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The Division of Addiction Psychiatry at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital is home to a team of highly trained clinicians, educators, and researchers to support and help patients and their families struggling with substance use disorders. Our addiction experts help to ensure access to evidence-based treatments, are sought out speakers locally and nationally, and conduct innovative clinical research to deepen our understanding of how to best treat addiction and its medical and psychiatric co-morbidities.
Our division understands that for too long, addiction treatment has been fragmented from general medical care. We firmly believe in the idea that health care systems must take responsibility and ownership in identifying, assessing, and treating substance use disorders like any other medical condition from which our patients suffer. Along with our colleagues and collaborators across many medical/surgical specialties at Brigham and Women's Hospital and beyond, we strive to embody our goal to create a system that has “No wrong door” to recovery. No matter where the patient is located, no matter what level of motivation they have for treatment, no matter what psychiatric and medical comorbidities are present, our goal is to create a system that never turns away a patient who needs help for their substance use disorder.
The addiction treatment programs at the Brigham encompass the full range of services, from comprehensive outpatient treatment, low-threshold models of care (i.e. bridge clinic), individual and group treatments, inpatient withdrawal management, and addiction consultation for both inpatients and outpatients. All of our programs utilize our departments' expertise in psychiatric treatment to ensure co-occurring psychiatric diseases are treated concurrently.
For over 20 years, Brigham and Women's Hospital has been a leader in providing expert consultation to the entire hospital system to assist in the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of patients with a known or suspected substance use disorder. While the focus is largely on hospitalized patients, the team also serves to provide both formal and informal consultations to patients in primary care or other specialty clinics. Embedded within a larger psychiatric consultation service, the team of addiction physicians and social workers help to provide quality care for inpatients, develop hospital-wide guidelines, implement new protocols, and interface with our medical and surgical colleagues to improve patient outcomes.
Our expert addiction social workers provide bed-side consultation to assist in patient engagement, provision of community resources, and assist transitioning patients to ongoing treatment in the community setting. The team has been a pioneer in the initiation of medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) for hospitalized patients, has assisted other hospital systems to implement addiction consultation services, and serves as a training site for medical students, psychiatry residents, and addiction fellows from across the Boston area.
How effective are opioid addiction treatments? What are the three different types of opioid addiction treatment? Is using medication treatment just replacing one addiction for another? Joji Suzuki, M.D., M.Sc., Director of the Division of Addiction Psychiatry at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Program Director of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program, discusses opioid addiction treatments and how they can help people recover.
The Brigham and Women's Bridge Clinic is a rapid-access, low barrier, low threshold clinic for patients with substance use disorders. Launched in 2018, the clinic is staffed by addiction treatment experts, peer recovery coaches, and a resource specialist. The clinic staff embraces a harm reduction and compassionate approach to treatment for patients in all stages of recovery. The clinic allows same-day and walk-in evaluations, as well as medication initiation on-demand such as buprenorphine treatment. Once stabilized, the goal of the clinic is to “bridge” the patient to ongoing longer-term treatment, where the patient can continue along their recovery journey. In addition, the clinic has expertise in management co-occurring psychiatric illnesses, infectious complications of substance use disorders, and pregnant or post-partum women.
The Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital outpatient addiction recovery program provides a variety of treatment options for individuals with substance use disorders. The program consists of psychiatrists and licensed social workers who have expertise in the treatment of addiction. Medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), including sublingual buprenorphine, commonly known as Suboxone, or Subutex that is used for pregnant women, extended release injectable naltrexone (XR-NTX, Vivitrol), and long acting injectable buprenorphine (SUBLOCADE) are offered in the program, as well as medications for alcohol use disorder (MAUD), nicotine use disorder, and other substance use disorders.
Individual and group-based therapy are offered to enhance support for individuals working on or in recovery from substances. Our psychiatrists and therapists also appreciate the importance of treatment of co-occurring mental health illnesses (dual diagnosis) and are experienced in managing anxiety, depressive, and other mental health disorders. Providers in ARP strongly believe that each individual has the capacity to live the life they hope for and aim to provide each individual with tools to embark on their recovery journey.
Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital Addiction Partial Hospital Program is a patient centered program that addresses the needs of patients who have both substance use and psychiatric disorders. The duration of time in the program is variable, typically ranging from 5-10 business days, as determined by the clinical need of each individual. The program runs from 8:30 am to 2:45 pm, Monday through Friday. The primary goals of the program are to provide guidance, self-empowerment, and healthy living techniques to promote recovery from drugs or alcohol.
Our professional staff will help you to understand how your substance use and mental health influence one another, while learning healthy coping skills to prevent relapse. While in the program, you will participate in a variety of groups aimed at accomplishing the treatment goals. Each patient receives a full psychiatric evaluation and ongoing assessment by our addiction psychiatry team, daily individual counseling by an addiction counselor, and coordination of care with current outpatient providers and aftercare referrals. During the course of treatment, patients may also be prescribed medication to assist with the treatment of psychiatric and substance use disorders.
At Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital, a state-of-the-art inpatient level 4 withdrawal management unit, the inpatient addiction recovery program has been integrated into the hospital inpatient services to enhance quality of care for patients suffering with medical conditions and alcohol and sedative/hypnotic use disorders. The unit is staffed by addiction medicine physicians and hospitalists with expertise in managing those at risk for severe withdrawal.
In close collaboration with addiction medicine colleagues and the psychiatry consultation service, Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital has launched an addiction consultation service to provide expert consultation to hospitalized patients at Faulkner. This service aids medical teams in managing substance use intoxication and withdrawal, initiating MOUD and MAUD, managing pain in the setting of opioid use disorder, and connecting patients with community services to enhance their chances of recovery following hospital discharge.
Faculty members in the Division of Addiction Psychiatry are nationally recognized educators in the field and are committed to training the next generation of health care providers to become leaders. As such, we are involved in educating all levels of trainees, including physicians, nurses, and therapists. Our division goal is to train future and current clinical providers and researchers in the value and importance of treating substance use disorders and to reduce stigma through education within communities and across clinical specialties. We train a wide range of doctors:
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