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Doctor's downward spiral

He was a doctor, a father, a marathon runner and an upstanding member of his Prince Edward Island community — but beneath the white coat, Grant Matheson says his life was unravelling because of addiction.

Matheson is opening up about his struggle with opioid addiction in a new memoir, "Golden Boy", which details his descent from being a respected physician in Charlottetown to buying drugs off a patient.

Matheson says he started self-medicating with prescription painkillers in his 30s, and his addiction spiralled in the wake of his brother's death in 2002, eventually leading to him injecting himself with opiates every few hours.

He says he began prescribing narcotics to a patient and buying them back in order to feed his addiction, until he was found out by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of P.E.I in 2005 and his medical licence was suspended.

Matheson says he has been clean from opiates since going to rehab in 2005, but after relapsing with alcohol in 2012, he has decided to not to return to medicine.

He says he hopes his book will help reduce the stigma of addiction in the healthcare community.



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