3 Questions to Ask Your Addiction Specialist
Restoration Recovery addiction treatment center is here to help you overcome your addictions so that you can start living life again. For more information, call us today or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in Chattanooga, TN and Dalton, GA.
What does an addiction medicine specialist do?
An addiction medicine specialist is a doctor who specializes in the care and treatment of patients to help them overcome their addictions. An addiction doctor can treat patients who suffer from substance addictions such as drugs and alcohol, or who suffer from behavior addictions such as gambling, sex, or other compulsive disorders. They are extensively trained to recognize the signs of addiction to be able to diagnose, treat and manage any and all addictions that their patients may be dealing with. They are able to provide medical care that is addiction-specific for the addiction as well as conditions or disorders the patient may be suffering from as a result of their addiction. An addiction doctor is also trained to be able to care for the family members who have been affected by the patient’s addiction. Addiction doctors often start off as doctors in another area such as family medicine or psychology before pursuing further training to be addiction specialists. Diagnosing a patient with an addiction disorder involves both a physical and psychological exam to determine how extensive the addiction is and what the root cause is. They may also collect blood and urine samples as part of the exam to check for any signs of issues with the internal organs. Once the addiction doctor understands the physical and psychological condition of their patient and the extent of the addiction as well as the factors that lead to the start and continuation of the addiction, they will build out a rehabilitation and recovery treatment plan. Addiction treatment includes but is not limited to detoxification, rehabilitation, short and long-term therapy to prevent relapse, and treatment of withdrawal symptoms.
What is the source of addiction?
Addiction is thought to be rooted in an imbalance or malfunction in the brain of some individuals. There are people who are able to try a substance once or twice and never touch it again, whereas others develop an addiction to it after only a couple of uses. The different areas of the brain that could be causing the addiction are the frontal lobes, and the nucleus accumbens, and the anterior cingulate cortex. The frontal lobes control an individual’s feelings of gratification and allow them to be delayed. However, with addiction, the gratification is immediate as the result of a malfunction in the frontal lobe. Pleasure sensations are linked to the nucleus accumbens and anterior cingulate cortex, and when they are exposed to addictive behaviors or substances, they increase the pleasure response that an individual experiences. Addiction can also be caused by chemical imbalances found in the brain or the presence of mental disorders such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. In these cases, the addiction can form a coping mechanism for the individual who is suffering. Genetics and early exposure are thought to play a role in the development of addictions. Genetics and having addiction run in the family does not guarantee a person will develop an addiction, but it can increase their likelihood of developing one. Social and environmental factors can also play a role in a person’s likelihood of addiction, particularly if they do not have a strong support system. Addictive behaviors can stem from traumatic events and experiences in a person’s life, where they turn to substances or certain behaviors as a way of coping with the trauma.
How do you know you’re addicted?
Symptoms of addiction will be unique to each individual and their particular addiction or dependence, however, there are signs to look out for if you think your behavior might not be normal and could be the sign of an addiction. Signs can include continuing to do it even when there are negative consequences, avoiding social situations where the source of your addiction isn’t involved, you suffer withdrawal symptoms if you try to stop, you have an increased tolerance for the substance, you try to hide your use from friends and family or downplay it when they ask, you find yourself unable to stop, you take risks either to get the substance or while under the influence of it and you feel like you can’t deal with struggles in your life without it. If you feel any of the above, it is best to reach out to your doctor or an addiction doctor to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
For more information about addiction, call us or schedule an appointment through our website. We would be pleased to help you! We serve patients from Chattanooga TN, Dalton GA, Rocky Face GA, Tunnel Hill GA, Chatsworth GA, Spring Place GA, Fairmount TN, Walden TN, Harrison TN, Middle Valley TN, Signal Mountain TN, and surrounding areas.