How Does An Addiction Psychiatrist Help With Addiction?

Posted on: August 14, 2020 by in Alcoholism Treatment
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If you are thinking about addiction rehab for you or someone you love, it is important to know what to expect. There are two levels of treatment: inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab. The level of treatment needed will depend on how severe the addiction is and what type of support system is available outside of treatment. In either case, an individual would be referred to an addiction psychiatrist during treatment.

What Is An Addiction Psychiatrist?

An addiction psychiatrist is a medical professional that specializes in addiction and mental health disorders, including diagnosis and treatment of conditions. This is often referred to as a dual diagnosis. The addiction psychiatrist will devise a treatment plan, which will address both the addiction and the mental health disorder(s).

What Does An Addiction Psychiatrist Do?

The first part of devising a treatment plan is determining what needs to be treated. This involves performing and/or ordering diagnostic tests and screenings to assess the diseases, disorders, and/or conditions that need to be treated while also treating the substance abuse.

The addiction psychiatrist will treat a patient's disorder(s) through the following treatments:

  • addressing substance abuse through detox treatments
  • psychotherapy treatment
  • medication

The types of tests that are performed can include:

  • MRI's and X-rays
  • cognitive function testing
  • lab tests such as blood tests, urine tests, and drug tests
  • psychiatric testing for mental disorders

The types of mental conditions that are treated during substance abuse addiction treatment can include the following:

  • eating disorders
  • anxiety disorders
  • impulse disorders
  • mood disorders
  • personality disorders
  • psychotic disorders
  • sleep disorders

How Does Treatment Work With An Addiction Psychiatrist?

The addiction psychiatrist will evaluate a person's medical history including mental health, physical health, and substance abuse. They will use the test results to diagnose underlying psychiatric diseases such as bipolar, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, personality disorders, depression, and other conditions an individual may have.

If an individual needs to undergo detoxification to wean off of a substance, the psychiatrist would oversee this. Once an individual is off of the substance of addiction, the psychiatrist would then continue with the rest of the treatment plan.

The next part of the treatment plan could be to prescribe medications that address the mental health diseases or conditions and provide a psychotherapy plan. The psychotherapy would include one-on-one therapy and counseling sessions, as well as group therapy and/or family counseling.


The purpose of an inpatient or outpatient rehab center is to help you live a life without your addiction. If you are considering rehab for yourself or a loved one, there are several options available to you. An addiction psychiatrist is a good starting point to help you live a drug-free life.

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