How Does A Psychiatrist Help An Addict

Addiction is a disease that affects an individual mentally, emotionally, and physically. It changes how the brain works and this in turn affects the addict’s memory as well as their behavior and decision-making.

The main purpose of addiction treatment is to help people break free and rebuild their lives. Therefore, treatment should be holistic enough to focus on improving the person’s entire being. Since addiction also affects a person mentally, part of addiction treatment should be about helping them regain their mental footing. That’s where addiction psychiatry comes in.

Psychiatry in Addiction Treatment

Addiction psychiatry involves helping addicts by offering qualified diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of any mental illnesses they may have.

Substance abuse doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Something has to trigger it and in some cases, people turn to addiction to self-medicate or cope with mental disorders they may have, e.g. depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, etc. In other cases, the addiction itself may lead to a mental disorder. There are several cases where a person starts taking drugs like cocaine or opiates and later develops depression, or some other mental disorder, especially when going through withdrawal.

The role of a psychiatrist in addiction treatment is to help addicts understand and recover from these mental disorders while still undergoing treatment. Psychiatrists are important right from the first stage of recovery – detoxification. During detox, the psychiatrist may order and interpret various lab or brain imaging tests to see what kind of effect substance abuse has had on your brain’s neurochemistry. They may also prescribe medication to help you deal with withdrawal symptoms and also start treating any co-occurring illnesses you may have.

Speaking of co-occurring disorders, addiction often occurs together with psychiatric disorders. When this happens, an individual is said to have a dual diagnosis. In this case, you’ll need the help of a psychiatrist to treat the co-occurring disorder if you’re to have any chance of making a successful recovery. Treatment for these mental disorders often includes medication, psychiatric consultation through addiction therapy as well as behavioral therapy techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy.

As you progress through treatment, you may have scheduled sessions with a psychiatrist who’ll assess your ability to perform your everyday living activities and determine whether you’re well-adjusted enough to resume your normal life.

How We Can Help

At Impact Outpatient Program in Louisville, we believe that addiction treatment requires a holistic approach. That’s why we have a diverse team of health professionals including psychiatrists who will work with you on your recovery goals whether you’re in our outpatient program or the intensive outpatient program. We even offer virtual telemedicine sessions where you can still consult your psychiatrist even if you’re unable to attend in-person sessions. If you’re looking for outpatient addiction treatment in Louisville, contact us today to get started on the admissions process.

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