Addiction Psychiatry

Addiction psychiatry is a medical subspecialty within psychiatry that focuses on the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of people who are suffering from one or more disorders related to addiction. This may include disorders involving legal and illegal drugs, gambling, sex, food, and other impulse control disorders. Addiction psychiatrists are substance abuse experts. Growing amounts of scientific knowledge, such as the health effects and treatments to substance abuse, have led to advancements in the field of addiction psychiatry. These advancements in understanding the neurobiology of rewarding behavior, along with federal funding, has allowed for ample opportunity for research in the discipline of addiction psychiatry. Addiction psychiatry is an expanding field, and currently there is a high demand for substance abuse experts in both the private and public sector.

Addiction psychiatry encompasses both medicine and psychotherapy, or professional therapeutic interaction, as the means of treating individuals. However, not all substance addictions contain approved medication for treatment. In a conventional addiction psychiatry session, addiction psychiatrists will gain a better understanding of their patient's lifestyle by gathering medical history and the patient's mental health concerns. Next, the psychiatrist will construct different possible solutions to the patient's problem; if necessary addiction psychiatrists will prescribe medication. Moreover, addiction psychiatrists recommend the benefits of 12-Step programs such as Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous and often encourage patients to seek external support. Addiction psychiatry can also be a method of recovery for those who have attempted to cease their drug or alcohol abuse without prior success.

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