Alcoholism and addiction are undoubtedly the most stigmatized and misunderstood illnesses in our society. Addiction is a chronic condition and should be treated as such; it occurs when the substance being abused changes the chemical activity in your brain. Any drug can be abused, from prescription medications to alcohol and illicit drugs. While illicit drugs are abused any time they are used, prescription medications are considered abused any time they are used in a manner other than as intended.
People begin to abuse substances for any number of reasons, and often times substance abuse is a comorbid disorder. The high rate of comorbidity between substance abuse and other mental health illnesses calls for a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment. The key is identifying the ailments and getting to the root of the issue in order to begin the healing process.
There are many reasons individuals do not seek treatment for their substance abuse issues, ranging from their denial of a problem to guilt and shame to not knowing how/when to seek help. Many times people will put themselves in treatment when they accept they have an issue and are ready to get help, but often times it happens through family and friends intervening. If you are concerned for yourself or someone you know, it is ok to reach out for help. Signs of substance abuse and addiction include:
Sudden weight loss or gain
Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination
Withdrawal from friends and family
Loss of interest in hobbies and social activities
Drop in attendance and performance at school/work
Secretive or suspicious behavior
Sudden mood swings; irritability
Unexplained change in personality or attitude
Lack of motivation
Periods of unusual hyperactivity
Dr. Ditzell has extensive experience with substance abuse treatment, having completed his fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry and certifications for Buprenorphine for office-based treatment of opiate dependent patients. Dr. Ditzell will meet his patient where they are and helpfully guide them through the recovery process. For more information on Dr. D’s experience and approach to substance abuse treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact us.