What is An Addiction Psychiatrist?

Successfully treating drug addiction requires a flexible and multifaceted approach. A variety of treatment options include counseling and medication. Psychiatrists often play an essential role in the process, and the American Psychiatric Association recognizes Addiction Psychiatry as a distinct field. Read on to learn how an addiction psychiatrist could help you achieve long-term recovery.

1. Are Addictions a Mental Health Problem?

According to the National Health Service, addiction is when your ability to manage yourself and take, do, or use something so much that you could be hurt, is called Addiction.

Rahul Gupta MD is a Double Board-Certified Medical Director at Buckhead Behavioral Health.

Trauma, stress and genetics can all lead to substance abuse disorders and mental conditions. Certain mental conditions can increase your likelihood of abusing substances. Gupta also explains that substance abuse disorder can cause brain damage, which could lead to other mental conditions.

Addiction is a multifactorial problem that can impact someone's lives in many domains. Elijah Wilder (DO, Addiction Psychiatrist, Regional Medical Director at Landmark Recovery) tells WebMD Connect To Care.

Mental health, according to the study, can have an impact on addiction and be both a contributing factor. Wilder states that there is currently research into possible causes or risk factors of addiction. "The most frequent themes are genetic inheritance, environment, early childhood experiences and history traumas (especially sexual and physically)".

According to WebMD Connect To Care, "Most addiction specialists agree that addiction is a brain disease model." Aaron Sternlicht, LMHC and CASAC, a New York Therapist, says, Aaron Sternlicht, CASAC, a Co-Founder and Therapist of Family Addiction Specialist. As such, addiction is considered to be a mental illness and a disease that has biological, neurological and genetic components.

2. What's an Addiction Psychiatrist and how do they work?

Wilder explains that an addiction psychiatrist is a specialist/medical provider who has completed medical school and received residency training as a psychiatrist. Then, he or she received additional, fellowship-subspecialty training specifically in Addiction. As such, an addition psychiatrist can be trained to treat mental and addictive disorders.

Sternlicht states that addiction psychiatrists can prescribe medication when it is deemed necessary, appropriate and beneficial. Sternlicht says that psychiatrists are often able to prescribe medication for addiction treatment. Another therapist can help with cognitive, emotional and behavioral skills necessary to keep abstaining. It is very common for individuals who are undergoing treatment for addiction to work with both a psychiatrist or therapist.

Addiction psychiatrists see addiction as a mental disorder that can be treated with psychotherapy, with particular attention to co-occurring mental disorders.

Lori Nation Legrand MD, Medical Director at Daviess Treatment Services, Georgetown Medical tells WebMD Connect To Care that "in addiction medicine we are focused on prevention, evaluation diagnosis, treatment and recovery of people with substance use disorders." The goal of addiction medicine is to help people with substance abuse disorders improve their health, social functioning and decrease the symptoms.

Most psychiatrists work with a group of other specialists to assist patients in overcoming addiction. Legrand points out that therapy is a crucial part of recovery programs. However, it's often unclear what the distinction between psychiatrists and therapists in these programs are.

A psychiatrist's scope in addiction treatment is typically narrower than that of a counselor. Addiction psychiatrists have a limited supply due to their specialized training.

Legrand says that it is very rare for a psychiatrist to act as therapist in a psychiatrist-only program due to the shortage of this specialist. While psychiatrists can be trained to treat patients, their main role is usually that of medication management. They also work closely with a group of therapists who provide holistic care.

3. Dual Diagnosis for Mental Health: What does it mean?

Wilder explains that dual diagnosis means the patient has not only been diagnosed with substance abuse disorder but also a mental illness. "An example of this could be someone diagnosed with alcohol use disorder and diagnosed with depression. Both are important and can cause problems in the patient’s daily life.

Dual diagnosis is very common. Research shows that close to half of substance users also have co-occurring mental disorders. Wilder says that one diagnosis can sometimes worsen or perpetuate another. Therefore, it is important to treat both diagnoses in order for people to maximize their life quality and function.

Sternlicht states, "Such disorders may be diagnosed by any number of licensed mental healthcare professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists or nurse practitioners. They can also license mental counselors. While all such professionals have the ability to diagnose and treat dual diagnostic disorders, Sternlicht says that psychiatrists, nurses practitioners and other medical doctors can only prescribe medication.

4.What's the Difference between Addiction Medicine, Addiction Psychology?

Addiction Medicine is a subspecialty for doctors. Both are recognized by American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). The treatment of substance-use disorders is the focus for both specialty, as per a 2020 American Journal on Addictions study. While addiction medicine is available to all ABMS primary specialties, it can only be performed by Board-certified psychiatrists.

The two focus on treating addiction, so there is overlap. Kate Daly MD MPHIL, All Points North Medical Director, tells WebMD Connect to Care.

It is typically the background of the provider and how they function that makes the difference. As the name implies, addiction medicine specialists are typically trained in family or internal medicine. They focus on medical intervention. Daly states they often provide treatment for ICU and medical detoxification.

However, Addiction Psychiatrists, on the other hand are professionals who have successfully completed medical school, a psychiatrist residency and additional addiction psychiatry training. Their focus is on addiction's psychological roots and can overlap with issues like anxiety, depression and trauma. Daly says that they are often the providers of psychotherapeutic intervention and psychiatric medications.

5. What exactly is Addiction Therapy?

Addiction therapy typically involves behavioral counseling as well as the treatment of psychological disorders such anxiety or depression.

According to NIDA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), addiction therapy has three main goals:

You can change negative thought patterns and behaviours. This therapy is a way to improve your treatment retention. It also helps you learn life skills. American Addiction Centers identifies the following as common types of addiction therapy:

Individual, Family, or Group Therapy. It involves meeting with a therapist, and other important persons in the client's life to discuss addiction.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Therapy that focuses on recognizing and changing maladaptive thought patterns and behavior. Patients also learn coping strategies, trigger recognition and other skills to prevent relapse.

Contingency Management (CM). This type of treatment provides incentives to encourage recovery-related behavior, such as sobriety. It may be effective for treating addiction to alcohol, opioids, cannabis, and stimulants.

Motivational interviewing (MI). Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a type of treatment that aims to boost each individual's desire for change and their commitment in line with their values.

6. How does an addiction psychiatrist fit into a recovery plan?

WebMD Connect to Care is told that the addiction psychiatrist will diagnose and treat all forms of mental illness. They will use proven and well-proven methods to treat your addiction.

They will utilize medication-assisted treatment to treat addiction when indicated, which makes it less likely that someone will die from a fatal heroin overdose."

The Addiction Psychiatrist assesses the individual to determine appropriate medications and appropriate course of care and treatment," Stephanie Robilio, LCSW, Clinical Director at Agape Behavioral Health Center, tells WebMD Connect to Care. "The Addictions Psychiatrist oversees the patient's treatment and medication response (ongoing assessment of symptoms and modifications taking place as necessary."

Wilder states that the initial visit will be with the patient in order to evaluate and assess their patient's history and determine the most appropriate treatment option. "Depending on the severity of the substance abuse, safety factors and patient commitment to treatment, as well as other factors like level of detox risk, level of addiction, overall health, mental stability and overall functioning, the patient will be able to choose between inpatient or non-residential care. )."

An addiction psychiatrist works in an inpatient as well as outpatient setting. He or she assists with assessment and diagnosis, treatment and continued follow-up. Wilder explained that addiction psychiatrists often collaborate with other care providers, such as psychologists. therapists. social workers. peer recovery coaches.

7. What are the Psychiatric Treatments for Addiction?

Daly says that there are many psychological techniques to deal with addiction. They include therapy, medication and interventional psychiatry.

"Psychiatric medications can also be used to manage cravings and maintain sobriety. Daly states that the most common psychiatric treatment involves both medication and psychotherapy to treat co-occurring or underlining mental illnesses.