The Stairs on Billy Buck hill
A talented, devoted anesthesiologist, with a coveted academic position. A lovely, accomplished financial analyst with a glamorous social life, a high-rise apartment, and a dirty little secret. A chance encounter, a night of passion, a confessed preference for opioids…In this sordid tale of infatuation, temptation, and intoxication, Dr. Kurt McCain rises to a pinnacle of popularity and self-regard that he could not previously have imagined, only to realize that his pursuit of drug-induced euphoria has cost him nearly everything that he holds dear. His position, his profession, and his relationships with those he loves are destroyed, and the young physician finds himself at the lowest point of his life, disconsolate and alone. He must somehow summon all of his energies to overcome a dependence on opioids, while making a desperate attempt at the restoration of his practice, and for redemption in the eyes of those who care for him.
The nation is riven by a devastating epidemic that continues even as the COVID epidemic fades - opioids are killing Americans in unprecedented numbers. While physicians are often implicated among the many causes of this scourge, little attention is paid to the potential for doctors and nurses to become addicts themselves. Anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists, who administer opioids with great regularity, are among the most susceptible providers. The Stairs On Billy Buck Hill, a 100,000-word literary novel, relates one physician’s travails as he progresses from the carefully controlled, recreational use of opioid pills, to the brazen theft of fentanyl from his patients in the operating room, a treacherous descent that leads to the destruction of his career, his social standing, and very nearly himself.