Why see a psychiatrist for addiction?

Psychiatrists Provide Essential Treatment for Addiction

Addiction is a challenging struggle, one which is difficult to overcome. However, addiction can be even more impossible to conquer without the right psychiatric help.

Why do I need to see a psychiatrist for a drug or alcohol problem? 

Psychiatrists are qualified medical doctors, who then go on to do a long postgraduate training in all forms of mental disorders.  

They spend most of their time treating outpatients, but their most unwell patients sometimes become inpatients, so in addition to their outpatient practice, most private psychiatrists are also attached to a hospital or a clinic where they may admit patients under their own care.  

Addictions Psychiatry is a specialist discipline within psychiatry. Only 5-10% of psychiatrists have a specialist qualification and training in addiction treatment, and they are usually highly knowledgeable about all forms of addiction treatment as well as being qualified in general adult psychiatry.  

Most people admitted to addiction treatment are assessed by a psychiatrist at some point, either before they are admitted, or during their stay.  

This can be for any or all of the following reasons:

  1. To get a proper medical diagnosis
  2. To be prescribed safe detoxification medication if that is needed
  3. To identify conditions that predispose to addiction, such as bipolar disorder or depression
  4.  ADHD, anxiety, phobias, eating disorders or chronic pain syndromes
  5. To deal with symptoms emerging during psychological treatment such as post-traumatic stress, very poor sleep, cravings, mood problems.  
  6. To assess risk or vulnerability or safeguarding concerns.
  7. For legal reasons owing to problems related to their condition
  8. To get medical approval from an insurance company that pays for their treatment. 

Most clinics have access to a psychiatrist on at least a part-time basis, and all psychiatrists should be working as part of a multi-disciplinary team, who plan the medical, psychological and social care of the addicted patient and their family in a discreet, professional, and safe way.  

More on Consultant psychiatrists

With many rehab facilities across the UK offering cheap and fast addiction programmes, it can be easy to be misled in regards to the most appropriate treatment for your condition.

That’s why here at Castle Craig; we lead with addiction assessments so that a Consultant Psychiatrist, like Dr Peter McCann, MBBS, MSc, MRCPsych, can review your case and identify the best course of treatment for you.

Book an addiction assessment today and have your situation looked at by an addiction psychiatrist.

What is an addiction psychiatrist?

Psychiatrists are doctors who specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders many of which have a sub-speciality in drug and alcohol addiction as well as behavioural disorders.

Their object of study involves the human mind and behaviour and mental illnesses.

Addiction psychiatrists are experts on substance abuse

Here at Castle Craig, one of our psychiatrists will look into your patient history and make notes on the early signs of when difficulties with substances began to appear.

Why do they need to be involved?

Essentially many people we deal with at Castle Craig suffer from dual diagnoses, which means a psychiatrist plays an integral part in providing an accurate diagnosis, which will identify the most suitable therapies for your condition, whether it be anxiety, stress, depression, trauma or grief.

The main work of an addiction psychiatrist is to work with patients on a one-to-one basis and to determine the reasons for the development of their drug or alcohol addiction.

If necessary, they can also prescribe higher dosages of medications than GPs, to treat your underlying or co-existing mental health or psychiatric disorders.

The role of psychiatry in rehab for addiction

The main role of addiction psychiatry is to work with recovering users by identifying core mental health disorders that may have lead to substance abuse in the first place.

It will also be the position of the psychiatrist to identify any negative health effects that patients might have acquired during their addiction.

What is also not very well-known is that psychiatrists actually play a major role during the detoxification stage of addiction treatment. Because addiction affects the brain’s neurochemistry, the medical expertise of psychiatrists will be necessary for safe and sustainable recovery.

An addiction psychiatrist will have special training when it comes to prescribing medications to help individuals struggling with substance abuse.

Learn more about drug rehab here.

Why addiction psychiatrists are recommended

  1. They understand that different people need different tools to succeed
  2. Can use medicine to treat patients
  3. Uses psychotherapy too
  4. Can get the full picture of a patient
  5. Can recommend different and helpful programmes
  6. Conduct physical examinations
  7. Can order MRIs

Substance abuse: How psychiatrists can help

The benefits of a psychiatrist here will be to target and treat and co-occurring disorders alongside addiction. On the one hand, mental health treatment will combine therapy and possibly medication, whereas treatment for substance abuse often is treated with detox and then behavioural therapy.

It’s their specific medical expertise that allows psychiatrists to teach the brain that the body does not need to rely on drugs or alcohol. Often when no psychotherapy is involved, withdrawal symptoms and the recovery journey is much harder on addicted individuals.

Therapies often prescribed:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Dynamic interpersonal therapy
  • Psychoanalytic therapy
  • Existential therapy
  • Solution-focused brief therapy

Learn more about our complementary therapies here.

Psychiatrist vs Psychologist vs Therapist

When it comes to addiction treatment, you will want to make sure that you find an appropriate facility like Castle Craig that has psychiatrists and therapists that all work together towards your recovery.

With addiction treatment with us, you can expect a psychiatrist to oversee your programme, make diagnoses and prescribe the correct treatments, whilst a psychologist will help you talk through your problem and help you get the root cause of the issue, and a therapist will be there to carry out your day-to-day therapies.

Castle Craig has been working with addicted individuals for a very long time. Our team of psychiatrists, doctors, nurses and therapists know exactly what to do to help you get better.

Reach out to us today to see what we can do for you.

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Royal College of Psychiatrists

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