How do addiction psychiatrists work?

Addictions are complex illnesses that require the participation of health professionals.

Among them is the figure of the psychiatrist, who has theoretical and practical knowledge to offer concrete solutions to people with this class of pathologies.

Thanks to their work, it is possible to intervene both in the functioning of the body at the biomedical level and in the behavior patterns of the person at the psychological level, to get out of this dependence which harms his health and his personal relationships. . That is why teams specializing in the treatment of addictions we have expert psychiatrists in this class of disorders. But … how do they work?

    What are the main roles of addiction psychiatrists?

    This is a summary of the roles played by trained and specialized psychiatrists in the management of patients with substance abuse problems.

    1. Assessment of signs and symptoms

    Addictions are literally health problems, with all that that entails. Therefore, one of the main tasks of psychiatrists specializing in the field of addictions is to carry out medical evaluations in which they take note of the signs and symptoms by which this type of pathology is reflected in the daily life of the patient.

    In addition, it is common to request the performance of additional tests to better understand the possible organic causes of the problem from which the person suffers; it is a process for which the professional is in charge by contacting the appropriate person through the channels pre-established for it. These tests include the analysis of substances present in the person’s body, neuroimaging tests, etc.

    2. Study of the contextual factors associated with a possible dependence

    The person’s life context, made up of elements such as his family environment or his workplace, is a very important factor in understanding what is happening to him. Both the personal relationships in which he is usually involved and the spaces to which the patient is exposed can be both a cause and a consequence of his health problem; por that addictions are pathologies, it does not mean that their scope is limited to what is happening inside the person’s body..

    Thus, both psychologists and psychiatrists specializing in addictions analyze the daily aspects of the patient which can be triggers for consumption, these links which are increasingly damaged by the symptoms which are reflected in their behavior, and soon. . All to gain insight into their source of discomfort.

      3. Make an assessment of the person’s state of health and well-being

      Beyond knowing the possible organic causes of the patient’s problem, it is important to assess to what extent what is affecting them has had an effect on their health. This will have implications for the priorities to be taken into account when applying treatment, and will be used to establish the degree of urgency with which to intervene on symptoms to avoid short-term damage.

      4. Carrying out a diagnosis

      This is one of the most important functions of psychiatrists specializing in patients with addictions, because at this point it becomes “official” if the person is really suffering from an addiction, what kind of addiction it is. , and if she has other pathologies (it is very common for those who suffer from this type of disorder to also present psychological disorders such as anxiety or mood disorders). In the event that another disorder develops, an estimate is also made as to whether the cause is related to the addiction..

      5. Treatment planning

      The therapeutic intervention plan is always personalized; that is, psychiatrists take into account the clinical “labels” used to designate the disorder presented by the patient, but they also pay attention to the unique characteristics of each person: Particularities of their lifestyle, allergies, possible parallel use of psychoactive substances, etc.

      6. Execution of processing

      Therapy goes through different phases. In the case of drug addiction, there is an early detox phase in which the person is helped to stop the circulation of the substance in their body, supporting them in the face of the withdrawal syndrome. In addition, depending on the type of substance you consume, you are obliged to follow the necessary instructions so that withdrawing from the drug does not endanger your health (in some cases stopping consumption cannot be abrupt, because your nervous system got used to working with it).

      In the later stages of therapy it helps the person to manage the cognitive emotional phenomena that can trigger a relapse: Tempting thoughts, habits that lead him to expose himself a lot to those who spend a lot of their time, looking for new sources of gratification, managing anxiety, etc.

      7. Follow-up

      When the patient has already gone through the most difficult part and has managed to achieve a good level of autonomy without resorting to the cause of the addiction, follow-up sessions are offered. These meetings serve both to solve problems and prevent relapses and to get a global idea of ​​the progress made., Contribute to self-motivation and the promotion of this healthy lifestyle.

      Are you seeking treatment for addictions?

      If you think you have developed an addiction problem, it is important that you seek medical help as soon as possible. Fr CITA clinics We specialize in the treatment of addictions and associated pathologies, and our team has been dedicated to this area of ​​intervention in patients for decades.

      Our psychiatrists and psychologists offer cover for all phases of treatment, and we also have facilities suitable for short, medium and long term admissions: we have a fully equipped residential module located in a place where nature predominates. and calm, close to the city of Barcelona.

      Bibliographical references:

      • American Psychiatric Association (APA). (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
      • Ashery, RS; Robertson, EB; i Kumpfer, KL; (Eds.) (1998): Prevention of drug abuse through family interventions. NIDA Research Monograph, No. 177. Washington, DC: US ​​Government Printing Office.
      • Kalivas, PW; Volkow, ND (2005). The neural basis of addiction: a pathology of motivation and choice. The American Journal of Psychiatry. 162 (8): pages 1403 to 1413.
      • Moonat, S; Pandey, SC (2012). Stress, epigenetics and alcoholism. Alcohol research: current reviews. 34 (4): pages 495 to 505.
      • Nutt, DJ; King, LA; Phillips, LD (2010). Drugs Harm the UK: A Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis. The Lancet, 376 (9752): p. 1558 – 1565.
      • Semple, D. (2005): Oxford Manual of Psychiatry. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
      • Volkow, ND; Fowler JS; Wang, GJ; Swanson JM; Telang, F. (2007). Dopamine in drug abuse and addiction: results from imaging studies and implications of Arc treatment. Neurol. 64 (11): pages 1575 to 1579.

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