Addiction Psychiatry is a field under psychiatry that concerns with assessment, diagnosis and treatment of individuals.
Addiction Psychiatry is a field under psychiatry that concerns with assessment, diagnosis and treatment of individuals who suffer from disorders related to or resulting from some form of addiction. The disorders include, but may not be limited to, (il)legal drugs, food, gambling, sex, and impulse control related disorders. Experts in Addictive Psychiatry are also considered experts in substance usage disorders. The field has seen great advancements in recent times, thanks to better clarity and improved knowledge in matters such as disorders resulting from substance usage. With growing instances of such disorders, the field has been seeing great demand of late, with more and more clamour for substance-use disorder experts in public and private sectors. Research in the field has also seen a surge, thanks to increased funding and heightened interest in knowing more about the effects and neurobiological aspects of behaviours associated with addiction. Since treatments for substance usage disorders have taken a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more resources are being allotted to studying effective methods to curb addictive disorders in times when options such as social proximity for constant monitoring of patients has become next to impossible.
As part of DM - Addictive Psychiatry, students will be learning topics such as but not limited to substance use disorders, behavioural addiction and dual diagnosis. The course allows students to work on a dissertation under members of the institutes’ faculty who specialise in the field. Clinical, research and policy-related aspects of Addiction Psychiatry will form the crux of the training. The course will also encompass training in population-specific substance abuse study, such as that in children. Since the course has several intertwined fields which the students have to be familiar with, the training will also include topics such as gastroenterology, neurology, neuro anaesthesia, family therapy, behaviour therapy and epidemiology among others. Most institutes also allow students a chance to studying and interacting with in-house subjects and observe the functioning of the diagnosis and treatment process of patients suffering from disorders that fall under the paradigm of addiction psychiatry and substance usage disorders.
Candidates who aspire to pursue DM - Addiction Psychiatry are required to have an MD in Psychiatry or a DNB in Psychiatry from an institute recognised under the Medical Council of India (MCI) and National Medical Commission. Admission to the course is through entrance tests common to similar DM courses in some other subspecialities of neurobiology and psychiatry. The selection process may also involve a clinical, practical or lab-based assessment to assess the candidate’s hands-on skills to go with theoretical knowledge. The course eligibility has an upper age cap of 35, which may be relaxable based on the candidate’s socio-economic background, subject to institute and regulator discretion. DM Addiction Psychiatry is a full-time course with a total duration of 3 years. With more and extensive study and research in the field of addiction, substance abuse and other related behavioural disorders, DM Addiction Psychiatry practitioners have great career prospects not just in India but across the globe.