What is addiction?
Addiction is a chronic complex disease of the brain that involves the reward, motivation, and memory circuitry. Chronic use of drugs or alcohol causes dysfunction in these areas of the brain and creates changes that undermine one’s ability to make decisions. This leads to a syndrome of physical, social, and psychological problems caused by the unhealthy pursuit of external reward or relief of withdrawal.
These physical, social, and psychological problems often include:
1) the inability to abstain from the drug or alcohol,
2) impaired judgment- use of the drug despite clear harm to the user,
3) excessive time spent in use or recovering from use,
4) craving and cycles of withdrawal and euphoria,
5) relationship and interpersonal problems,
6) financial and legal problems,
7) increased anxiety and increased sensitivity to stressors.
Addiction can result in sudden death in numerous ways; including overdose, impaired driving/operating machinery, violent crime/homicide, and suicide. But, addiction doesn’t always kill quickly, it also contributes to premature death in more subtle ways, including infectious hepatitis, HIV, worsening cardiovascular disease, worsening lung disease, worsening psychiatric disease, cancer, dementia, liver disease and much more.
Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission and requires chronic care. For now, there is no cure for addiction. There are people who manage to attain sustained remission, which is always our goal. As science works toward a cure, we will continue to manage the disease with the most advanced care possible
What is an addiction medicine specialist?
An addiction medicine physician provides medical care for persons with addiction or unhealthy substance use. This care can also include caring for family members whose health is affected by another’s addiction. The addiction medicine physician is specifically trained in a wide range of prevention, evaluation and treatment modalities addressing addiction. Often, treatment for co-occurring general medical and psychiatric conditions is also offered.
The addiction medicine physician is a key member of the health care team and is trained to coordinate and provide consultation services for other physicians and to use community resources when appropriate.
How are you different from “rehab”?
The term “rehab” brings up many emotional responses, especially for addicts. Some have been to rehab multiple times and feel as if they could teach the lessons, simply from rote memorization. For some it represents a bittersweet memory of hope and healing, only to have a relapse shortly after leaving. For some it represents time away from supportive family, friends, pets, and work.
A quality rehabilitation center can be a very valuable tool in the treatment of addiction. There are certain times during the course of the disease that a traditional rehabilitation center is necessary. For the past several decades, though, it has been promoted as the only tool.
We treat addiction with a long-term, evidence-based, collaborative care plan, and with no punishment for relapse. You will never be terminated from our care for relapse- though it is taken seriously and generally requires a change in the plan of care.
What is Suboxone(TM)?
Suboxone (TM) is a medication approved by the FDA to treat opioid dependence (addiction to heroin or opioid pain pills). Its generic name is buprenorphine/naloxone. Please see our Buprenorphine information sheet for more information.
Do you prescribe Suboxone(TM)?
Yes. The DEA requires a physician to have extra training and be registered with them to prescribe Suboxone. Dr. Pylkas has this certification. The DEA also puts limits on the number of patients any one provider can manage, so please call to see if Dr. Pylkas is taking Subxone patients. Suboxone can be a life-saving drug, but it alone is not the cure for opioid addiction. It may take multiple different therapies to come up with an effective treatment plan for you.
How do I make a referral?
Visit our referrals page.
How do I schedule an appointment?
Visit our referrals page
Do you accept insurance?
Yes. We accept most major insurers as well as self-pay clients.