Peter Grinspoon, MD

Peter Grinspoon, M.D. is the author of the memoir Free Refills: A Doctor Confronts His Addiction. He currently practices as a primary care physician at an inner-city clinic in Boston and is on staff at Massachusetts General Hospital. He teaches medicine at Harvard Medical School. He spent two years as an Associate Director for the Physician Health Service, part of the Massachusetts Medical Society, working with physicians who suffer from substance use disorders.

Dr. Grinspoon graduated with honors in philosophy from Swarthmore College. Before medical school, he spent five years as a Campaign Director at Greenpeace, working on the nuclear free seas campaign. He attended medical school at Boston University School of Medicine. His internship and residency were in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Today he is proudly 10 years clean. He lives in Newton, MA with his wife Liz Grinspoon, and his blended family."


Posts by Peter Grinspoon, MD

How to welcome back a colleague who is in recovery

Peter Grinspoon, MD

Contributing Editor

If a colleague has been absent from work for treatment of a substance use disorder, that person’s return to work may be awkward or uncomfortable, and coworkers may feel similarly. Empathy, understanding, and a willingness to listen will help returning workers feel welcomed back.

False alarm in Hawaii: Preparing for the unthinkable

Peter Grinspoon, MD

Contributing Editor

While the recent emergency alert in Hawaii was a false alarm, the potential threat of a nuclear strike does serve as a reminder that it’s prudent to make advance preparations for this or some other unexpected event.

Medical marijuana

Peter Grinspoon, MD

Contributing Editor

Medical marijuana is controversial, in part because many people aren’t aware of how and why it is used. Most commonly it is used to ease pain, and doctors need to be prepared for the questions their patients will have about it.

Working through workplace stigma: Coming back after an addiction

Peter Grinspoon, MD

Contributing Editor

For many people, the most significant challenge when returning to the workplace after treatment for a substance use disorder is overcoming the doubts that coworkers may have about working with an addict. But doubt may weigh just as heavily on the person returning to work.

Navigating the holidays in recovery

Peter Grinspoon, MD

Contributing Editor

While the holiday season is a time of festivities and reconnecting with family, for people in recovery from substance use disorders, these specific situations and events can be especially stressful. For them it’s crucial to plan ahead and to make sure recovery remains the priority at all times.

When a loved one is addicted to opiates

Peter Grinspoon, MD

Contributing Editor

Considering the death toll from opioid overdoses, responding to loved one’s opioid addiction love and empathy might be the safer and more effective method for friends and families to take. At the same time, It is essential to pay attention to the wellbeing of the family members themselves, as having a loved one with a substance use disorder can be profoundly stressful and disruptive, even traumatic.

Treating pain after opioid addiction: A personal story

Peter Grinspoon, MD

Contributing Editor

What happens when a person who was addicted to opiates is injured and needs pain medication? A doctor who is in recovery has firsthand experience.

Our planet, ourselves: Climate change and health

Peter Grinspoon, MD

Contributing Editor

Climate change is not merely relevant to human healthcare issue, but in fact, directly affects them. Air pollution, drought, famine and flood are just a few things caused by climate change that have an immediate impact on the health of people all over the world. Though it is an incredibly broad and global issue, individual efforts to reduce personal carbon footprints are important.