What Are Psychiatric Medications?
Psychiatric medications treat mental health disorders. Sometimes called psychotropic or psychotherapeutic medications, they have changed the lives of people with mental disorders for the better. Many people with mental health problems live fulfilling lives with the help of these medications. Without them, people with mental health problems might suffer serious and disabling symptoms.
How Does ADS Help?
Alcohol and Drug Services (ADS) has a psychiatrist and a family nurse practitioner on staff who specialize in psychiatric medicine and in the treatment of various mental health disorders.
While in treatment at ADS, any client can receive psychiatric evaluation and medication therapy if it is determined that is an appropriate course of treatment for the client's problem.
Appointments with ADS psychiatric professionals can be scheduled through each client's personal substance abuse counselor. ADS uses a treatment team approach as part of each client's overall treatment planning. The treatment team works with each client to help them gain the most benefit from their treatment experience.
When addressing substance abuse and addiction issues, it is very important that other mental health problems be addressed and managed while an individual strives for sobriety from alcohol and illicit drugs.
The phrase "co-occurring disorder" is sometimes used in treatment. It refers to the presence of a Substance Use diagnosis plus another disorder like depression or anxiety.
How Are Medications Used To Treat Psychiatric Symptoms?
Medications treat the symptoms of mental disorders. They cannot cure the disorder, but they make people feel better so they can function.
Medications work differently for different people. Some people get great results from medications and only need them for a short time. For example, a person with depression may feel much better after taking a medication for a few months, and may never need it again. People with disorders like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, or people who have long-term or severe depression or anxiety may need to take medication for a much longer time.
Some people get side effects from medications and other people don't. Doses can be small or large, depending on the medication and the person. Factors that can affect how medications work in people include:
- Type of mental disorder, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia
- Age, sex, and body size
- Physical illnesses
- Habits like smoking, drinking, substance use
- Liver and kidney function
- Other medications and herbal/vitamin supplements
- Whether medications are taken as prescribed.
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