An Addiction Psychiatrist Can Provide Guidance

People struggling with addictive disorders may benefit from the assistance and guidance of an addiction psychiatrist. They may or may not be aware that they have a problem, but either way, people with substance abuse disorders will most likely be unable to stop using substances on their own.

Addictions cause a variety of problems, including hindering social and work obligations, deteriorating health and possibly even causing premature death. Four categories that point to a substance use disorder are:

  1. Impaired control
  2. Social problems
  3. Risk use
  4. Drug effects

These categories are defined as follows: If the client has impaired control, they will have a dependency on the substance, a strong urge to use it and little or no success in controlling their use. If a client’s drug use is causing social problems, it has begun to affect their daily lives, causing them to miss work, social engagements or time with friends and family.

If a client begins risky substance abuse, then that means they are using substances even when they know the risk or potential problems. If the client needs larger amounts of the substance for the same outcome or they are experiencing withdrawal symptoms, the drug effects are growing.

The facts

According to the most updated National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 3.7 million adults age 18 to 25, had an alcohol use disorder in 2016. This represents nearly 11 percent of the population. An estimated 7.4 million people at least 12 years of age or older had an illicit drug use disorder in 2016.

Over time, proven by brain imaging, substance use leads to changes in the brain’s wiring, function and chemistry. People with these disorders have distorted thinking and overpowering cravings for the drug.

Not enough people get help

In 2016, in people 12 years of age and older, 21 million people needed substance use treatment which is equal to approximately 1 in 12 people. However, only 3.8 million people in this age range actually received treatment.

Seeking help is the first step towards recovery

While effective treatment options are available, people are not always as quick to seek them out. The first step to receiving the right treatment is recognizing the need for it. The recovery process is much easier when someone with a substance use disorder understands the extent of the problem.

It is also crucial to offer the individual support from family and friends when bringing up the topic of treatment. Once someone becomes aware of the problem and agrees to seek help, an addiction psychiatrist can provide assistance.

Conducting an evaluation

A psychiatrist can perform an assessment of the patient’s symptoms to determine if abusive behavior exists and to what extent. After evaluating the level of dependence on substances, we can discuss treatment options in greater detail. It is important that family and friends of the patient support the efforts of the psychiatrist and help to provide accountability during treatment.

Call for help

If you or someone you know is struggling with a possible substance use disorder, it is important to seek help before it is too late. An addiction psychiatrist can provide insight into the effects of drug use on a person’s life to provide guidance and insight on how they can rise above a disorder.

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