This note is in support of Dr. Ernest Vasti and his long-awaited clinic for the chemically dependent. I grew up with Dr. Vasti and can attest to his devotion to save families from drugs and alcohol.
My office practice is typical of the community, in that we frequently see patients whose lives have been devastated by drugs. Treating chemical dependency is an art and science, and most of us in primary care have unfortunately not been adequately trained.
Dr. Vasti is well-trained with years of experience from UCLA's Center for Addiction and I have been referring to him in his Stockton office for more than 20 years. He has an uncanny ability to get through to these kids, and I have yet to see him fail. This is not called a methadone clinic — rather it is an oasis for worried parents and for students in need of turning their lives around. Yes, patients are being treated a short distance from the school, but soon Dr. Vasti will be invited into those schools to educate kids about avoiding addiction.
I recently called Dr. Vasti late one night about a teenage relative of mine. He spent three hours that same night with the teen, and the parents were grateful and impressed. Dr. Vasti saves lives — it works. He should have been in Lodi earlier to save more lives. I have seen it, and so have my physician colleagues. We are lucky to have him, and if you have the opportunity to meet him, you'll see why.
Dr. Ron Navone, M.D.