Wondering why your doctor at Mass General or Brigham and Women’s won’t write you a medical marijuana recommendation?

Look no further than Dr. Steve Adelman, Director of Physician Health Services (PHS) and a member of the board of DPH

who recently opined that the Boston Marathon bombing might have been partially caused by marijuana withdrawal.

Adelman and MA PHS, a Non Governmental Organization incorporated through the Mass Medical Society is a group with extra government powers to revoke licenses of medical doctors in Massachusetts.

How does this scam work? The State PHS is funded by and represents drug testing, pharma, residential treatment centers, insurance companies and the “Just Say No” foundations. Our MA PHS is one spoke in the wheel of the national network of state run Physician Health Programs (PHP’s).

Once enrolled in this system, doctors are forced to comply with years of drug testing under the supervision of PHS without independent oversight or appeal.

It is no wonder that most doctors in Massachusetts are afraid to mention the word “marijuana” in regards to treatment for their patients. They’re afraid of being targeted by the PHS who are increasingly political and vengeful against any medical professional who does not preach their 12-step addiction philosophy.

A few doctors in Massachusetts have spoken up on the Physician Health Services fraud and abuse.

J. Wesley Boyd (MD) and John Knight (MD) report in the Journal of Addiction Medicine: “For most physicians, participation in a PHP evaluation is coercive, and once a PHP recommends monitoring, physicians have little choice but to cooperate with any and all recommendations if they wish to continue practicing medicine.”

“Since PHP practices are unknown to most physicians prior to becoming a client of the PHP, many PHP’s operate outside the scrutiny of the medical community at large. Physicians referred to PHP’s are often compromised to some degree, have very little power, and are therefore not in a position to voice what might be legitimate objections to a PHP’s practices.”

Which sounds exactly like the situation of Massachusetts’ own Dr. Michael Langan.

Langan was a victim of a fraudulent PHS drug test that was later thrown out, but that was only the beginning:

“The College of American Pathologists did a full investigation and confirmed the fraudulent drug test. They sanctioned the lab involved and mandated they amend the positive test as invalid, but PHS got the heads up from the lab and reported me to the board for non-compliance with mandated thrice weekly AA Meetings.”

“So I was suspended in December based on not complying with recommendations based on a fake test,” say Langan.

Why was Langan targeted like this?

“I was being monitored with weekly urine tests by them because I signed up in 2007. I had developed an opiate problem and they advertised they helped doctors. They did not like me because I called bullshit on the 12-step indoctrination.”

So what does this mean for medical marijuana advocates and patients? Look no further than the MA DPH medical marijuana regulations and who got to write and approve them. The same cast of characters, Dr. Steve Adelman and his cohorts. The PHP movement has bigger goals, to take these practices to the general public, if we don’t stop them first.

Some states such as California have kicked them out; it’s time to do the same here.



  1. Orestes Weed Orestes Weed says:

    This is from a comment I made on the DrugWarrant.Com Website recently:

    The Physician Health Services, FSPHP agenda is clear if one looks at the major players behind the scenes. Robert DuPont (White House drug Chief 1973-1977) runs a corporate drug testing business (Besinger, DuPont and Associates) along with Dr. Gregory Skipper who runs the Alabama Physicians Health Program. An ex-felon who had his licensed revoked in Oregon, Dr. Skipper introduced EtG testing as a means to test for alcohol and successfully partnered with a drug testing company to screen for alcohol use. Using an arbitrary cutoff point of 100 ng/ml it quickly became apparent that the test was flawed as it was introduced into professional monitoring programs and the criminal justice system. The flawed test was exposed in a Wall Street Journal article and has largely been abandoned. It is now known that hand sanitizer, cosmetics, sauerkraut, bananas, and myriad other substances can cause a positive EtG test. Hand sanitizer can produce a level of 2000. Thousands of people have been harmed by this test (did not get jobs, lost jobs, lost licenses, went to prison) and Dr. Skipper, somewhat like Mrs. Winchester and her mystery house adding room for the ghosts of victims of the Winchester rifle, has set up a website where people can leave their tragic stories of how they were harmed by the EtG. He takes no responsibility however and the conflicts of interest are again staggering. Although he is a Physicians Health Service director her runs Promises Treatment Center and has ties to the drug testing industry. PHS still uses EtG and Dr. Skipper has introduced another test (PEth) which they are claiming can confirm ant EtG. Junk science with scant data it is being used by USDTL.
    Skipper and DuPont work together with a concerted goal of applying Physicians Health Programs as a model for everyone else as well as further impacting medical progress by identifying “disruptive physicians” who they can then remove from practice.

  2. Warren Mullaney Warren Mullaney says:

    “The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world that he did not exist.”

    ― Charles Baudelaire

    The ASAM, FSPHP (state Physician Health Programs, Physicians Health Services, Inc, PHP) are the real threat. Fighting the powerless overt face of the enemy in this “drug war” be spitting into the wind. This is where the power lies, covert and quiet, and they have made tremendous gains. The DSM-V, the proposition to lower the legal alcohol limit to 0.05, and the power to control almost every physician in the US (you are either with us or against us), are the result of these groups–and DuPont is the Oz behind the curtain. It is time to identify the real enemy and shine a cold hard light in a direction that matters before it is too late. The next step is to roll this mother out to the general public.'s-blog/asam-president's-blog/2012/10/16/how-to-achieve-an-80-percent-recovery-rate

  3. Peter Peter says:

    Mr. Mullaney, unfortunately, this type of forced 12 step indoctrination has already been rolled out to the general public. Depending on the report you read, 90% plus of all “treatment” centers in the U.S. are 12 step indoctrination centers.

    Anyone, and I mean anyone, can find themselves forced into these “treatment” centers. Employers, spouses, courts, probation officers, licensing boards, all have the power, in one way or another, to coerce someone into 12 step programs.

    These Physician Health Programs (PHPs) are not the only “programs” out there. Attorneys (they should know better) more than likely are subject to some type of attorney assistance program. Pilots have their own program. Any professionally licensed and regulated individual can, and if the circumstances arise, will, most probably, find themselves in a 12 step program. Employers have the Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) to force Joe employee into “treatment”.

    12 step programs have as their bedrock belief the notion that the only solution to substance misuse is God. Faith healing! From the 1930’s! Think about that!

    The 12 steps as a solution to substance misuse issues are quite ineffective. The success rates that are bandied about by these professional “assistance programs” are inflated by a circumstance that is often not disclosed. Doctors, attorneys, pilots, nurses, CPAs etc. all have a strong motivation to take control of their particular issue(s). The motivation is keeping one’s career intact. So when you see a PHP claiming an 80% success rate keep in mind what is behind that success.

    The courts in the United States, both federal and state, have ruled that Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and 12 step programs all have enough religious activities in their programs to be deemed a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. Specifically, they all violate the Establishment Clause. The court decisions have all opined that mandating the 12 steps is unconstitutional.

    I was exposed to AA and the 12 steps nonsense as a result of my alcohol consumption. I am also a licensed CPA. I quit alcohol because my career and license were more important than my drinking irresponsibly. No God, no 12 steps, just a decision on my part! Motivation!

    The 12 step infiltration into “treatment centers” has been going on for a long time. In fact, the U.S. Government has had a big hand in this, passing legislation back in the ‘70s to allow “treatment center” stays to be covered by health insurance coverage. The amount of dollars involved in the U.S. is staggering.

    I salute the doctor for helping to bring this untenable situation to light.

    We all know that when big money and large profits are involved, corruption is inevitable. Conflicts of interest, unethical behavior and non-transparency all create situations ripe for abuse and manipulation with no real consideration given to the need for real substance misuse solutions.

    The last several decades have seen growth of alternatives to 12 step programs and the internet is helping in a huge way of shining light into the darkness that is “treatment” in this country.

    Some of these are SMART, SOS, HAMS and Rational Recovery.

  4. Julian Julian says:

    The Massachusetts Physicians Health Program has no oversight, accountability, or regulation. As an agency given absolute power they have a political agenda and are engaging in unethical, inhumane, and criminal practices such as colluding with outside private forensic toxicology labs to commit fraud. They also collude with a handful of 12-step drug treatment centers where individuals of like-mind are willing to fabricate neuropsychological tests, engage in false diagnoses, and commit political abuse of psychiatry at PHS request. The organization is designed to be protected from public scrutiny and routinely commits ethical, legal, and human rights abuse under the guise of “helping the physician” and protecting the public. They do neither. Unfortunately, many people overlook and even endorse civil rights violations and misconduct when substance abuse, or even the allegation of substance abuse, is in the equation. The State Attorney General will not investigate as they are a subcontractor of the State Dept of Health. The Board of Registration in Medicine will not second -guess PHS. Even if documents are obtained show misconduct, as they were in this case, they are disregarded, overlooked, or dismissed.

    Boyd and Knight write that a treatment center that PHS has a relationship with “may consciously or otherwise tailor its diagnosis and recommendations in a way that will support the PHP’s impression of that physician.” In other words, they are willing to just “make shit up” for them. As the physician would “certainly benefit from a three month inpatient stay to solidify recovery” is often one of the recommendations it is a win-win situation for both PHS and the rehab.
    Coercion, threats, retaliatory punishment, harassment and fabrication of neuropsychological tests to support a non-existent diagnoses resulting in forced incarceration are standard operating procedure. Political abuse of psychiatry and human rights violations are committed with impunity and under color of law.
    There needs to be a determined attack to expose the wanton corruption that is designed to be hidden from public scrutiny by peer review immunity, HIPPA, HCQIA, and ultra-strict confidentiality all under the guise of public service. The targeted physician is forced to abide by any and all demands of PHS no matter how unreasonable–all under the coloration of medical utility and without any evidentiary standard or right to appeal. This is a public health emergency that goes far beyond targeting individual doctors for political purposes.

    They have removed many good physicians in this manner including the doctor who saved the Red Sox in 2004. By performing a procedure he brilliantly came up with, this kind, and humble surgeon kept Curt Schilling and his bloody sock in the game, and ended 86 years of playoff futility for us. The Red Sox became would not have become World Series champions after all of those years without this man. He is a true hero—but a human hero. In 2003 he got a DUI and, being a physician, came under the monitoring of PHS.

    So in 2011, just as in this case, he was reported to the board with the same exact test. And just as in this situation, there was no other evidence to support it. It is my understanding that they took particular pleasure in bringing him down. A true tragedy.

    But they have even larger goals. They are influencing organizational medicine including the AMA in the blind acceptance of their 12-step zero tolerance coercive model and touting their reported “success rate” as a model to follow. They are influencing public policy in a way that avoids public scrutiny, evidence based medicine, and gives them free reign to do whatever they want. They are influencing medicine in the same way that the anti-evolutionists are influencing education in certain states under the “academic freedom” law–quietly, perniciously, and with the potential to do irreparable harm.

    Massachusetts needs to take the lead in getting rid of this group. But the big question is how?

  5. Walter Walter says:

    Read this article and was absolutely floored. As a result I queried some physician friends about it and they concurred..the MA PHS is essentially ‘the only game in town’ for this type of oversight. As a result, they wield a power and the result has been personal bias against those that do not agree with their dogma….and I’ve heard concurrence to the story above where a physician was personally targeted to the point where data was falsified. Sad that along with wanton malpractice suits/exorbitant insurance costs, that physicians have to live in fear of their own – medical “professionals”. Hope this gets ome attention…

  6. August August says:

    The strategy of distraction, the ASAM and FSPHP
    by August West (not verified), May 15, 2013, 10:43am
    The various pro “drug war” groups absolutist public persona is merely a ruse to distract. While attacking the hortatory absolutist nonsense of these groups of negligible influence, and believing that reason, logic, and progress would prevail, the drug warriors have successfully and silently designed a complex web that has both power and protection. By strategy of distraction, the noise of groups with the power to hector but not enforced has enabled other groups with common goals to gain power while remaining silent. By creating organizations that pretend to unrelated and benign groups they opportunistically inserted themselves into medicine at all levels, in each state, and in such a way that they have absolute control over almost every doctor in ways that are mind boggling. The ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) and the Federation of State Physician Health Programs (FSPHP) are the factions of the drug war that have gained power and protection. They have put up an impenetrable fortress that cannot be dismantled easily. As the brainchild of Robert DuPont, as a way to stranglehold medicine and advance the 12-step institutional rehab drug testing agenda, they have already regressed medicine by decades. The upcoming DSM-V controversial diagnosis of “substance abuse” is part of this legacy. By making it easier to diagnose substance abuse and muscle forward the testing and rehab industry to further their goals they eventually plan on using the abusive “physician health program”, FSPHP model on other populations. This needs to be recognized, exposed, and dismantled on a state level.

  7. Cyril Marcus Cyril Marcus says:

    Cyril Marcus, on June 10th, 2013 at 6:34 am Said: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    I would agree with Dr. Adelman’s exhortation that we collectively and individually “use our wits, our energy, and a spirit of self-help” to counter the stresses that contribute to the unusually high suicide rate among physicians. This necessitates a critical examination not only the predisposing risk factors (substance abuse, depression, genetics) and external stressors leading up to suicidal behavior, but also identifying what forces were involved in reaching the point of no return.
    Dr. Adelman speculates that the increased suicide rate among physicians may be an “occupational hazard” and that the evolving complexities of patient care, increasing regulatory red tape, and loss of free time. These would all contribute to the level of stress but to explain the disparity in completed suicides there must be some much more powerful force found in doctors but not present in the general population that facilitates the progression of a psychological state to this point of no return.
    Hopelessness has been identified in many studies as the most important factor for completed suicides. A feeling that “there is no way out” has been implicated in the multiple recent bullying related suicides in adolescents.
    There is quite a bit of anecdotal evidence that hopelessness may be a driving factor in physician suicide. This was first noticed after 20 physicians who went through Dr. Douglas Talbott’s ASAM Ridgeview program killed themselves in a 12 year period.
    These boot camp like programs of coercion and abuse are political organizations fronting as addiction medicine specialists and non-profit organizations of benevolence that help physicians and protect the public. They do neither.
    The ASAM has a certification process for physicians and claim to be “addiction” specialists. This “board certification” is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties and is not a recognized medical specialty. The goal of the ASAM is to be recognized as the experts in addiction medicine with the consensus expert opinion based on the 12-step prohibitionist brain disease model. The ASAM has aligned itself with a number of inpatient drug treatment centers (Hazelden, Talbott, Marworth, Bradford) and are heavily funded by the drug testing industry.
    They are non-profit non-governmental organizations and have been granted quasi-governmental immunity by most State legislatures from legal liability.
    By infiltrating “impaired physician” programs they have established themselves in almost every state by joining, gaining power, and removing dissenters. Groupthink and 12-step indoctrination are the goals. By advertising as advocates for doctors who are “caring,” “confidential resources,” “giving help,” and advocating for “colleagues in need” the outward appearance is one of benevolence.
    The biggest obstacle is that this system allows them to throw the normal rules of conduct under the imperative of a higher goal assumed to trump all other consideration. Those outside of programs either defend or ignore the reports of ethical and criminal violations, complacent in their trust of these “experts” claiming they are just helping sick doctors and protecting the public.
    With no oversight or regulatory body involved this is all done with impunity, immunity, and undercover. They use the accusation of substance abuse as an indication to disregard the claims of the accused. The physician is left without rights, depersonalized, and dehumanized. The imposition of confinement, stigmatization, lack of oversight of the organizations, peer-review protected confidentiality, and lack of procedural protection is a one-way train to hopelessness and despair.
    By establishing a system that of coercion, control, secrecy, and misinformation, they are claiming an “80% success rate” and deeming their programs “the new paradigm in addiction medicine treatment.
    They had a major influence on the DSM-V where drug abuse and dependence are no longer separate entities. They are also working behind the scenes to get legislation to randomly drug test all physicians.
    They are now after the “disruptive physician” and the evidentiary criteria are fairly low and red flags include “deviating from workplace norm in dress or conduct” and being tardy for meetings.
    They have identified “the aging physician” as a potential problem because “as the population of physicians ages,” “cognitive functioning” becomes “a more common threat to the quality of medical care.”
    To wit:
    They first came after the substance abusers and I did not speak out because I was not a substance abuser.
    They then came for those with psychiatric diagnoses and I did not speak out because I was not diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder.
    They then came after the aging physician and I did not speak out because I was young.
    They then came after the “disruptive physician” and I did not speak out because I was not disruptive.
    They then came after me and there was no one else to speak out for me.
    So it is imperative that we take Dr. Adelman’s suggestions both collectively and individually and counter the stresses and pressures that may contribute to our unusually and unacceptably high suicide rate. Let us turn a critical eye to how physicians with risk factors such as substance abuse and depression are treated differently. Are they being treated with compassion, care, benevolence, autonomy, and good faith? Are they being treated with competent medical care with respect for human dignity and rights? Are they being treated with integrity, honesty, and trust, utilizing evidence based medicine, best practices, and beneficence.
    Or are they being treated by unqualified professionals who have carte blanche license to do whatever they want under threat of loss of licensure and career? Are they being driven to isolation and despair through systematic humiliation, defamation, loss of privacy, loss of autonomy, bullying, coercion, and other abuses by a program that tells them they are powerless over alcohol and hopeless and defective and sinful and full of moral shortcomings who cannot ever recover. And are they being told that they are powerless and that forced group-think, suppression of dissent, and enforced conformity in thinking are the only choice they have?

  8. 12-step coercion, threats, forced AA, clear violation of the Establishment Clause of 1st Amendment civil rights. Indefensible.

    It is beyond dispute that, at a minimum, the Constitution guarantees that government may not coerce anyone to support or participate in a religion or its exercise (Lee v Weisman 505 U.S)

    Legally, Alcoholics Anonymous is established as a religious organization. And so is Narcotics Anonymous. This is well established and as far as United States courts are concerned AA and NA are, beyond a doubt, organizations that engage in religious activities and their meetings qualify as religious services.

    Applying a standard three-part test to determine whether constitutional rights have been violated

    1. Has the state acted?
    2. Was there coercion?
    3. Was the object of the coercion religious rather than secular?

    As to point one the answer is clearly affirmative. PHS recommends evaluation after positive test July 2011 and gives only 12-step choices with COI.. Agrees to evaluation but requests an independent secular facility. Told no by PHS. Attempts to ask board of medicine. Not only told no but sanctioned because of the audacity of the request. 2 years added for this alone.

    Coerced into going to Hazelden. No evidence of alcohol abuse past or present found. In typical 12-step fashion, told to go to AA meetings.

    PHS mandates this plus mandates phone numbers and names of people at the 12-step meetings for them to call. Mandates 3 meetings per week x 3 months, then 1 per week.

    Remarkably the board extends the 3- weekly meetings to the “length of the contract.” From 3 months to 2 years and puts in writing that this is “not negotiable.”

    PHS letter 10/2011 states

    • Participate in a minimum of (3) PHS approved 12 step meetings per week for the next 3 months including at least 1 physician meeting a week and document your participation with the signature of a consenting attendee and a phone number for the consenting attendee. After 3 months you must attend at least 1 PHS approved support meeting a week and 1 physician meeting a month
    • Develop an active sponsor relationship and provide consent for this sponsor to confirm twice a year with PHS that he/she is your sponsor.

    Coercion-point two—also is clearly present by force of law and threat of penalty. The elements of coercion are 1. A forced choice, 2. Threat of sanction, 3. Coercive intent.

    Adding to the egregiousness would be the boards decision to extend the length of meetings (can only be interpreted as punitive, the phone numbers (anonymous is half the name, bizarre and punitive), and based on the proven fact that the test was falsified the meetings were not even indicated.

    Three federal courts have held that coerced participation in 12-step programs like AA and NA violates the First Amendment. In Kerr v. Ferry, 95 F.3d 472 (7th Cir 1996), the Seventh Circuit held that requiring an inmate to attend NA meetings or risk suffering adverse effects for parole eligibility violated the Establishment Clause. The Second Circuit reached a similar conclusion in Warner v. Orange County Department of Probation, 115 F.3d 1068 (2d Cir. 1997), striking a probation condition requiring attendance at AA meetings.

    In 2007 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a parole officer’s demand that a convicted drug offender attend Narcotics Anonymous violated the First Amendment rights of the offender who claimed to be a Buddhist (Inouye v. Kemna, 504 F.3d 705 (9th Cir. 2007)).

    Moreover, the case ruled that “any coercing authority” can be held individually, civilly liable for the First Amendment constitutional rights violation that they perpetrate on people unwillingly and involuntarily forced to go to 12-step programs and the offender was free to sue the parole officer for damages, even though state officials are often immune form such suits.

    In both the Warner and Inouye cases, the courts found the law sufficiently clearly established to abrogate the officer’s qualified immunity. Qualified immunity shields government officials from liability for civil damages “insofar as their conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known. (Harlow v. Fitzgerald 4567 U.S.C. 1983)

    Warner and Inouye were able to go forward with lawsuits against their officers for damages for violation of their constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. 1983. (Civil action for deprivation of rights). Numerous federal and district courts and state supreme courts have reached the same conclusion.What this means is that you can sue a judge, a prison warden, a parole officer, a “counselor, a medical board member, or anyone else in a position of authority who forces you to go to AA meetings.

    In cases like this the courts found that the government had forced the person to attend AA or NA. In other cases, where state of local officials simply made participation in AA one option for substance abusers, courts have not found any Establishment Clause violation.