Various community members met in Castleview Hospital’s training room on Friday for a presentation dealing with advances made in the field of addiction medicine.
The presentation was hosted by Four Corners Community Behavioral Health, Inc. and featured Dr. Elizabeth Howell as the event’s speaker. Dr. Howell, a psychiatrist addiction-ologist, works as an Associate professor for the University of Utah School of Medicine and also has an inpatient and outpatient practice at the school’s Neuropsychiatric Institute.
The presentation began with a discussion about addiction itself. Dr. Howell spoke about how addiction can be influenced by both one’s environment and genetics. She also touched how addictions are normally classified by consequences and harm, listing what was referred to as the “ABCDEs of Addiction.”
Calling addiction a “chronic disease of the brain,” Dr. Howell also gave attendees a list of addictive substances with more specific examples in each category. She also spoke about the vulnerability of certain individuals to addictions.
The rest of the time was devoted to a discussion on possible treatments for various addictions. In talking about pharmacological treatments, it was noted that only addictions dealing with alcohol, nicotine and opioids have treatment medications available.
Dr. Howell spoke of several medication options and also allowed for those in attendance to ask questions and discuss concerns or insights.
Another topic discussed in conjunction with the presentation included the role of a primary care person. Dr. Howell spoke of such an individual, stressing the need to ensure that they are part of a supportive relationship, use short and frequent visits and work to educate the patient and family, among others.
Dr. Howell also stressed the importance of time in managing an addiction toward the end of the presentation.
“Your brain takes a long time to heal,” she said.
To purchase a DVD copy of the presentation for training or educational purposes, please email your request to DVDS@etv.net.