A Product of My Experience
Throughout my time working in the field of addiction, I have always had the luxury of working closely with Addictionologists (versus working solely with Psychiatrists or other mental health/medical professionals). Addictionologists are Medical Doctors that specialize in treating addiction. I believe that Addictionologists are the best at treating addiction, and this is based on my first-hand experience in settings where I have witnessed both addictionologists and psychiatrists treating those with addiction disorders. In my experience, psychiatrists lack education about addiction and tend to see addiction as society does. If I have a serious heart problem, I probably want to see a cardiologist – not a general practitioner. If a person has an addiction disorder, I would think that they would be served best by seeing someone who specializes in addiction. Also, addictionologists tend to see addiction as a genetic, medical/biological issue not unlike diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc and treat it as such. In my opinion, that is the best way to treat addiction.
With that being said, there are also a variety of ways of addressing the addiction disease. Addiction is a fairly new issue/field of study when compared to other medical and mental health issues. The research has really only just begun to become more focused in the last 10 years or so – and we’ve made great strides already. Things are changing rapidly. People are getting help in a variety of ways – some ways that work for them, and some ways that don’t. The “ways” I’ve expressed here are what I believe are the best ways based on my experience. However, you may find a different way that works for you, and if so – great! Addiction is a very difficult disease to treat. So if it is working for you, do what works!
I am not a doctor.
I am a Master’s level clinician – a psychotherapist – a clinical social worker. If you have an addiction disorder and need immediate attention, I would recommend going to your nearest emergency room.
I am confident in my knowledge and skills. This does NOT mean that I am never wrong.
The content of this site:
This site does not provide medical advice. The content of the Dopamine Dialogue site, including text, graphics, images, information obtained from other sites, and other material contained on the Dopamine Dialogue site, are intended for informational and educational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you’ve read on the Dopamine Dialogue website.
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Anonymity/Confidentiality is important. Personal stories posted by others on this site should stay on this site. Please also respect my personal boundaries and, if you know me personally, do not post things of a personal nature (where I live & work, family information, etc), as I feel strongly about keeping my personal and professional life separate.
Addiction does change the brain, but this does not mean that the person does not have other mental illness issues that may or may not require treatment.