Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Message from the Chairperson, Speciality Section on Addictive Disorders

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Message from the Chairperson, Speciality Section on Addictive Disorders

Article excerpt

Byline: Pratima. Murthy

Early in my professional work as a psychiatrist working in addiction, while I was speaking at a programme organised in the community, an individual in his forties asked me, 'Why didn't someone tell me all this about addiction earlier. Had I known all these facts, I might never have started'. This question often reverberates in my ears and has been an impetus to work more intensively in this area.

The conceptualisation of addictive disorders has undergone a substantial transformation in the last few decades. We better understand why certain individuals are more predisposed to develop addiction once they use substances; we know that addiction rarely occurs alone and that several psychiatric disorders and temperamental characteristics often co-exist; we are aware of the risks that substance misuse poses to physical, psychological, social and community well-being; we are also aware of the intimate relationships between substance use and socio-cultural and socio-political contexts.

The field of addiction has expanded from chemical addictions to a wide range of behavioural addictions- technology, gambling and gaming, sexual addictions- to name a few. While pharmacotherapy in recent years has become a valuable tool in the management of several addictive disorders, it remains that the mainstay of effective management includes at its core, various forms of brief and intensive psychosocial interventions for persons with a wide range of substance use as well as behavioural addictions. …

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