This seminar will provide an overview of the assessment and treatment of both alcohol use disorder and disorders related to other substances of abuse. The focus will be on the chronic disorders (i.e., abuse and dependence). A comprehensive approach to evaluation will be provided, articulating the multiple levels of assessment, starting with screening. Similarly, an overview of treatment elements, including an integrated approach, will be reviewed. Non-medication treatment options including behavioral treatment strategies will be reviewed as well as pharmacological interventions.
There will be an emphasis on the role of psychotherapy, referral to AA and SMART Recovery and helping family members of patients with substance use disorders. The seminar will emphasize effective techniques to deal with the denial, ambivalence, and reluctance to change of the unmotivated patient. It will be then demonstrated how to motivate, persuade, and confront effectively. A specific area of focus will be assessment and treatment of patients with co-occurring disorders. Among the substance use disorders, alcohol disorder will be emphasized – especially the underlying neurobiology and resulting targets of medication intervention.
Also emphasized is opioid use disorder with special attention given to medication treatment options and how best to use them as well as to especially risky subpopulations. In addition, among the co-occurring psychiatric disorders, trauma will be a topic of more in-depth review.
Roger Weiss, MD is a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse at McLean Hospital.