc fox news cbs cnn regarding his charitable contributions to the Denver community in 2015 Dr Kessler was featured by the Denver post as the top dentist in the Denver metro area with its inaugural strength and health award he also has been honored by his peers at top dentist in 5280 magazine's annual poll since 2006. he has served as past president of the Colorado dental association he also serves as a chairman of the well-being committee for the state of Colorado and is a consultant for the American dental association serving on the dental well-being advisory committee and the council on the dental benefits plan he is a fellow in the American college of dentists the international college of dentist the Pierre for shard academy he is also the immediate past president of the Colorado prosthodontics society he is a trustee for the 14th district to the American dental association in the fall of 2007 Dr Kessler testified on behalf of the American dental association before the united states congresses on their ravages of methamphetamines on oral health he speaks internationally to various organizations and dental societies on well-being issues in dentistry and more recently on the subject of passionate leadership concepts while in private practice he was a clinical associate professor at the university of Michigan until he moved to Colorado in 99 Bret then taught occlusion and morphology at the university of Colorado school of dental medicine where the dean was my teacher umkc Denise Kestenbaum amazing woman in 2003 he and his wife Dr Gina Kessler an orthodontist established town center dentistry and orthodontics their practice is essentially located in the heart of Stapleton neighborhood in Denver where the old airport used to be exactly and Brett keeps in shape by both coaching and participating and very in various endurance races across the united states running trail running cycling mountain biking triathlon Brett and Gina have four children abbey max Sydney and riley my gosh what an honor to have you on the show I’m serious bro I want to yawn so bad and one of the first one of the big reasons I wanted you to be on uh was actually your your post on uh Dentaltown today um somebody started a thread says cancel your ada membership and uh dental offices should have been closed down and I dental office should have never been closed down and I totally blame the ada they majorly dropped the ball I’ll never be a member again and you were such the only adult in the conversation you said um tell me about the virus what did you know that I didn't if you knew it was safe to practice in the midst of kelvin 19 in march why didn't you speak up ada did the best we could under the circumstance we were in I stand behind our actions unequivocally I’m sorry you phil that we didn't advocate we did we did in big ways I mean you know the 88 reminds me of your parents we both have four kids and you know when um when you know when you're a parent you know it's always going to be your fault you know it's your fault to prove in other words and I knew I knew when this whole thing went down that the person who would take the most heat in the kitchen would be the ada I mean they how could you do anything right in the middle of the pandemic where this government ordered you to shut down for two months I mean how how how can you how do you how do you win that argument I I can't believe um yeah I get scared by by posting things on on social media that are controversial and uh you know I saw that threat and wrote some things on there and one of the guys on the thread said you should rot in jail for your actions and as as uh being a leader in the ada and I was like why how did they come to that you know I mean we we were scared we were scared of the virus we didn't know anything about it and um you know the odds are that you know what we knew is it was it was airborne uh through um you know through aerosols and and that's what we do to make a living is you know create aerosols so um you know the the government wanted to shut us down completely we advocated to keep us open to keep our patients out of the emergency rooms because you know a dental problem is never treated well in an emergency room and no one wanted to go to the emergency rooms at the time you know because of the the covet scare and so I think we did a really really good job being prudent being safe making sure we were part of the uh part of the solution not part of the problem we didn't need to contribute more uh you know more spread of the virus to the uh to the hospitals uh they would have to take care of it and um and then we've when we figured out what was the safest way to return back to practice we advocated like crazy for that all in the meantime uh we were advocating in washington to make sure that economically that we'd make it um that we'd survive through the you know the the reduced dental economy and um you know I can say I I never as a long-time envy uh nba ada member um you know we we have never seen the ada more important in the profession and the beauty of it was we we treated members and non-members the same you know we shared information all over the place um there was a uh a call that uh marcelo was on he's the head of science at the ada um he was on with the head of the Italian embassy the chief physician at the Italian embassy and um they were we were asking them how did they manage you know in the shutdown and you know Italy was maybe a month before us with closing everything down and quarantining everything and and you know and he explained their playbook as far as shutting down the uh you know making sure everyone's safe and then marcelo asks what do you do what are the dentists doing and he said we're all waiting for you to figure it out the ada we we're we're looking to you for the answers and so it really became more of just a a united states issue but a worldwide issue and I was really glad to be at the table to um help you know push this this needle forward and and some people were uh you know saying that you know the ada they didn't understand something did they not realize the executive director kathleen I mean she lost her child from this I mean I mean did you I mean do you think this didn't hit home to the executive director of the ada when I mean she had to bury her daughter during all this I mean tell me I mean I I don't I don't know of any other dentist that had to bury one of their own children right from this I mean this I mean not to mention they they they work 12 hours a day seven days a week around the clock and half the people on their team aren't even paid you know what I mean and then and then just to sit back and take t-shirts then the other thing that's really weird is uh it's um I’ve always known it about all people but you don't want to believe it about dentists and you know it all started you know 30 years ago with the with the um posterior amalgams being replaced by composites I mean stevie wonder can find the studies that show that the one that's metal lasts longer than the one that's plastic uh when the plastic one fails they're eaten out by by you know microbiology and one of them is inert plastic and the other one is half mercury that doesn't go over well in biology the other ingredients are silver silver diamond fluoride tin status I mean one's like a toxic amalgam soup and the other one's like an inert plastic so one one would be like you know the the metal fork in your kitchen drawer that's radioactive and the other would be like the plastic fork from kfc and you say well obviously the metal toxic one lasts longer and they're like nope nope they actually don't they they not not not in my hands it's like okay well whenever you find a study where they study you know like a couple million of them uh the toxic metal ones last 38 years and your inert plastic [ __ ] lasts six years and they they they wouldn't believe it so now it doesn't surprise me um especially in the middle of election and all that's going on that facts don't even matter anymore I mean even with dentists I mean if you go into the political threads they don't put them on the days I taught it but if you go into leisure and then you go to politics and you read their threads you realize that they just want to believe something and nothing's gonna change their mind uh you know it's uh humans are god dang they're complicated but uh I just want to thank guys like you who just show up to the fight with no appreciation I mean and you just open your mouth and half the dentist in Colorado are going to hate you for it and where does that come from what are you just thick skin bulletproof how do you sign up for thankless jobs like this actually pretty thin skin that's why I don't post too much because I don't like to leave with my chin you know but I don't know I’ve always fought for what I thought was right and that's how I ended up in leadership in Colorado and and that's why I was elected to be a trustee for my 14th district and um you know if I believe in something I’m going to speak up and um and and if I truly really really believe in it I’m going to fight for it I’m going to fight like crazy for it so and and you can ask the board that's uh you know we have a very vocal board and we all are passionate um and we all want to do the best uh for the profession and we want to represent our members and communities in the best possible way and I don't know how to do it uh sitting back and um you know and I love the discussions that we have especially when we disagree but when we disagree respectively respectfully you know and and um because you know everyone comes from a different different viewpoint and you know if we we all get together and share our viewpoints and ask questions like well how does that work for you this is how it works for me but how does it work for you and genuinely listen we can you know come up with a solution and I think that's what the ada did you know it wasn't pretty I’ll be honest with you we had lots of arguments and discussions behind closed doors um or behind closed zoom rooms and um but I think what we came up with was was the absolute best possible scenarios for um our dentists our members for the communities we serve and you know I I have a lot of respect first of all um I’ve always been a member you know even even in dalstrom uh and the the reason I have it's kind of like your your parents I mean uh you know my uh my my mom and dad they're um you would think they would be perfect to be able to have a child like me you would just assume they were just perfect but um you know I always told my five sisters and my brother you know they're the only mom and dad you got and you know they're not they're not perfect and my four boys you know we have the same relationship I always tell them you know I’m uh never said I’m perfect but you know I am your only dad um and I was really impressed with him way way back when I started lecturing it was in 1990 and of course I didn't have anything nice to say about pretty much anything but you know when you're 20 when you start lecturing at 27 you're just filled with piss and vinegar you know you know and my seminar was called deadl mania how dumb was that um when you're 27 and now you know I’ve matured from dental mania to dentistry and sensor but they actually they actually invited me down there and they they flew me down there and there's a whole bunch of them and they just wanted to hear this who is this little [ __ ] out there ranting and and they they totally wanted to know everything I was thinking and and uh I I thought it was pretty cool but the main reason I wanted to get you on the show is because I mean only the genius dentists are smart enough to marry the girl dennis in their class and the fact that you married gina I mean why all your other friends uh you know were out there dating the prettiest girl at the waffle house you thought to myself okay every girl in this room is going to make 10 000 a month from 25 to 65. that's 5 million and all my peers are going to marry the prettiest waitress at the waffle house and they're never going to have a job and they're going to blow 10 000 a month for 40 years so that's a 10 million difference my god did you ever actually figure out the return on investment of marrying a girl in your dental school class did it pay for your dental school and your student loans I mean is that one method just to graduate without any student loan debts you say well right now I got 400 000 student loans but I just married the chick sitting next to me and she's going to pay him all off was that your intention from the word go the best laid plans howard I’ll tell you the best but uh then when she graduated from orthodontic or for a program at university of Michigan I did announce my retirement that day and uh but it never quite worked out that way I just think it's so cool because um you know yeah you know all the pretty and all that can fade away but my god if you marry someone in your class um you got something to talk about I mean you you know everything and I I’ll never forget the studies were um it just talked about post-grad they're not talking about undergrad and we're talking about pro post grad like a phd a doctorate lawyer but when two lawyers two physicians two dentists when two post grads in the same degree get married they only have a 10 divorce rate it's the lowest divorce rate measured I mean that is um that is um amazing and the other thing I want to bring you on is um a couple things when I go to school in 87 I wanted to you know obviously they never mentioned sleep or sleep apnea or snoring or any of this stuff but I made it all the way out of dental school and was never told that um a pain med could be addicted that that was a problem when I got out of school in 87 the pain med people the sample ladies would come by your office are you old enough to remember that yeah absolutely um what year did you get out of dental school 95 okay so you're only uh I’m only eight years older but the bottom line is nobody knew this was an issue and they were just handling out samples everywhere and then it indeed turned into be a huge issue and then they were treated um almost like religion like judgmental you're bad you're evil you need to go to jail especially in redneck states like kansas and texas and things like that and so there is progress because I remember there was a um my little brother was born gay and abuse he took in kansas of being born that way he now lives in sydney australia and it wasn't going to change 1.7 million people's mind in kansas so he just went to sydney where there's four hundred thousand and but now gay people can get married and now um when you have a problem with marijuana I mean you're out there in Colorado they they legalized it um so I do like the fact that it's gone from you're a bad boy and need a spanking to this is a disease and let's treat it like a doctor so have you seen that whole journey because you always talk uh about recovery and addiction which is a very taboo subject it's like talking about you know gay marriage or something well if it's okay I’ll tell you a little bit about my story yeah I would love to hear that in fact i'd love to get a uh an art article on dental town or a course or whatever because it's a taboo subject even people have gone through it all they still don't want to have it associated with their name on the internet you know what I mean they want to hide in the basement yeah and you know I’m a recovering uh drug addict an alcoholic my sobriety date is October 21st 1998. um I didn't grow up with the goal of becoming a an addicted person but it just happened you know I vividly remember the first time I drank and I spent most of my life trying to chase that feeling with more and more and different kinds of different ways of entry and I hit my bottom uh my first bottom in 1997 where I was actually practicing in Michigan and I took uh some of my staff with me to Chicago where I grew up and I dropped them to a a dental ce I think it was an agd meeting this was a 97 and um I dropped them off at the hotel and I’m from Chicago so my dealer was in Chicago I picked up a larger quantity of cocaine and disappeared for four days and uh that was I knew I had a problem long before that but that was the first time I started suffering consequences and you know and when I disappeared my the ladies that uh worked with me were scared my family was scared and I finally decided to come clean and enter treatment but before I enter treatment I called the well-being program at the state of Michigan and a guy named Jim owls answered the phone and you know I told him what my problem was and I I know you know I heard it was a safe way to get help um and he basically said well you um if you don't go to this treatment center by Monday I’m going to turn you into the board and you're going to lose your license I’m like oh [ __ ] uh I’m sorry wrong number and I hung up the phone and uh because I didn't want to you know have any issues with my license and so I found a treatment center that accepted me that wasn't the one he recommended um but there were a lot of other healthcare professionals in treatment at the same time and that was pretty attractive to me because um you know I didn't feel so alone but in treatment I didn't feel like I was nearly as bad as anyone that I was in treatment with I mean they were all suffering uh you know major health issues legal issues licensure issues bankruptcies and you know I was 30 or 29 years old and I’m like I’m not like you I just wanted to do my time get everyone off my back and then jump back into life as uh as big as I could and after my six weeks there um I left treatment and I was uh you know back on my own and um pretty soon I was back to using the way I like to use again and that was pretty scary um and then I hit my bottom about 14 months later in October of 98 and I went back to Chicago again to uh attend my one of my best friend's mother's funeral it was on a tuesday and I vividly remember I could not not call my dealer and this is when cell phone service was was not so robust and I knew from ann arbor Michigan to about grand grand um I can't remember the cities but about halfway through i'd lose cell service it wasn't very robust and then I knew as soon as I crossed the indiana border my cell service would turn back on and I was obsessing for that hour and a half whether I should you know call my dealer not call my dealer and I could not stop myself and I’m a pretty smart guy you know and all logic says why would you do all these these crazy drugs knowing um what's gonna happen every single time you do and but I could not stop myself and that's where the disease really kicked in and um that I recognized that I had the disease and I end up end up calling my dealer right when the cell service turned on and I picked up my usual quantity of drugs and made it to the wake and I I told my family I was staying with my friends I told my friends I was staying with my family and I disappeared again doing what I always do and and my problem was if I picked up any kind of drugs or alcohol I would just go on off these binges for days on end and so I missed the funeral and I crawled back into my car and drove back to Michigan my wife told me to figure it out and you know she was but she was not too happy with me at the time and she made an appointment for me her and my counselor um and uh you know and I thought the jig was up and you know when people in the medical field relapse the way I relapse they send us away for six months and back back in the late 90s and I was you know using everything I could all my manipulation to you know not have to go away to treatment because I was going to lose my my license or lose my job I was gonna you know we weren't gonna do well financially she was still a resident um so for whatever reason they didn't send me away but I I realized what I was and I found um the solution and you know it's something that I I still cherish and I work on every single day and this is almost 22 years later um and it's the most important thing in my life um and without my sobriety I would have nothing you know and and you know I I answer a lot of phone calls now in the state of Colorado as well as from across the country because I’m pretty well known in the um the recovery community or you know and so a lot of people hook me up with people um and I do my best to help the next person along who had the same problem I did but you're right there is so much stigma um still to this day um but about when I was about two years sober I heard a speaker his name William cope Moyers his dad is bill Moyers from pbs you know and William is a huge advocate of uh recovery and he talked about that if the people who found recovery don't share how they found recovery and what recovery is like and people will never know and the stigma will remain and and so I started talking about it publicly I started talking about it professionally you know I think I was maybe a little older than you when I started speaking on uh things that I’m passionate about but it you know and I share my story and and I’ll tell you I’ve never regretted sharing my story I share it to uh at state meetings I was at your meeting uh the west the western meeting in Arizona a few years ago and um you know and I always get side conversations uh from people who are struggling or they know someone who's struggling uh two weeks ago a dental student who heard me speak at an asda leadership meeting uh three or four years ago called me up said he remembered our talk and uh he was looking for help and support and um you know so I never you know you never know who's listening you never know what they hear you never know what they when they hear it and so I just keep talking about it and um and and as a result my my life you know has taken off I’ve been able to um you know have a have a life worth living I have a great family I’ve got a great practice uh situation right now I’ve you know even my colleagues seem to put trust in me by putting me in in charge of things and uh and they listen to me and so I I think you know it being locked up in my addiction for all these years um finding a solution to that kind of gave me an impetus to live my best life that I could possibly live every single day and as you you get to know me more you'll see uh that I do that so I would uh have to i'd be remiss if I didn't say to anyone who's listening if you are having trouble you are struggling or if you know of something struggling you know seek help this is way way harder to do uh alone than than with people and and we advocate there's there's uh program in just about every state a well-being program and if if there's not one in your state the ada has a central uh phone number to call for help and they will get you in in touch with the right people and they'll find you help and we advocate for for us getting help with dignity because it is a human condition and yes we are held to a higher standard as healthcare professionals and we're held at a higher standard because we can do a lot of harm um you know as you said with the uh with the the samples that we used to get um back in the 80s before I was in practice cocaine we could we could get pharmaceutical grade cocaine from the pharmacy on a regular basis so we make anesthetic you know and i'd be dead if that were the case today um because it would be you know my drug of choice and and I would abuse it like crazy um had I not found recovery so um we you know I I’ve seen people uh like me regain their their their lives as a dentist and and some maybe regain their lives not as dennis um but I’ve also seen people die you know and I’ve seen our colleagues pass away from this disease and it's always a tragedy when when that happens and you know it gives me the um the motivation to keep pushing forward and you know maybe I can reach somebody and um it's enough for them to change their trajectory and you know anyone who's in recovery is there to help so please seek it so so what is so the ada that's the uh the ada dentist well-being programs handbook uh do you know that is that yeah and what is um and what is that number you said um oh you're gonna put me on the spot could I just give it to you and put it and put it on the the liner notes if you call the regular auda number and say I’ve got a well-being issue they will put you in contact with that department okay and you give do you give your number to any listeners or is that overwhelming absolutely no well my number's out there and uh give it to right now if you want yeah seven seven two zero nine eight nine seven nine six zero that's my cell phone um I field calls every week or so from uh either colleagues or someone who loves a colleague who's struggling and uh so if it's too much I won't answer so so he just gave out a cell phone that that's um talk about true love 720-989-7960 and um and I mean that is amazing but um what um you know some people um in their state like like I know in Arizona um people used to have their you know um couldn't understand where Arizona is known for all these rehab centers I mean um when famous people had uh um no names mentioned but that fame really fantastic had a sex edition problem the the sex edition deal was in tucson I mean it's great it's desert it's weather but the people here you know they would always send you to a human planner that's you know clear on the other side of the country and so the rumor is you know or why would they do that um you know because some you know obviously people are saying is he getting a kickback from this one over there because I had to I passed five of them on the way to the airport to fly all the way to pennsylvania um or is that intentional design well first of all just like not every dental office provides the same kind of dental care not every rehab provides the same kind of care for those who are addicted my recommendation for people is I try and match a when I’m recommending a treatment center I try and match um a place that I feel they would feel most comfortable whether it would be you know maybe it's one that specializes in men's issues or trauma issues um women's issues specifically all of them have a professionals track where other healthcare professionals are in treatment at the same time we have a local treatment center here called cedar it's in the fit on the fit simmons campus in aurora Colorado that's a great program um and but a lot of people from Colorado don't like to go there for fear of you know there's so much entering entering rehabilitation is a scary scary time and I know when I was in early recovery I was so scared of my patients seeing me at a at a recovery meeting or making you know questioning things and so I wanted to go as far away as possible I didn't I ended up going locally in Michigan but um but a lot of people just want to go far away and so we've got special treatment centers all all over the country that uh I think we try and match best to the person and their situation so just like every dental office isn't the same rehabs aren't the same too well I know every dentist is the first thing they're gonna think is um um you know being a dentist you know like if you have an autoimmune disease if you have ms you're you know your family has autoimmune disease it might have you know uh celiac sprue and rheumatoid arthritis and all these things they always want to know is this a is this a hereditary genetic uh component could 23 and me show you that this is an issue I mean does it seem to run in family do you feel you inherited a deck of cards uh that came with uh the king of uh spades for addiction yeah you know there were some addictive uh behaviors in my in my family um and but I don't think anyone quote unquote had a true addiction um and so mine came just out of just mass use you know I just used a lot my party never ended and I started using early and that that's one of the key contributors the earlier someone starts um abusing substances alcohol drugs etc in a developing brain those pathways to to feel good are become dominant and so that's a big thing there is a a much greater chance of of a person becoming an alcoholic if their parents were alcoholics or grandparents were alcoholics as well but there's no there's no gene on uh the 23andme scan that you will find the alcoholism gene or the drug addiction gene but you know and some drugs are more addictive than others and um but anything that is mind-altering if you use enough of it uh over enough amount of time um that pathway will become dominant and addiction will ensue and so I bring that up because marijuana is being sold around the country politically as non-addictive and um it's very very addictive and especially in the form that it's in now um back when we were in uh our teenage years the the ditch weed we smoked was much uh much less potent than the highly concentrated gmo genetically modified uh plant that's smoked now and so we're seeing a lot more um cases with tobacco too I mean the tobacco we're smoking now is like ten times as much nicotine in a marble cigarette than uh what the indian but the native American indians um who taught us how to smoke it uh they they um correct we learned we learned how to smoke tobacco from uh the native American indians you know you never you never hear that talked about much but uh that that's a uh that's a big deal um but um what did you think of um I kind of was um sad when penn and teller um big comedians um who came out on their uh slam on a pen and tiller on effectiveness did you ever get to see that pen and tiller you know the comedians where it's the big guy I know they are yeah yeah yeah they they did the deal on that just saying uh hey it's a 99 failure rate why why are people still doing this um um what would you say I I think you were saying it was a five uh percent success rate with or without a so he was saying hey basically the whole theme is like well if anything else had a 95 failure rate you wouldn't you wouldn't promote it but aa has a 95 failure rate so why the hell is anybody promoting aaa what would you say to pen and teller on that I’ll also I’ll send you the video on that yeah that'd be great um because it's tough to generate um demographic data you know because it's very transient and what I what I tell people is that if you try and do it on your own you've got a three to six percent chance of getting sober um that is true you try doing it on your own if you try and do it with a self-help group like aa treatment um you know it goes up to 20 25 there was a uh a study um an overview of all studies that just came out about a year ago called the Cochrane review on the effectiveness of 12-step programs like aaa and it's much much greater than that it's in you know the 30 to 40 percentile range of success rate but it's very difficult to measure because it is so transient and it is anonymous so people you know don't like filling out surveys because of fear of getting uh outed um and violating the trust of the anonymity um and and it's not very organized either so it's really tough to uh to tell um my uh the best success rates are the professionals such as us you know we have uh as dentists and healthcare professionals when our license is in jeopardy um you know the state boards kind of you know enter into our treatment uh recommendations and they want to make sure that we are practicing um sober and they want to make sure that we're practicing at the standard of care for that state and so they put us on you know long-term monitoring of you know three to five years and you know and they make us do random drug tests over that time and they make us do things like having a practice monitor to come in and make sure that we are practicing at the standard of care and they make us go to meetings they just go to therapy and they make us go to doctors and um and and all this it seems like a real hassle at the time but what it's doing is creating positive behaviors that will override the addiction pathways and it takes time to do that a 30-day treatment center is basically a spin dry it takes you know 90 180 days before a true uh brain rewiring happens and it takes several years for that to stick so those years of monitoring that I had to go through under the guise of of I’m sorry under the the guidance of the state board was a very helpful thing and and the success rate goes up from you know me trying to do it myself in those first 14 months of three to six percent success rate I was sure I was gonna be one of those three three to six percent um and I was and I failed miserably but being on the uh in those professional programs this success rate goes up to 75 success and you know for us that we've all that we've invested in our schooling um the student loans the investments in our practice the investments in our ce um for us to be able to practice again um you know with you know with a 75 success rate uh I would buy that investment any time over the do-it-yourself kind of thing so that you know the comprehensive long-term uh behavioral uh behaviors that the state boards make us do in our contracts in recovery are the best things the best treatment outcomes and we see it also in the drug courts so as a diversion program from going to jail a lot of you know first offenders with drug drug issues uh the drug courts are 75 success rate as well because they are mandated to do things over over a long period of time and if and and the failure rate there the consequences of failure for them is you know they go to jail the consequences for failure with us is the potential of losing our license and all the investment that we put into our lives so it's a really good it's either a stick or a carrot and but but over time it really does you know create new brain uh pathways that ensure success so that was a lot of really high intense uh over um so just a summary um a carrot and a stick work better together I mean you're saying doctors have a higher success rate aaa because they can lose their license uh so um so not necessarily just a a but a comprehensive you know of many things so maybe recovery meetings and maybe um an addiction medicine doctor uh you know with reports a uh um group therapies medications that are recommending to help curb the the um the urges to relapse so it's there's all sorts of things that are put in place that um you know kind of block all different angles that uh would uh you know would uh could lead to relapse and and that um Cochrane study I I was not aware that that that's recent that just came out march 2020. of course scott what was happening march of 2020 where I wouldn't miss it yeah I would have missed this but um I’m looking at it now I don't have time to read it in front of you during the interview but um the the cochran studies says alcoholics anonymous and other 12-step programs for alcohol use disorder um do they give a number or is any summary of uh its success rate or is um giving a number of success an over way too yeah 30 to 40 percent of those so yeah it's a long report it's a it's an overview of many many studies that's what Cochrane does and so there's a lot of stuff in there and um I’ll I’ll highlight some things to send it to you yeah well no let's we'll find the uh best threat on dental town about that because um and I I um yeah I’ll we'll find a link on that for dental town um yeah I just so um and that's so for me I’m always motivating my boys that I saw you know I’ve seen progress in my 30 in my you know 58 years because a lot a lot of times they you know like like politics I mean you know I mean my whole life every election has been deciding do you want your leg amputated above or below the knee you know would you rather die of cancer or heart disease I mean it's just uh you know it's always like the the worst decision of the year uh you know isn't a life cycle but but so things just move slowly uh in civilization we've been around 5 000 years but I’m gonna go back to this marijuana because I have a very good friend whose uh son died of an overdose um not for marijuana but um of uh something else uh opiates and when he he tells me that when he used to go to all the family meetings everything's a family meeting he used to think the people that had it the worst were the the ones addicted to pot and and he used to feel lucky though at least my son's on opiates and not the pot because the pot was the worst but Colorado you were the one of the first states to legalize uh recreational use of that um and he's saying um that if you're going to do that then why the hell would it wouldn't you uh legalize vicodin and perkadain and percocet um at walgreens because he he sees that as equivalent and I’ve been at with dentists at dinner when someone said that marijuana legalized marijuana to be the same as having legalized vicodin and nobody you know nobody agreed with that how do you how do you see that debate so you know marijuana is is kind of funny um because it's got this impression that um that it's not very dangerous and it may not be you may not may not get overdose deaths from marijuana but it does lead to other things and especially in the developing brain the younger the younger person who starts in their teens starts smoking marijuana you know their inhibitions are down and they're going to try other things this is how the opiate problem became a political problem the opiate problem has been a problem for for since its inception um but until the white middle class uh teenagers started dying of overdosing it you know it's been killing the blacks uh black communities for for for decades you know but it's never been an issue until it became a problem in the white neighborhoods um you know if you you put 10 people in a room and had them smoke marijuana for 30 days you know maybe three of them will become addicted to marijuana okay if you put those same 10 people in a room and and you know inject them with opiates for 30 days all 10 of them will be addicted to opiates so it is much more addictive and it is much more dangerous and there's you know the overdose deaths are are skyrocketing and you know we had it you know going down a little bit and it's going back up again especially in covet it substitutes can I sorry to interrupt I feel dumb interrupting with your honor get around but I just um when it looks at the overdose though um I don't know I I’m I’ll admit I I don't believe it because when I see anybody famous dying of opioids I mean take um who is that famous whitney houston or whatever whenever they show the um the more the uh prince you know my my hero I mean god and uh prince that album 1999 little red corvette I mean he's legendary in my music collection but they they weren't they didn't you know you look at their blood toxicology there was like you know there's five six other things in there a lot of it fentanyl and I’m always wondering you know prince had the money for a jet and he has to fly around to buy illegal opioids it's made in bathtubs and cut with fentanyl but if it had been legal and he just could have drove to walgreens and bought legal vicodin from an American pharmaceutical would he have died from the opiate or are these opiate deaths because I personally to me I firmly believe that the dea is mostly worried about their 50 000 employees and they got to have a job and you we have more people in prison than mao they sung or stalin had in prison three and a half million people in prison they're all worried about those jobs and when you keep it illegal um you know that you keep all these jobs and I I just think I always wonder if the dea if you just closed down the dea fired all the people and and didn't and cancel their unfunded pensions and you did the same with all the prisons for all the people who did a non-violent drug crime and you legalized everything um like like like how the british found china you know a hundred years ago when they get when they got there and that that's how china was operating um would prince have died from an opioid overdose if he could have got it clean manufactured made and not made in somebody's bathtub you know addiction is addiction and I’ll just use the example of alcohol it's still the most abused drug um out there and it accounts for more deaths than any drug combined okay 80 some thousand deaths per year are attributed to alcohol um nicotine also legal um the second most abused drug out there more deaths due to nicotine side effects or long-term side effects of nicotine use um is killing people in droves heart disease lung cancer many many cancers and stuff too so um you know legally legalizing it doesn't really curb demand you know um I was able to get my drug of choice in droves um cocaine and it is legal for doctors to use it or prescribe it especially ents it's using ent same thing with fentanyl okay same thing with vicodin it's all legal but just it's not easily obtained so if it was easier obtained would it be uh less deadly I don't know I mean if you use the the alcohol or nicotine example it's killing people in droves it's just socially acceptable to die of that you know what I mean and um what what I fear um yes there's quality control when when it's regulated and you know it was funny because when marijuana was on the ballot here in Colorado it was a public ballot it wasn't a a government uh decision it was a public decision and you know we had uh the most people who admitted to using marijuana in the country 56 percent of of residents of Colorado uh admitted to marijuana use in their anonymous polls and stuff like that so we had the highest in america so of course they they chose the marijuana um advocacy industry you know pushed Colorado to be uh legalized first and I couldn't believe it when you know it won uh and became legal and and I kept thinking tomorrow is the signs of the apocalypse you know and uh you know legalizing marijuana and I’ve you know and and for uh you know a speaker around the country on on marijuana issues in dentistry and I’m actually speaking on saturday at the north carolina caring dental professionals meeting um and and um virtually of course but on this subject and um marijuana is a the the medical marijuana laws are gateway laws okay meaning that they're in our surgeon general the u.s surgeon general says there's absolutely no medicinal um reasons to use marijuana 100 he says that I’ll send a video and post it on uh on templeton sorry my dogs are going crazy um and um you know and and I’m sure there are medicinal properties that would help some diseases but they haven't been studied yet because it's a schedule one drug and so if it became a schedule two drug um we'd be able to study it better and there are a lot of studies going on they're just not federally funded um right now and to see what the efficacy is of of of thc in in the medicinal in various medicinal ways so I’m sure there are some positives and um but we just we haven't studied them yet so if if it is truly a drug used for to to improve health then um it should be studied as such and proven to be uh applications in that way um and then it should be distributed by those that are professionals in distributing drugs pharmacists not you know 20 something year olds who tell you what you know it should be used for um you know right now it's all empirical that um you know my aunt had irritable bowel syndrome and she ate uh you know marijuana gummies and it helped her ibs therefore marijuana uses marijuana is useful for all gi problems that's basically how the studies are going and uh it's not true there's not double blind it's not controlled um so I I expect there to be some medicinal um benefits to it in the in the future but it needs to be studied as such um so but but but what it does there is a study that's really important that's been done out of the university of Michigan over the last 40 years I think where it looks it it um it pulls 12th graders okay and on one uh on one line of the graph it wants to know how risky is marijuana use and how much do you use and so if there's a high level of risk there's low level of use if there's low level of risk there's high level of use and that's been going over about 30 or 40 years and and that's a you know what what I’m fearful of with marijuana is that by legalizing it across the country you know it's it's wonderful it's from the earth and it you know it's not addictive all these you know the stuff that comes out it lowers the perception of risk amongst those that are most vulnerable and therefore the use is going up and when use goes up in a developing brain it's going to lead to you know more drugs harder drugs different kinds of drugs different entries of drugs and more deaths and and again I i think a lot of this mass legalization is a pushback from the government's mass criminalization you know if they weren't 100 if they weren't so freaking like they always do for 5 000 years you know they they try to kill every fly with a sledgehammer um you know humans kill about one percent of each other and their families the government's killed six percent of all the people um you know I mean they uh you know the locking them up and throwing away the key and all this kind of stuff I I think a lot of this just political pushback it's you know they they just hate the government and and the other thing I don't see about the medicinal thc is when you have a medicine you you get the pure drug you wouldn't smoke it in a plant that has 12 000 other things burning I mean it when you're smoking a joint you say it grew hair I mean what grew hair I mean you're smoking 12 000 chemicals and to say it was one it just there's just nothing uh scientific about it do you believe the old saying that um born an addict once an addict always an addict all you're gonna do is trade one addiction for another so um I noticed um um we've both done uh iron man's been and I noticed when I was running iron mans that um almost every girl that um was in the iron man deal um was a past um prescription pill addict um and it just seems like a normal person would say you know what I think I’m gonna run a 5k and maybe if you're a little hyper maybe someday you'll shoot for a 10k but when you just wake up and say I’m gonna run a marathon it's like dude that's like 26 miles you're so do you think um do you think a lot of marathon runners and trading one addiction for the other or bodybuilders I I’ve read that in the um in the bodybuilding community that well who are these guys that can pump iron four hours a day and they say well he used to he used to be on drugs all day so do you believe that that you are an addict and you're just gonna have to find something else to be addicted to so just find something good to be addicted like running and lifting weights right you know um so you know my brain is wired to want more okay and and so drugs were a big part of that and the dopamine rush that i'd get from using drugs um is still very important to me to get and so I get that from from long distance running from doing ironmans and uh you know things like that um and and there are a ton of recovering um addicts who are you know doing these crazy events for sure and but the definition of addiction is you know continued use of a substance or behavior um in incurring uh consequences and yet still still choosing to use and still do that behavior we're trading it for an addiction I’m sorry for for a positive addiction um you know I’m not getting uh you know any negative consequences from running long or doing ironmans and things like that so but but the dopamine and the brain chemistry uh satisfaction is happening for sure um but you know addiction accounts uh you know is probably about 10 to 15 of the population and i'd say it's about the same maybe a little higher in in endurance athletes but um what percentage 10 to 15 of the population um have an addiction problem okay now is that a u.s summer because um you know when um I lecture around um you know the russians when I was lecturing in russia they they they all bragged that they had the highest alcoholism right in the world at 40 percent and then when I was over in ireland a couple times they they would tell you that the russians were number one but they were number two at 38 and then I always hear this 14 15 united states so do you believe that russia is 40 ireland's 38 and and america a mixed bag of people from all 208 countries um which I think it's it's more of a cultural issue in my opinion you know and it's such a it's so ingrained in their their cultures to drink and it is in ours too but not to the level is russia or ireland so um you know I don't know well I remember I remember the first time I lectured in russia in uh poland warsaw poland right after the berlin wall fell I mean my jaw dropped because you know those in the morning those uh those orange juice glasses at every dental convention you know lunches rubber chicken rice pull up and in the morning they have those little orange dresses they had pictures of just table room vodka and the dentist would fill the glass an eight-ounce glass and they would sit down and they would drink that just like your water and I just thought okay this is just this all in your mind it's no big deal and I try to do that but fell out of my chair I mean they they could drink an eight ounce glass of vodka while maintaining a conversation with you you know what I mean it wouldn't even gas I mean American at least have to suck the salt off his hand or lick the lime or something so so you're right so you think a lot of that's just culture yeah I do um yeah 10 to 50 is the the the number that the American society of addiction medicine calls as the number that of people that would be addicted at any given time yeah huh he's in the Cochrane study too I think yeah and I was also looking at Cochrane study um it uh was in front of me and I I messed it up but anyway it was saying how um it was saying the average age um it was it was showing the age so right now you're talking all to dentist um but is there is there a a sweet spot of where this is a a bigger issue for a dentist um in in their life I mean is it like so when I was in my residency um we I did a general practice residency at northwestern memorial hospital in Chicago and every friday we would have different specialists come and talk about their specialty in medicine and one one week we had an addiction medicine specialist and she described first of all I thought it was a an intervention for me so once I realized it wasn't an intervention for me I started listening and she described the typical alcoholic dentist or doctor or someone in their late 50s or 60s who would present with you know heart problems liver problems kidney problems and in my mind I was like well okay I’m 20 something years old and that doesn't fit me at all even though I knew I had problems and so so that was what the you know the long-term effect of drinking was now with all the different drugs I can tell you I’m seeing people um in their late 20s um I’ve seen people in their 30s a lot more of the younger generation than the older generation and the younger generation would you know I got sober when I was 30 and thank god for that because I hadn't built up my life yet um I am working with one dentist right now who's in his 60s who may never practice again because of a lifetime of not dealing with his addiction has caused him so much trouble with the boards he may not ever get his license back again and he may lose everything as a result of that and it's so sad so you know and people would the problem is with addiction is that you have to hit a major bottom to to to want to make behavioral changes and so if it's not really a major problem it's hard to make uh make those changes make a decision to make those changes so uh unfortunately consequences uh you know are the stick that uh will keep you out of trouble uh or keep you uh or get you back online to to get better but uh um we don't have to dig so deep I think I’m seeing a lot more um issues with anxiety and burnout um in the the younger 40 and younger generation of dentists and um because it's it's hard dentistry's hard you know um and we we don't like to show any signs of weakness we like to you know solve all our problems on our own and we have poor coping mechanisms and so you know before we know it we're using drugs to soothe those anxieties and those pressures and the depressions and uh and then at some point it you cross over a line and uh you can't you can't return once you've crossed over that line and you were saying you know in russia you know it's probably culture and it really has to be um somewhat culture because um I’ve always read that anesthesiologists have the highest uh problem uh that 40 of anesthesiologists will in their lifetime um have a substance abuse uh deal with this and I remember that um perfectly um this is probably way too much information but when um you know I had four boys in 60 months and um I remember um um one of them the last one um she just couldn't go through it again it was middle night she was tired she exhausted she already had three kids and I did and I told her I said just get an epidural and she's like no no no I wanna I wanna have it natural and I said only a man named Dr lamaze who never had a kid could tell all the women to have a natural I said I want to get Dr lamaze in my dental office and pull his teeth naturally I want him to hold his wife's hands and just blow and blow it's just pressure it's just pressure I said what I said I can't even believe so I got her I got her you know um relaxing and anyway and I walked in and I told the obgyn who delivered the first one I said she's getting an epidural and he goes I know I don't think she knew I said she's getting an epidural and he's like all right I got it so back then I had the motorola flip-flop he makes a phone call this guy shows up out of nowhere and I said god you know where were you and he was just at the waffle house white but anyway so he starts epidural I said I’m a dentist can I watch and he said yeah I said this is you're probably used to this this is lidocaine but it can't have any epinephrine in it that'd be a big deal and he said that was for the short acting or the long-acting fibers and then we put another one in for the fentanyl for for the the whatever the long-acting or the whatever and the opposite and um he put that in there and I’ll never forget it I mean all of a sudden someone just grabbed my arm just grab my arm said what was that and I said I said what was that again he goes he goes fentanyl I said fentanyl and she said uh do you have that in your office and then the anesthesiologist rolls ice but I mean it must have been the greatest feeling and in fact she even told me that she said that that was the greatest feeling I ever thought and then you hear anesthesiologists at 40 of them will get addicted to that once in their career because it's there so we know in america on every corner they're going to sell you alcohol nicotine and sugar you know you get a 64-ounce thirst buster a pack of cigarettes and all that so it makes you think that if all these drugs were available on every street corner I imagine if fentanyl was sold at every 7-eleven um we'd have a huge problem on our hands yeah absolutely that it's what a million times I’m sorry ten thousand times more uh powerful than heroin so seriously yeah fentanyl is ten thousand times more wow what's what's killing the kids is you know the fentanyl is cheap the chinese fentanyl they're mixing they're mixing it into um the the norco or the vicodins that are all the percocets and stuff that are out there they're manufacturing their own just a few grains too much in the pill will overdose somebody and that's that's how they're dying it's just because there's no quality control it's so just grains I’m talking like grains of salt that that uh yeah that makes the difference between life and death and there's no quality control and that's why okay you gotta remember first of all I I cannot stand any and all governments since the beginning of time and I’ve I’ve never read the story about the roman empire and said wow those sound like a nice a bunch of nice people you know I never read about the history of uh you know mao day song and thought i'd like to have lunch with mao day song I’ve never eaten dinner with someone that's killed 50 million people so the government you know they're they're they've always been abusive in everything they do but I don't know it just seems like um it just seems like they they just tend to make everything worse uh they seem in fact going to the government for the it's like it's like even healthcare I mean I know no dentists agree with me on this and I should really stop talking about this but look at dennis income and I’m here in Arizona I’m across from the guadalupe indian reservation every time some dentists who graduated from a dental school in mexico sneaks up here into guadalupe and starts doing dentistry for twenty dollars a you know a filling what does the government do they arrest them they put them in a cage and they deport him what was he doing well he's not a licensed dentist it's like well I don't think america had licensed dentistry for the first 15 000 years that humans lived here you know what I mean I don't think they had licensed dennis in 1776 I think that you've made a racket and I’m all for saying this dentist is licensed by the Arizona state dental association just like I’m all for you saying the fda does not approve this drug but when you cross sign and say well the fda hasn't approved it so that's now you can't have it so the woman who sold me my mcmansion sold the mcmansion to go to scandinavia because she had to move to denmark to get a medicine for her brain cancer that's made in america and she could get it in denmark in fact she could get it for free in denmark if she moved there and bought a house so here's an American that had to sell her house moved to a foreign country to get a drug made in america and that's the racket that's why health care is so expensive when people are saying um well you know we we need socialized medicine because health care is so unaffordable yeah it's only unaffordable because the government has regulated it into the ground so so when they so they'll destroy something until it's so destroyed your only choice is well will you help me because it's all destroyed so yeah but you know it's I didn't uh I hate talking about the politics of health care but I’m involved in the politics of health care and there's so many issues with our our system for sure but you know also there has to be standards um a lot of physicians abused the system like crazy and a lot of dentists you know I was part of the dental benefits program council at the ada and you know in most dental insurance companies are um are you know they know five percent of dentists commit fraud you know and and they'll they'll over bill for you know everyone gets four four quadrants of scaling and root planing every kid gets you know 10 stainless or eight stainless steel crowns and uh you know and so those abusers and the insurance companies know it because they're they're stupid enough to to file for it you know and and try and get reimbursed for it and but the the insurance companies are are punishing the other 95 percent for those five percent that are abusing the system same thing in physicians uh and and so you know we kind of did it ourselves that's where you know standards have to be in place somewhere and the government doesn't know anything about dentistry you know I don't know there's what three or four congress uh dentists that are in congress and uh but five yeah it's a five so but but still there's you know overwhelmingly it's you know a small percentage of of of congressmen and you know they've they're not there just because they're dentists they got to deal with education they got to deal with oil and gas they have to deal with the economy and things like that so um you know we're a small piece of the pie and so we but but we as an organization the ada or the Arizona dental association I was at your meeting last week amazing group of dentists you have there um and I’m proud to have to be part of uh arizona's district um you know and but but we have to to make sure that our standards are there and that um that we are providing the best for our community and government has to unfortunately has to intervene um you know or monitor if if things get out of hand but if we don't have those relationships with legislators you know it's going to go pretty far south quickly and so it's there's my plug to support your local Arizona pack for those of you in Arizona and across all the country at your state packs and then of course the American dental association pack is really important too and I want to tell you that um we do have a um one of the forums is under health topics is substance abuse and recovery and I just posted that uh 12 steps that you told me about that I missed because it came out during march of 2020 kind of other things came out that month like the pandemic but um so if you have any notes or anything you want to post on that because um my gosh it's a disease and your colleagues love you and if you need help you need you got to raise your hand no one can read your mind and I know you're a very busy man and my gosh I’ve been uh trying to get you on the show uh for a long time and uh Brett seriously um thank you so much uh for taking the time out of your schedule to come on my show and talk to my homies about all things uh um ada all things substance abuse and uh and all things I I think you really helped him the executive director of the Colorado dental association he's a cool guy he's uh greg hill that lawyer craig's a good guy yeah yeah I love that guy he's um you can tell just by looking at his mask that he's got to be a fun guy to hang out with uh but um yeah but uh thank you for all you've done thank you for being a pioneer and thank you for getting healthy so you could be here to share your story and um thank you so much for coming on the show wonderful thanks for having me howard it's great uh great talking to you long overdue I know we've been trying to coordinate this for a couple years now and uh you know what I you know remember remember the good old days when it was just you and me on google plus we were the only two people on there and now it's gone but uh yeah I followed you a lot uh you had your whole ironman uh progression there and it was really fun to watch that and and I was rooting on from from afar and uh maybe someday we'll have to swap uh swap iron man stories and and stuff like that so good on you thanks for doing all you're doing it was so fun because I went from uh um you know I have I have you know different groups of dentists who do different things you know some you'll watch cardinals football games and it was uh three other dentists it was uh louis core in glendale Arizona and brad pitt who practices brad pitt brad sandvik uh who um who practices right up the street from me and jay resnick over in l.a and and what was fun is you would go on a six-hour bike ride and people would say oh my god what'd you do for six hours like it really isn't any different if six guys were at a pub or six guys were at a house or six guys are at a meeting I mean just I mean we we would ride for six hours just talking like this for a six hour bike ride and I just loved it but uh thanks for all you do and um you have to come back on again thanks thanks howard
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