Psychiatric services are a cornerstone of effective addiction treatment at Futures. Dr. Dunkin, the program’s Medical Director, is an experienced psychiatrist who has helped thousands of patients safely and effectively through detoxification and treatment. The Futures psychiatric team also includes experienced psychiatrists and skilled psychiatric nurse practitioners who work together to provide patients with high-quality medical care. Psychiatry serves multiple roles in the treatment of addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders, from assessment to medically-assisted detoxification, to the prescription and management of medications, to supervising medically-assisted treatment.
Psychiatry is especially helpful in identifying and reducing health problems related to polypharmacy — the use of multiple medications by one patient. Adult addiction and dual-diagnosis patients are often prescribed numerous and sometimes conflicting or excessive medications. Regardless of the causes of problematic overprescribing, reducing the use of multiple medications often results in rapid positive results. Managing the types and dosages of appropriate medicines can have a dramatic effect on overall patient health — especially in the early stages of recovery.
The evaluation of an experienced psychiatrist can also ensure proper alignment between a patient’s needs and the program’s capabilities. At Futures, Dr. Dunkin regularly reviews patients being referred for care. Mental illnesses that regularly accompany substance-use disorders are often the determining factors when determining if Futures or another program are a good fit for a given patient. The type of mental health condition and its level of acuity can help to determine if a patient may require specialized mental health treatment at a psychiatric hospital or another facility before receiving care at Futures. Certain medical conditions, such as acute liver disease, may also indicate alternative care providers.