Addiction + Mental Health

What is the Difference Between Addiction Medicine and Addiction Psychiatry?

Addiction Medicine is primarily focused on a medical approach to the diagnosis and treatment of the substance use disorder whereas Addiction Psychiatry is a psychological approach with the focus being more so on treating the mental health response and/or struggle that coexist with the substance use disorder.


What Psychiatric Techniques are Used to Treat Addiction? Addiction Psychiatrists primarily aim to identify underlying core issues that have been a contributing factor to the development of the individuals substance use disorder. Once identified, the course of care and treatment is developed to include but not limited to medication, psychotherapy that promotes behavioral and cognitive change, as well as, psychosocial interventions.


What's the Role of an Addiction Psychiatrist Within a Recovery Plan? The Addiction Psychiatrist assesses the individual to determine appropriate medications and appropriate course of care and treatment. The Addiction Psychiatrist also is the point person overseeing the individuals response to medication and interventions (ongoing symptom assessment and adjustments taking place if and as needed).



What is an Addiction Psychiatrist? A qualified person who specializes in diagnosing and treating individuals who struggle with a substance use disorder.


Is Addiction a Mental Health Issue? Yes, but it doesn’t start and stop there. Its deeper than that. Anytime you hear addition or mental health struggles in the room, what’s really being said is there’s unresolved trauma. Addiction and Mental Health struggles are a symptom of unresolved trauma. 


What is Dual Diagnosis in Mental Health? Dual Diagnosis refers to an individual having both - a mental and substance use “disorder.” However, I do not believe in disorders so I see it as an individual having a learned mental health response and learned substance use response. Disorder is forever. Response is learned which means it can be corrected/healed/unlearned. There is nothing disorderly about any of us. We are all humans who have experienced trauma in one way or the other and as a result we have experienced addiction and/or struggles with mental health but we heal, we recover, we evolve. 

Stephanie Robilio, LCSW
Published Author
Clinical Director at Agape Behavioral Healthcare 

To learn more about Stephanie visit and follow her on Instagram, Facebook @mindfulliving, and subscribe to her on YouTube Stephanie Robilio. Find all of Stephanie's books on Amazon: WellNowMindful Makeover, Painted Soul, and Bonafide Spirit. To join real conversations about what it takes to achieve optimal wellness in mind, body, and spirit, check out The Mindful Living Podcast on Spotify.



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