Turning Scars Into Stars


John Sack

Dr. Sack has thirty years of experience in the practice of Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine. He has worked extensively with patients addicted to alcohol, opioids, stimulants, and other mood-altering substances. His special interest is opioid addiction.

John received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and mathematics from the University of Southern California. He taught mathematics and physics in Jamaica for several years before returning to the US to pursue a medical career. He graduated at the top of his class from the John A Burns School of Medicine in Hawaii, completed an internship at the University of Colorado, and finished his residency at Brown University, where he served as Chief Resident in Internal Medicine.

In 1984, Dr Sack was certified as an Addiction Specialist by the American Society of Addiction Medicine. In subsequent years, he and a team of colleagues from across the US worked with the National Board of Medical Examiners to develop a certifying examination for what was then a newly-emerging medical subspecialty.

From Rhode Island, Dr Sack traveled to California, where he established a private internal medicine practice in La Jolla and joined the staff of Scripps Memorial Hospital. For twenty-five years, he treated patients admitted to the Scripps addiction treatment program. During that time, he also served as an addiction consultant in the Scripps hospital system and in various addiction treatment programs throughout San Diego County.

In 2007, Dr Sack retired from medical practice due to health-related physical constraints. However, he has maintained a keen interest in the diagnosis and treatment of substance use disorders. He has studied new developments in the neurobiology of addiction and has done extensive literature-based research on psychosocial treatment methods and their relative effectiveness in reducing self-destructive behavior.

Dr. Sack is a proponent of evidence-based harm reduction. He advocates for the comprehensive use of all modalities that can increase the likelihood of long-term recovery.

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