Successful recovery from substance and alcohol abuse, as well as frequently co-occurring issues such as depression, begins with an accurate psychiatric diagnosis. A psychiatrist with expertise in treating substance abuse can understand and explain confusing issues: Is an undiagnosed depression or bipolar disorder leading someone to use drugs? Is the underlying problem attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which can make someone more likely to smoke marijuana or use other drugs? An experienced psychiatrist clarifies the problems involved and develops the appropriate treatment plan.
Substance abuse of any type by an adult or teenager often requires group treatment at a specialized facility, a community support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous, or both. A psychiatrist is an important resource in directing someone with drug dependency to the treatment programs and facilities that will best meet their needs.
Addictive substances include:
- Sedatives ("downers")
- Stimulants (diet pills; misused medication for ADHD, such as Adderall and other "uppers")
- Opioids (such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, and Percocet as well as heroin or morphine)
Because opioid abuse has been an increasingly serious problem, it has been a focus of intense research, so new treatments and medications that are being developed. One that is particularly effective is Suboxone, which is proving to be safe and also promote long-term recovery. Suboxone treatment is available for office patients.