Integrating the Science of Addiction Into Psychiatric Practice
American Psychiatric Association 157th Annual Meeting
May 1–6, 2004
At the 2004 American Psychiatric Association (APA) 157th Annual Meeting, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and APA collaborated on a special research program track: “Integrating the Science of Addiction Into Psychiatric Practice.” This special track was presented to raise awareness of new and emerging issues in addiction and psychiatry and provide important information related to best practices and treatment strategies. Mental health and healthcare practitioners and researchers, residents, fellows, faculty, medical students, and drug abuse treatment professionals attended this event and received important information critical to treating patients afflicted with drug addiction and mental illness.
Recent epidemiologic studies show that between 30 and 60 percent of drug abusers have concurrent mental health problems. This makes diagnosis and treatment of both disorders more difficult. Fortunately, science is continuing to increase our knowledge about comorbidity and addiction. Major depression, bipolar disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder can influence the course and treatment of addiction and vice versa. Such knowledge is raising further questions in the field: is abstinence from drugs critical before the comorbid condition can be treated? How do you treat both conditions simultaneously? Additionally, other addictions, such as gambling, food, and sexual behavior, present significant challenges for psychiatrists and drug addiction treatment specialists.
The nearly 30 NIDA-supported sessions featured at this meeting—some of which are presented here—addressed an array of topics linked to mental illness and drug abuse. Some of the topics built into the series were stress, trauma, and drug abuse; obesity and addiction; smoking and comorbid mental disorders; and ADHD and drug abuse.