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Do Psychiatrists Really Help With Addiction Recovery?

Mental illness is a top risk factor for addiction. Many people struggle to manage their mental disorders, so they use drugs and alcohol to cope. However, when the toxins wear off, mental health problems are still present. In fact, drugs and alcohol may exacerbate a person’s condition. That’s why most treatment centers emphasize dual diagnosis treatment that affects both the addiction and the mental health disorder. However, this may not be right for everybody. Some people may not have a mental health condition or respond well to psychiatrists. So the question is, do psychiatrists really help with addiction recovery?

Different Types of Mental Health Workers

There are numerous types of mental health workers, and they all do different things for patients. You may need one but not the other to get you through your addiction.

Addiction Counselor

Addiction counselors remain in their specialty, addiction. Educational training is minimal, but many have hands on experience that works work in their profession. Most counselors work with people in group settings.


A psychologist has a doctorate in psychology, but it is not a doctorate of medicine. That means they cannot prescribe medication. However, they are the people who spend time talking and diving into a patient’s illness and where it comes from.


A psychiatrist focuses primarily on a medical diagnosis and medication. This is a doctor with an MD (doctorate of medicine) who extensively studied brain activity, behavior, medication, and child development. A psychiatrist does not have talk sessions with his patients.


Sociologists tackle the addiction problem as a community as opposed to treating a person as an individual. Sociologists look at a patient’s surroundings to help pinpoint a cause and then provide resources for them. A sociologist likely has a bachelor’s or master’s degree in sociology, but they cannot prescribe medicine or provide formal therapy sessions.

Signs You Need Psychiatric Treatment

Everyone gets a little sad or anxious from time to time, but that’s normal. However, these signs indicate a need for professional help.

Past Trauma

As much as we try to fight it, past Trauma affects us in our daily life. It’s baggage we carry with us every time a trigger reintroduces those past emotions. Even if a person has a strong handle on the issue and carries themselves well, the pain still exists. This could be the cause of the addiction problem, and tackling the Trauma could help someone in recovery tackle their addiction.

Communication Disorders

Failure to communicate effectively may signify a personality disorder or learning disorder. These disorders can cause a person to feel isolated, frustrated, and misunderstood. Communicating better can give someone the confidence to move forward in society instead of hiding away with drugs and alcohol.

Aggression/Manic Behavior

We all get angry. However, we need the ability to control anger and other emotions. A lack of control over emotions and dangerously impulsive behavior can lead to jail or death instead of just an addiction problem. Learning self-control over emotions will teach self-control over cravings for harmful substances. Medication may be appropriate in these situations to calm a person down and help them control their responses.

Types of Aftercare Treatment

There are different aftercare treatment options available for you to care for your mental health once you leave rehabilitation. Give them a try to see if they are effective for you.


The neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in the brain play a large role in a person’s mental health. When there is a chemical imbalance, the balance needs to be restored. The way to do this is through medication. Medications should only be reserved for serious conditions if possible, especially when working with people in recovery. Ask if there is an option for a natural treatment or a lower dosage if you want to wean off your medication.

One-on-one Therapy

A therapist will sit with you one-on-one and talk about, well, you. Talk about your recovery, relationships, mental health, and changes in your life. It gives you a place to express yourself and maybe even let out some pent-up feelings.

Group Therapy

Group therapy usually takes place for free in a church basement or in someone’s house. You will meet with like-minded people, and someone will lead the meeting. This is a great way to find emotional support and meet people who are successful in recovery.

Ready to learn more about dual diagnosis treatment? Call 844-903-2111 today to schedule an appointment.