Chiropractic + Naturopathic Doctor

Let’s Talk About Addiction

By Ronald French DC   

Features Clinical Patient Care

“Success in life is the result of good judgment, good judgment is the result of experience, and experience is often times the result of bad judgment.”

“Success in life is the result of good judgment, good judgment is the result of experience, and experience is often times the result of bad judgment.”

My name is Ronald M. French. I graduated from Cleveland Chiropractic College in the year 2000. I had a drug and alcohol addiction spanning 20 years and have seen how its involvement can make a huge impact on one’s career and life. I hit rock bottom and got help in August 2009. In August 2010, I had a year of sobriety and a 12-step study under my belt.


In September 2010, I felt I received a special gift: the gift of sobriety. The clarity and shifts in my life led me to wanting to give back and help others with similar problems. To be able to share my pitfalls, and embrace them for the stumbling blocks that they were, gives me an overwhelming feeling that I can overcome anything. The confidence gained from recognizing that I now hold the power that drugs and alcohol used to hold over me is one of the most satisfying and exhilarating feelings I have ever had. It’s a feeling that I hope can be shared by those who have fallen victim to drug and alcohol abuse but can recognize early enough the inevitable path of destruction that will follow should the abuse continue.

The Power of Support Programs
Until I entered my recovery program I did not realize that powerful resources and support systems existed. I simply thought that these programs were a waste of time. The truth is, drugs provided an empty, surface-level feeling of instant gratification that I held on to for 20 years.

But, I entered a program and it helped me to go deeper into myself and realize that my choices stemmed from deeper-seated issues with myself. Everyone has their reasons, conscious or subconscious, for hooking on to these addictions, and, without being judgmental, this program allowed me a forum where I could do the work to better myself.

It takes some time, but can help make the positive shifts that last a lifetime – unlike the quick fix that lasts long enough till the next hit.

A non-profit web-based hub
I benefited from finding the right program to help me. This is why I began the development of my non-profit website, meant to assist other DCs in finding programs to help them help themselves.

I’d like to introduce 4DC HELP. We are chiropractors helping chiropractors.

4DC help is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation information hotline and website hub established in September 2010. It serves as a collaborative community of support to combat the growing dangers of drug and alcohol abuse in the chiropractic profession. I created this website with the hope of connecting with people like me who let drug and alcohol abuse control, overrun and, ultimately, redirect their potential and the bright futures they were destined to create.

Other consequences of substance abuse
Some of you might be thinking, “I don’t abuse drugs, I just occasionally use them.” You might have your rationale for using them, such as a means of relaxation in the evenings or taking the edge off, maybe cramming for a test.

Justifications like, “marijuana is not a hard-core drug” or “I only use it recreationally” were all reasons I had, too, for validating my drug use. But in the government’s eyes, these are all reasons to convict you, put you in prison and have your professional licences revoked and careers shattered.

Substance abuse can and will eventually turn into violations, resulting in legal problems. The consequences of violations include legal burden, financial ramifications, loss of reputation, loss of business, family difficulties and criminal penalties. (Malpractice insurance generally does not cover violations of misconduct, leaving the practitioner to bear all financial burdens.)

If your abuse carries into the workplace it can also affect your patients and result in psychological damage, feelings of vulnerability, fear and mistrust, as well as possible physical pain/damage, financial loss and, ultimately, their failure to seek treatment in the future.

There are unusual challenges and unique considerations when a doctor has an addiction. If you are a doctor who has addiction issues you may be worried about admitting this problem. You may be concerned about losing the ability to practise in your chosen field and risking the reputation of your practice.

Working through the addiction
Many times, a typical rehabilitation program will not work, for a number of reasons. Doctors struggling with addiction require complete privacy and discretion and this cannot be found in a rehab program that has numerous patients from all walks of life and criminal backgrounds.

Fortunately, there are alternatives to the average rehabilitation facilities, including Impaired Professional Programs (IPPs). Our site offers the information to the location of these facilities and assistance to get you to the facility that best fits your personal needs.

Our goals are to:

  • promote the early awareness and rehabilitation of the substance-impaired chiropractor;
  • assist substance-impaired chiropractors in their recovery process by guiding them in the direction of proper treatment through the 4DC HELP hotline and website information;
  • increase awareness of substance abuse issues through education, warning signs and examples;
  • protect the public welfare;
  • protect the chiropractic profession’s reputation;
  • ultimately, avoid the consequences that are inevitable with substance abuse issues.

My hope and reason for this website is not only to share my own story of lifestyle choices and what can happen, but also to show that an alternative positive reality exists.

If this resource can serve as a conduit for even one person making a choice to live in sobriety and reach for help, then my life of mistakes will have served a purpose. It took me hitting rock bottom to recognize how drugs affected me and those around me, and I say can with passion and conviction that my life of sobriety carries renewed purpose.

They say that “success in life is the result of good judgment, good judgment is the result of experience, and experience is often times the result of bad judgment.” Unfortunately, drugs and bad judgment correlate to keep us in the vicious cycle of wrong choices, self-inflicting bad experiences and never sharing in the positive success that life can and will offer if we let it. We may end up paying the ultimate price with our lives.

Please let us help before it’s too late. Canadian DCs can also benefit from our services as we are adding Canadian connections and resources to our growing list of programs.

We can be contacted on the 4DC Help hotline at (720) 4DC-HLP8. Our e-mail address is We offer personal counselling as well as public lectures on business and ethics. You can like us on Facebook to help us get the word out.


  1. Introduction to 4DC Help hotline and website hub,


Dr. Ronald M. French graduated from Cleveland Chiropractic College Los Angeles. He spent the next eight years working for many different chiropractors, learning different techniques and treatment styles before opening his own office in 2008. He is now the doctor and owner of French Family Chiropractic located at the beautiful beach of Ventura, California.

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