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May 26th
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Addiction Psychiatry

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It is my opinion that individuals who suffer from addictive behavior and substance abuse are often misunderstood and thought poorly of.  I feel that there are often many reasons why an individual is addicted to a particular drug or behavior.  A thorough clinical assessment and understanding of those multiple contributors are often critical in helping patients and clients achieve abstinence, sobriety, well being and higher functioning.  I would like to think that I view individuals struggling with addiction issues with respect, dignity and understanding.  However, it also is my belief that with appropriate treatment, education and support, there must ultimately be an expectation that they behave responsibly.  It has been my experience that support, guidance, accountability, medical knowledge and compassion have all been essential ingredients in helping my patients and clients.


Assessment and treatment of the full spectrum of substance abuse disorders including:

 

  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Prescription Medication
  • Substances that Promote Muscle-building
  • Nitrous Oxide
  • Ecstasy
  • GHB 
  • Ketamine 

 

 

Assessment and treatment of the full spectrum of sexual and impulse-control disorders including:

 

 

  • Sexual Compulsivity
  • Addiction to Internet Pornography
  • Exhibitionism and Voyeurism
  • Various Forms of Sexual Deviancy
  • Gambling
  • Shoplifting

 


 

Do you have a question? Please read our frequently asked questions and answers.



Why do people use drugs?

There is no single explanation for why an individual uses drugs or becomes addicted to a drug or class of drugs.  It is my clinical experience that no blanket statement can be made relative to addictive illness and that a thorough clinical assessment of the patient's/client's upbringing, genetic vulnerabilities and life experience can often yield valuable information.  I perform thorough and comprehensive clinical assessments which often provide useful answers which can many times help the patient/client get to the next right step, attain a level hope and maintain a higher level of functioning.  I provide a supportive clinical setting, clinical expertise and adjudicative support services which can help the patient/client maintain sobriety and attain well being.





Can an individual be cured?

Addiction is a kind of psychiatric illness for which there is no cure.  In the field, we tend to use the term in remission  Fortunately, there are many, many individuals who can be in remission from active addictive-type disease, for a substantial period of time.




Are there drugs that can be used?

There are certain clinical circumstances where medication can be used to help an individual maintain their sobriety. Unfortunately, there is no magic pill, and it has been my clinical experience that medication should be used in combination with other interventions (i.e., psychotherapy and 12 Step involvement) to help keep active addictive behavior at bay.

 



What are your thoughts about A.A. and other 12-step-based programs?

I am of the opinion that Alcoholic Anonymous and other traditional 12-step-based programs, can greatly aid a person in recovery.  The principles, steps, and traditions of A.A.  and other traditional 12-step programs, can provide structure, fellowship and support; all of these have the potential to be critical elements in attaining and maintaining long-term abstinence and well being.  However, I am also of the opinion, that there are a group of people who, for a number of reasons, are adverse to attending A.A.  I tend to encourage this sub population to give A.A. a chance.  I also tell them to try to take from the program, that which is meaningful to them.  Further, I also tell patients/clients that there are sometimes unforeseen benefits to, and rewards of engaging in a program that has a long and proven track record for helping recovering individuals.  I am also aware that some individuals in recovery have found that attending alternative programs can be helpful.  The important take home message is that sustained recovery and well being can take many forms; it is important for the person in recovery to find and discover what is right for them.

 



What role does religion and God play in recovery?


Religion and God are highly personal and often emotionally-laden concepts.  I am of the opinion that in recovery, it is sometimes helpful if the concept of spirituality can be separated from “God and religion.” The term spirituality can have many meanings but most often refers to a belief system that provides purpose and meaning.  Moreover, it has been my clinical experience that both the definition and role of spirituality frequently evolve and become more refined over a person’s lifetime.