An Addiction Psychiatrist subspecializes in the branch of psychiatry that deals with chemical and behavioral addictions. Dr. Agnihotri, an addiction psychiatrist at Spectrum Psychiatry, P.C. understands and employs a chronic relapsing and remitting brain disease approach for treating substance and behavioral dependency.
Common treatable chemical addictions can include opiate/heroin dependence, alcohol and nicotine dependence, and other drugs of abuse. Classic hallmarks of addiction include: impaired control over substances, anoverpowering preoccupation with the substance, the continued use of the substance despite negative consequences and denial. Habits and patterns associated with addiction are typically characterized by immediate gratification (short-term reward) which can lead to long term consequences.
The term addiction is also applied to "compulsions" or behaviors that are not substance-related, such as compulsive shopping, sex addiction/compulsive sex, overeating, problem gambling, exercise/sport and computer/internet addiction. In the behavioral addictions, there is a strongrecurring compulsion by an individual to engage in the specific compulsive activity, despite harmful negative consequences to their individual health, mental state, or social life. Research supports biological and psychological factors contributing to these addictions as well.
The treatment of opiate or heroin dependence has been greatly advanced by the use of Suboxone/buprenorphine. There are several pharmacologic treatments for alcohol and nicotine dependence as well. In addition to medications, motivational interviewing, individual psychotherapy and group counseling is recommended for a complete treatment approach.
Addiction and other psychiatric disorder often are co-occurring. A careful comprehensive psychiatric evaluation will help determine if other illnesses are comorbid and if additional treatments are needed. Common conditions that are likely to co-exist with substance dependence include affective illnesses such as Depression and Bipolar Disorder, anxiety disorders such as social anxiety, PTSD, and generalized anxiety disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Relapses can happen and sobriety can be achieved. Dr. Agnihotri, the addiction psychiatrist, has special training in chemical dependency and dual-diagnosis. Let him help you on the path to your recovery.