Doctors Who Specialize in Drug Addiction Near Birmingham, AL
Expert Doctors at Southeast Medical Group Provides Drug Addiction Treatment for Patients Who Struggle with Drug Abuse. Please Call Us Today at (205) 236-5388 or Request an Appointment Online.
What does a drug addiction doctor do?
Addiction doctors and addiction specialists are primarily concerned with the prevention and/or recovery of substance addictions disease. They will evaluate, diagnose, and treat individuals with substance abuse, such as those addicted to nicotine, alcohol, prescription medications, and illegal drugs. Not only do they help those affected by substance abuse addictions, they also help the families of those with substance abuse addictions.
Addiction medicine physicians are board-certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) and the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM), and addiction psychiatrists are board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN). Addiction medicine physicians can perform complete medical exams and provide minor counseling, while addiction psychiatrists specialize in the mental health and well-being of patients suffering from addiction. Both specialists can prescribe medication to help recovery.
How are drug addicts treated?
Addiction is a disease and it is treatable. Drug addiction treatment can be a long, complicated, and arduous experience, and there is no set treatment plan that will work with everyone. Most patients require long-term care to completely stop drug-use and begin living a productive life.
There are many techniques for treating drug addiction, each with their own success rate. These include:
- Behavioral counseling
- Medications that curb withdrawal symptoms
- Treatment of mental health issues outside of drug addiction
- Long-term care and counseling to prevent relapse
Most treatment plans will include one or more of the above techniques and will be tailored to the individual’s needs.
Medically assisted detoxification is only the first step to treating drug addiction, and care must extend beyond detox and withdrawal treatment; long-term care most often includes counseling and behavioral therapy.
What doctor can prescribe Suboxone?
Often, medications are used to help manage withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse. In the case of opioid addiction, there are a number of medications that are used in the treatment of addiction.
Opioids are a type of drug that act on the nervous system and relax the body. Prescription opioids, such as oxycodone, fentanyl, methadone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, codeine, and morphine, are prescribed to manage pain in patients, such as that experienced after surgery or traumatic injury. Individuals may also become addicted to illegal opioids, such as heroin.
Opioids are extremely addictive, and even when used responsibly and as directed, many individuals can become addicted. Addiction also results from the misuse of the medication, such as using it other than how it was prescribed or using someone else’s prescribed medication.
Opioids work short-term by activating opioid receptors on nerve cells that block pain receptors to the brain causing the body to relax and creating a sense of peace and euphoria. Long-term use changes the chemistry of the brain and can lead to tolerance (meaning it takes more of the drug to feel the same effects) and hypoxia (slowed breathing). Hypoxia results when too little oxygen can reach the brain, often leading to comas, brain damage, or even death.
Medication is often used in opioid relapse prevention treatments. These medications help establish normal brain functions, reducing cravings. Suboxone is a brand name for a combination medication of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid agonist, which blocks the opioid receptors (which reduces urges to use), while naloxone helps reverse the effects of the addiction; together, they help relieve withdrawal symptoms.
If you’re in the Birmingham, AL, area and you’re looking for help with opioid addiction, or you have a family member with opioid addiction, the Southeast Medical Group is here for you. Our addiction specialists offer office-based opioid treatment as part of our Addiction Recovery Program for Opioid Addiction. We use Suboxone and other medications in the treatment of withdrawal and cravings to help break the cycle of opioid abuse. Our treatment includes a full physical examination and medical evaluation, referrals for counseling (individual, group, or family), drug screenings, and other support services. We provide comprehensive and individualized treatment plans to help each of our patients reach their recovery goals.
It is our mission to inspire, guide, and support you as you make positive changes in your life. We are committed to your recovery. Call us today to discuss our methods of treatment and set up your appointment to see a doctor.