Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Doctors That Help With Addiction

How To Spot A Quality Psychiatrist

Doctors, patients: Efforts to block opioid addiction are also blocking treatment

You can usually sport whether or not a psychiatrist is credible by looking at their credentials. Doctors board-certified by in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry will have the highest expertise in addiction treatment. And heres something good to know: ABAM and ABPN directories will clearly display these credentials.

The Effects Of Addiction In The Workplace

Addicted medical professionals are more likely than their non-addicted colleagues to cause an accident in the workplace or to neglect patients health. They may be distracted on the job or abruptly leave important appointments or surgical procedures to use drugs.

Sometimes Id be standing in the operating room and itd look like I had the flu. So Id excuse myself and Id run into the bathroom, eat 10 , and in maybe five or 10 minutes Id be normal again.

– Richard Ready, former chief resident of neurosurgery at a prominent Chicago hospital, LA Times

Doctors and nurses suffering from addiction are not only putting their own health at risk, but they are also endangering the wellbeing of patients in their care. It may be hard for a medical professional to accept they have an addiction the sooner that the addiction is faced head on, however, the better the outcome will be. Addressing addiction early can help prevent accidents on the job or preempt the neglect of important signs of health issues in patients.

Addiction Center is not affiliated with any insurance.

What Is Methadone Maintenance

For particularly difficult cases of opioid addiction, methadone may be the ideal form of addiction treatment. However, this form of addiction treatment requires daily clinic visits. Compared to monthly Suboxone doctor visits, the methadone maintenance program can put a strain on your lifestyle. And, Suboxone is generally safer than methadone. Methadone can potentially cause some very serious side effects including overdose.

Yet, with rampant use of fentanyl analogs on the streets, there are definitely patients who will benefit, at least to start, from a methadone maintenance program. Because it does not require an extended period of opioid withdrawal before starting treatment, it has a fairly high rate of success.

Recommended Reading: How Do I Know If I M Addicted To Weed

Related: Most People With Opioid Addictions Dont Get The Right Treatment: Medication

Yet most physicians are standing on the sidelines and punting the treatment their patients need to someone else or to no one. According to the surgeon generals report, only 1 in 10 Americans with addiction are treated for it, and many of them get care that isnt based on solid evidence. If that was the case for diabetes or heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, there would be a huge hullaballoo.

I understand that methadone must be distributed in special clinics. Thats a big barrier for physicians who would like to prescribe it to their patients. A Perspective article in Thursdays New England Journal of Medicine and a related First Opinion call for letting primary care physicians prescribe methadone, though that would take an act of Congress or changes to state laws to happen.

Buprenorphine and naltrexone are a different story. They can be prescribed and administered in virtually any primary care, mental health, or specialty clinic in a large city, a suburb, or a small town.

To a nonphysician like me, getting certified to prescribe or dispense buprenorphine seems to be a simple and straightforward process: complete eight hours of training and apply for a waiver. It could almost be seen as a twofer, since most of you need to accumulate continuing medical education credits and this training qualifies for CME. You dont even have to take a day off to do it, as one of the training programs is a 4.25-hour webinar and a 3.75-hour online session.

Full Assessment And Personalized Plan: Will The Doctor Start With A Complete Assessment And Diagnosis What Does That Involve

Addiction Treatment for Doctors

Why you should ask: Board certified addiction physicians are well-trained in evaluating patients, so all you may need is a quick confirmation and a sense of how this particular doctor does the assessment.

What to listen for: Be aware that a comprehensive assessment is a lengthy, structured interview that may take more than one session. It should cover a persons drinking, other substance use, mental health, family dynamics, employment, criminal justice involvement, and need for social services or other kinds of support.

Note: Only a medical doctor can fully assess a persons physical health and any medical conditions.

You might also ask: How many visits will it take to complete this assessment? How will the results of the assessment be used to develop a personalized treatment plan? How do you involve your patients in developing a treatment plan?

Tip: A board-certified addiction physician should be able to refer a patient to other qualified providers and to coordinate a full treatment plan. This can include coordinating with therapists, social service agencies, or other resources. Listen for their ability and willingness to help the patient address all the needs identified in the assessment.

Read Also: How To Get Over Heroin Addiction

Doctors And Addiction: What Are The Signs

As was described above, medical professionals who become dependent or addicted to drugs will resist these signs because theyre highly functional users. Trying to see if a doctor is dependent or addicted to alcohol or illicit drugs is a challenge because they can maintain their home life and careers without anyone knowing.

If youre concerned about drug or alcohol abuse in a doctor, the most common signs include:

  • Frequent bathroom breaks
  • Extreme anxiety about working overtime
  • Unexplained absences
  • Frequent job changes
  • Preferring one shift over the other because there is less supervision and easier access to medicine
  • Strong odor of alcohol
  • Excessive use of mouthwash, breath mints, or anything that masks odors
  • Volunteering to administer narcotics to patients

What Are The Different Types Of Treatment Available For Substance Use Disorders

There are a variety of addiction treatment options for people who have a substance use disorder. The appropriate treatment is based on several factors that are assessed in the ASAM criteria. The ASAM criteria is a holistic approach for determining individualized and outcome-driven treatment plans for patients. The ASAM criteria consists of six dimensions that help practitioners with their assessment of the patient, determine patient goals, rank and rate the patients risks, and determine the intensity and frequency of services needed.

Different types of treatment include mutual support groups, outpatient treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, inpatient treatment, continuing care, and medical stabilization and substance withdrawal management. Medication treatments can and should be integrated into any of the various levels of care.

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Risks Of Substance Use In Doctors

For doctors with substance abuse disorders, their addiction does not just affect them and their family members. Unfortunately, patients often feel the impact as well. Alcohol and drug use may impair physicians judgment and produce an increased likelihood of reckless behavior. These conditions may lead to diagnostic and treatment mistakes, even sometimes costing patients their lives.

Doctors who inject drugs also run the risk of infecting patients. For example, in New Hampshire, forty-six patients were infected with hepatitis C after an intinerant hospital technician injected himself with patients pain medications, refilling the syringes with saline. There have also been hepatitis outbreaks in Denver and Jacksonville stemming from health care workers stealing and injecting patient medications.

What Training Do Addiction Doctors Go Through

Strange Addictions That Landed Them In The Hospital

Doctors specializing in addiction receive medical training that includes being able to recognize and treat the mental health issues that patients with substance use disorder often display. These can include conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorders, and sleep disorders.

In addition to mental health problems, doctors that treat addiction are also trained to know the various factors that can lead someone to develop a drug or alcohol addiction. Addiction doctors need to understand the social, environmental, hereditary, and psychological factors that influence someones development of an addiction. A physician must know what course the addiction will follow and the different methods for treating it.

As noted previously, knowing how to manage and treat withdrawal symptoms and the long-term effects of addiction, too, are very important in this field of medicine.

Although an addiction specialist will mainly be dealing with patients suffering from substance use disorders, they will also have training in treating and diagnosing behavioral addictions, such as gambling or food addictions.

Read Also: Most Individuals With An Opioid Use Disorder Are Addicted To:

Why Should I Look For A Board Certified Doctor

Physicians arent actually required to be board certified to practice, but board certification is an important signifier that your doctor has completed a rigorous process of training, clinical experience and examination in their field of certification. To maintain certification, physicians must demonstrate that they are staying up to date within their specialty and many must take additional exams throughout their career.

  • have extensive clinical experience in the assessment and treatment of substance use disorders

A small number of individuals, including me, qualified by clinical experience AND also pursued advanced training through an addiction medicine fellowship.

Substance Abuse In Health Care

Doctors and nurses account for some of the highest rates of addiction in the workforce. According to USA Today, Across the country, more than 100,000 doctors, nurses, technicians, and other health professionals struggle with abuse or addiction, mostly involving Narcotics such as Oxycodone and Fentanyl.

Like many other working professionals facing an addiction, a medical professional might have multiple reasons for turning to drugs or alcohol. They could be looking for a way to stay alert on an all-day or overnight shift or a way to escape the emotional pain from a day of hard decisions and upsetting outcomes.

What sets doctors and nurses apart from other professionals is their accessibility to highly sought-after drugs because its easier for them to get the drugs, its easier to create or feed an addiction.

The rate at which doctors and nurses suffer from addiction may be high, but this subgroup of people also has a high rate of recovery when they get treatment.

Common Questions About Rehab

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What To Expect In Rehab And Recovery

Many doctors who seek treatment for substance abuse disorders attend an impatient treatment facility, often in a rehab center that specializes in treating professionals and executives. There are often unique situations that arise when treating doctors and rehab centers with this expertise are equipped to handle them, including counseling for trauma and working with state medical boards when transitioning the physician out of treatment.

Once admitted to a treatment facility, you will first undergo detoxification. Addiction specialists will help you manage your withdrawal symptoms and cravings and support you in taking these early steps toward living a clean and sober life.

You may then participate in both individual and group therapy to help you progress through recovery and teach you the skills necessary to cope with professional and personal stress. If necessary, you will also receive counseling for underlying trauma or mental health disorders.

After you are released from inpatient treatment, you will most likely continue your recovery with outpatient therapy and sobriety groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. This support may be instrumental in helping you to maintain your sobriety as you transition back to your career and family life.

Medical disclaimer:

Talk with one of our Treatment Specialists!

Whats The Difference Between Addiction Psychiatry And Addiction Medicine

How to Search for Addiction Doctors

The differences between addiction psychiatry and addiction medicine involve a bit more specialization in dealing with specific conditions or disorders within those two fields of medicine.

An addiction psychiatrist has a wider skill set in the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders. With this physician specialty, a doctor can also diagnose and treat patients suffering from schizophrenia, autism, and other mental health conditions.

Addiction Medicine involves assessing and treating patients who are not only dealing with chronic pain associated with withdrawal, but also with the pain that may involve chronic cardiac, lung, or liver conditions that can be involved in addictive cases.

Also Check: How Do You Get Addicted To Nicotine

Doctors Who Do It All

While the opioid addiction trend weve seen over the last few decades is troubling, we have every reason to believe theres hope for a solution. You can see that primary care physicians are already doing a lot to combat the problem. And thats just one of the many health issues these practitioners are tackling.

Curious about what else primary care doctors are doing to ensure a healthier world? Learn more about these providers on the frontlines by reading our article What Does a Primary Care Physician Do? Exploring This High-Demand Medical Career.


Paying For Drug Alcohol And Behavioral Addiction Treatment

Rehab can cost as low as $7,500 a month up to $35,000 a month sometimes it costs $100,000 per month for high-end luxury facilities. The price depends on the program, location, amenities and whether you receive insurance coverage. Insurance may cover just part of a treatment program or may only cover outpatient treatment.Finance options are available. Trained counselors can help patients figure out other possible ways of paying for treatment, including help from family members or from their employer.

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Offer Help To Patients Who Need It

There is always some chance that a patient will ultimately cross the line into opioid misuse. When a primary care physician recognizes a patient has an issue, the best thing they can do talk with them.

Just have an open and frank conversation, Dr. Sharma suggests. Primary care doctors are the best at this because they know the patient and the patients family. They should see if theres any way to wean the patient off the medication on their own first.

Primary care doctors are the best at this because they know the patient and the patients family.

Physicians try to taper opioids to help minimize withdrawal symptoms, but it can be extremely difficult for patients whove misused the medication. Some experts think primary care physicians can do more by pursuing the additional education required to prescribe buprenorphine, a partial-opioid agonist. It can be prescribed as an alternative pain medication, but its more commonly used to help control cravings and minimize withdrawal symptoms during detox.

Doctors can also refer individuals to addiction specialists, who can help patients find the support they need. Therapy, whether coupled with medication like buprenorphine or not, can be very beneficial for patients who are misusing opioids.

Do I Still Need To See A Doctor

Doctor Reacts To Ridiculous Onion Medical Headlines

Yes! We recognize that you are going to research medical and clinical questions outside of seeking care. Being informed is a good thing! Ask Our Doctors exists to ensure your information is accurate, instead of coming from a random blog.

That said, this website is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on the Ask Our Doctor’s Site.

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Inpatient Rehab Vs Outpatient Programs

In an inpatient program, the patient lives in the facility full-time, meaning professionals can ensure the withdrawal period is not problematic.In an inpatient program, the patient lives in the facility full-time, meaning professionals can ensure the withdrawal period is not problematic. If necessary, medications such as methadone or Buprenorphine for opioid addiction can be given and monitored. The patient will also have constant access to people who can provide support. Inpatient treatment is more expensive than outpatient programs.In an outpatient facility, the patient goes in for treatment but still lives at home. This is a more flexible form of treatment that allows the patient to continue life as normal outside of rehab, but it is not as intensive.

Availability: Is Dr : : : : Accepting New Patients Were Exploring Several Options And If We Choose You How Soon Could Treatment Begin

Why you should ask: You want them to know youre actively searching for a treatment provider and that youll probably want to start as soon as possible. Specialist doctors may have limited availability, or they may schedule their intake and assessment appointments on certain days and times. Find out now whether there might be any delays in getting started.

Tip: If the doctor is not accepting new patients, ask for a referral to someone they recommend, and call and interview that person. See also What if I cant find a nearby board-certified addiction doctor? in the Navigator FAQs.

Read Also: Can Drug Addiction Cause Narcissism

Why Our Addiction Rehab For Physicians Works

Whether youre looking for an intervention for a loved one or are ready to seek help on your own, were here to help. At Providence Treatment, our professionals program gives physicians the tools they need to make a lifelong commitment to sobriety.

Our highly structured, customized, and confidential care includes the following addiction services for physicians:

Is Treatment Through Addiction Medicine Covered By Health Insurance

Doctors and Addiction

Treatment for addiction is covered by health insurance as mandated by the mental health parity law. All insurance companies provide different levels of coverage, though, so patients need to ask their insurance provider for their specific coverage. Unfortunately, many insurance companies may require prior authorizations for treatment. New York State, along with NYSAM, is working to decrease the number of PAs required for addiction treatment.

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Drug And Alcohol Rehab For Doctors Near Me

Even physicians can become addicted to drugs and alcohol. In fact, research shows that, as with the general population, the prevalence of substance use disorder , a medical condition defined by the uncontrollable use of a substance despite the negative consequences, among physicians is 15% .1

Prior to the 1970s, physicians battling their own addiction issues were ignored or punished. However, in 1973, the American Medical Association issued a pivotal report calling for state medical societies and associations to identify and treat doctors with SUDs.2 As a result, state-based organizations, dedicated to physician SUD and alcohol use disorder treatment, began formingoften run by doctors with a personal history of successful recovery.3

Today, physicians with SUDs are often referred to these physician health programs to begin their road to recovery.3

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