Addiction medicine is a medical specialty that focuses on the treatment and resolution of addictive behaviors. This specialty incorporates a multi-disciplinary approach to addiction medicine. Often, a patient will need the support of social services and mental health specialists, in addition to medical supervision, in order to address the many issues that the person’s addictive behavior has caused in his or her life. Some of the elements that Burlington addiction medicine specialists address are the processes of withdrawal, detoxification, harm reduction, rehabilitation and individual and group therapeutic interventions.
Addiction medicine specialists often supervise rehabilitation centers where a patient is medically supported in undergoing withdrawal from the addictive substance. In a comprehensive rehabilitation program, the patient will also engage in both individual and group therapy sessions in order to address all of the underlying psychological issues propelling his or her addictive behavior. Some do have a background in internal medicine and will also offer general health care to patients who are experiencing health issues, many of which have developed due to their addictive behaviors.
The first step to finding a great addiction medicine specialist is to make an appointment with a primary care physician. A family doctor will be able to help clarify the kind of medical, nutritional and psychological support a patient will need as he or she undergoes the withdrawal process. The next step is to confirm the doctor’s professional credentials as an addiction medicine specialist. In tandem with finding out the doctor’s credentials, a patient is advised to find out if the rehabilitation facility accepts insurance payments or if it is only admits patients on a self-paying basis. An insurance company will usually be able to give the family or social worker an idea about how many days or weeks it will approve a patient’s stay in a rehabilitation facility.
If a patient is suffering from addiction to alcohol, other drugs or behaviors such as gambling or sex, he or she will need a substantial amount of medical and psychological support to stop drinking, taking drugs or otherwise engaging in addictive behaviors. Burlington addiction medicine specialists specialize in effective and safe withdrawal from alcohol, drugs and other addictive behaviors. It is very important to seek the support of a fully-trained and experienced specialist when going through withdrawal from addictive substances. Many drugs have life-threatening withdrawal symptoms and should be managed medically. They will also be able to ease withdrawal symptoms through medication. Additionally, a rehabilitation facility will provide other health-related care and the psychological support critically necessary to the recovery process.