I am Michael J. Deal, M.D. I have been in the practice of Psychiatry for almost 40 years. Although I have practiced general psychiatry the majority of those years, approximately 5 years ago, I began to treat substance abuse especially focusing on opioid addiction including pain medication, heroin, and others.
Prior to treating substance abuse, I had many of the common stereotypical beliefs about drug abusers including but not limited to: They did it for fun. They did not want to be responsible. They did not care about their family. It did not take me long to realize the vast majority of addicted patients became addicted without really knowing what was happening to them. By the time they realized they were addicted, it was too late because when they tried to stop they experienced severe withdrawal symptoms often leading to an endless pursuit for more of the addictive substance in order to end the symptoms of withdrawal. Some people tried Methadone, which was expensive and often required daily attendance at, perhaps, an unpleasant Methadone clinic.
A variety of modern approaches are now available that can be prescribed at a doctor's office to treat substance abuse/dependence. I am very impressed by how effective this treatment is for ending withdrawal symptoms as well as craving. I am equally impressed that many patients are desperate to rid themselves of this scourge of addiction/dependence.
The tragedy of a small town in rural Indiana where hundreds of heroin-addicted people also became infected with HIV due to sharing needles is haunting.
When a person suffering from substance abuse/dependence comes to this office for consideration of treatment, the patient is evaluated for the appropriateness of substance abuse/dependence treatment as well as I will perform a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation for underlying psychiatric syndromes that predispose one to become addicted, as addiction in the absence of these syndromes is uncommon. I will continue to be your psychiatrist, but you may be referred to another physician in my office (the same location) to continue addiction/dependence treatment due to rules limiting the number of patients allowed to be treated by a single physician. This office makes every attempt to treat all psychiatric syndromes along with treating the addiction. I learned that treating psychiatric syndromes (which is required by substance abuse treatment guidelines) greatly decreases the risk of relapse once addiction treatment has ended.
I must say that my office runs a very strict addiction treatment program and all rules written in a treatment contract, which the patient will sign, must be followed without exception. If you do not plan on following the rules set forth in treatment guidelines, do not come to Indiana Psychiatry, PC.
Treatment for opiate addiction/dependence in addition to psychiatric treatment for any identified syndrome is a very good investment in your life. Finding a solution to these problems will determine the outcome of your life.
Addictive drug classes treated in my office include opioids including pain pills and heroin, alcohol, and benzodiazepines (including Klonopin and Xanax) as well as cocaine, amphetamine, and methamphetamine.