Free Refills is the harrowing tale of a Harvard-trained medical doctor run horribly amok through his addiction to prescription medication and his recovery.
Dr. Peter Grinspoon seemed to be a total success: a Harvard-educated MD with a thriving practice; married with two great kids and a gorgeous wife; a pillar of his community. But lurking beneath the thin veneer of having it all was an addict fueled on a daily boatload of prescription meds. When the police finally came calling - after a tip from a sharp-eyed pharmacist - Grinspoon's house of cards came tumbling down fast. His professional ego turned out to be an impediment to getting clean as he cycled through recovery to relapse, his reputation, family life, and lifestyle in ruins. What finally moves him to recover and reclaim life - including working with other physicians who themselves are addicts - makes for inspiring listening.
©2016 Peter Grinspoon (P)2016 Hachette Audio
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"couldn't put it down"
I read daily, but it has been a long time since I have read a book that I could not put down. I listened to the audio version of Grinspoon’s Free Refills and I found myself listening in my car in the driveway, while I was walking through the house, getting dressed, brushing my teeth, etc. I finished the 9-hour book in under 2.5 days. There are several things that I loved about this book. One is just the story and the wonderful writing. It is just a great read. Another is the honesty…it takes a lot of guts to be so candid about one’s mistakes in life. It is also an important book on the opiate problem that we are currently experiencing in our country. Lastly, as a physician myself, I feel that it is an important book to remind us all that doctors are people too, full of their own strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures.
Howard Schultz's "Onward" as another book in which someone is so honest and candid about their mistakes.
His performance was just fine.
I like the scene where he finally, finally, really hit rock bottom as he was plunging the toilet and realized that his life had to change.
I hope Grinspoon writes more books!
"One thing ruined it a little"
The author loved to describe people in his life as fat, ugly, and everything in between. I was shocked at the racist descriptions, women with "leathery skin" ...this guy is obsessed with appearances. It was a good story but that felt so wrong.
First just let me say that the narration was awesome...I say that first so I don't forget. Addicted doctors are not something I didn't know about, but this story goes into such detail about the entire experience including his personal life. If I was asked to re-name this book it would be "Doctors are People Too". The high standards to which they are held after being caught are in my opinion, Ridiculous! You may think I'm crazy but listen and see if you don't feel the same at the end. What a great listen, I am actually going to see if Doctor Grinspoon has written anything else. It's pretty hard to shock me having been an addict myself but I found myself picking up my jaw more than once..oh and get ready to laugh out loud even in the midst of this injustice. Please don't get me wrong, I know there must be consequences but how this man didn't throw in the towel is amazing to me. The punishment did not fit the crime!
Dr. Grinspoon offers a humble, honest, and illuminating glimpse into addiction, recovery, and American healthcare. His story is inspiring for recovering addicts or anyone suffering from addiction. It is eye-opening and instructive for those in healthcare, especially the ones fearful and suspicious of their addicted and recovering fellow professionals. His wit and openness are both endearing and refreshing.
Thank you, Dr. Grinspoon, for sharing your vulnerability, struggles, and triumphs with us. May your story forever inspire others to take action.
"Entertained me on a cross country road trip"
First, when I began listening to this story I thought Peter was a self important a--hole doctor who thought he was too good for rehab and that his wife should have endured his nonsense. However, as I continued to listen I realized that this attitude was "tongue in cheek" and he realized what an intolerable d-bag he was to everyone around him. He also realized that he wanted to change and that he wanted to be a better person for his kids. I thought his story was sad, funny, poignant , idiotic and thought provoking and I was happy that I had this book to entertain me during my long drive. It always kept my attention and , in the end, I was hoping for the best for this "self absorbed jerk".
"Don't waste your money."
What an entitled arrogant putz. If you want to hear this creep blame his drug addiction on everything from his ex-wife to the medical board - never actually taking any responsibility - then read. I kept waiting for him to have an "Ah Ha" moment - where he'd admit he wasn't any better or smarter than the other addicts he was "forced" to interact with - but it never came. I'm sickened that he's been allowed to practice medicine again- not because of his past drug use - but because I can't imagine this guy ever really caring about anyone but his smug self.
There is really not much redeeming about this "recovery" memoir; the author spends so much time showing his utter contempt for almost everything---including AA, southerners, patients, treatment centers, other addicts, and his wife. He seems to be an individual who doesn't LIKE much of anything. The underlying tone is entirely negative; attempts at humor fall flat
felt author did not take responsibility. narrator's voice not a good fit for this story.
"Would love to hear his ex wife's side of the story"
Too much ranting about his uncaring ex wife. There are three sides to every story...his, hers, and the truth. I am sure living with an addict must be extremely hard
It was a great story that needs to be told. I just got fed up with how much time was spent berating his ex wife. While I do not know who she is, and she is referred to by a letter in the story, many people must know who she is so I feel bad for her. He said himself he left the house to go to his office to use many evenings. Guess that wasn't much fun for her!
"A Story Of Hope and A Second Chance."
Dr. Grinspoon's experiences show that addiction can strike anyone; regardless of education or status in life. This is the story of a man who literally chose drugs over every other thing in his life, including his family and his medical career. That choice, and the subsequent legal and professional fallout, almost cost him everything. In the end, however, this is a compelling narrative of hope and second chances.
The narrator in the audio version did a great job of capturing Dr. Grinspoon's "voice" in all its honesty, gritiness, and (at times) arrogance. It helped to make the audiobook a true "page turner".
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