If you felt like me when I was struggling with substances, you know asking for help can seem impossible. I knew I needed to stop, to change my ways, but on my own I kept failing. The habit I’d built was just too strong and I was too embarrassed to admit it.
Once I could tell the truth about my substance use, the door opened for me to change my habits. I learned that to honestly keep track of my habits, and become part of a supportive community doing the same, allowed me to decide what role alcohol and drugs should play in my life.
One of the toughest things I had to overcome was the social stigma of outing myself. Since the problems are 20 years behind me now, it’s a lot easier to talk about. But back then, admitting I was a doctor with a drug problem, boy, that was hard.
The way I’d dealt with my fears and worries developed its own momentum. Though I’d been to medical school and had a degree from U.C. Berkeley, I was ignorant about habits. Since then I discovered the real habit was managing my feelings. Drugs and alcohol were the tools, but they were not the real problem.
I took a break from my anesthesiology training to get to the heart of this habit business. That quest took me through my family history, the choices I’d made as a young adult, and it forced me to confront reality. With the help of the finest mentors and the grace of Providence, I decided to go substance free.
For a while I went back successfully to the operating room. Part of my heart is still there, but helping to free men & women from their own mental prisons became my life’s work. Over the past fifteen years, I’ve been lucky to play a part in helping some of the most famous and successful people in the world. Household names scuffling with the same problem I once had.
With the next stage of my life I made another decision: to reach as many people as possible with the truths I’ve learned. Partly so the bumbling mistakes of my own life can be useful to others as examples of what not to do. But mainly so the 95% of those with this problem can have access to the help that was offered to me.
What I learned in a nutshell:
- When you understand how habits work, you can make different choices.
- Tell truth, even anonymously, and it will change your life.
- Helping others is why we’re here.
Come join me and let’s change the world, one person at a time.
[Dr. Giles is a medical doctor, but neither he nor any part of VHAB should be taken as medical advice. See your doctor.]
Recruited to play tennis at the University of Southern California, Victor Assad obtained a degree in marketing before launching a successful international career in media and television. On the heels of that achievement, his interests carried him into the consumer product & service sector.
Throughout his career, Mr. Assad has focused his philanthropic efforts on helping future generations live full, healthy lives. He currently lends his expertise to the executive boards of several charitable enterprises, including the Iacocca Family Foundation, Orange County’s Hoag Hospital, and the Brent Shapiro Foundation.
Victor originally hales from Bakersfield, and now makes his home in Laguna Beach, California. His own experiences with personal and family recovery are what drive his passion to help others who struggle with substance use. His relationships with media companies, celebrities, and social influencers are invaluable in extending the reach of VHAB’s mission and message.