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Why Is Visiting Multiple Health Care Providers Important?

Whether you are struggling with addiction, in recovery, or in need of mental health treatment, your physician plays a considerable role in the outcome.  

Usually, a primary care physician will be your first means of help. This is the doctor that will be familiar with you, your medical and family history, as well as your current situation. From there, most doctors will refer you to a specialist because some lack the knowledge required for handling matters such as addiction or recovery.  

The 2016 "Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health" states there is "considerable evidence showing that prevention, treatment, and recovery policies and programs really do work." All of those elements, however, require intervention from multiple health care providers. It is necessary to visit various providers for assistance when implementing treatment programs, counseling, and intervention. 

Therapist talking to patient.

The Lack of Addiction Treatment 

There is a shortage of mental health and addiction treatment facilities, especially in low-income and rural areas. This has led to a lack of treatment for many struggling with a substance use disorder (SUD). Many Americans do not get treatment, even when they have an SUD. 

One of the reasons for this is that addiction has long been a mysterious disease. This mystery created a stigma for health care providers, families, and those suffering from SUDs. 

Many doctors have avoided treating patients struggling with addiction because they were unaware of how to help them. However, with significant advancements in knowledge of the disease and treatment options, more primary care physicians are learning to recognize the signs of addiction and what steps to take next. 

However, there is still discrimination toward those who suffer from addiction. As some people still believe addiction to be a choice rather than a disease, it takes patience to find a physician who understands SUD and how to treat it. It can be frustrating or even infuriating to experience judgment from a physician concerning your addiction. It can actually reverse the likelihood of someone seeking treatment. While this is a problem in the health care industry, it does not mean there is no hope.  

Being an advocate for yourself and remaining patient until you find a capable and willing physician to treat your addiction without judgment means you will have come even further in your recovery process. Taking that step to stand up for yourself is not easy but will be worth the struggle. 

The Impact of Visiting Multiple Physicians 

Effective treatment for SUD requires multiple interventions and individualized care. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has published a research-based guide that states the 13 principles of effective treatment. Although the principles do not all apply to every patient, it is critical to understand that "[t]o be effective, treatment must address the individual's drug abuse and any associated medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal problems."  

Patients have a better chance at successful recovery when they use every option of treatment at their disposal. While not everyone will have such broad access, utilizing what is available will better one's chances of recovery. 

While addiction is a treatable disease, it has multiple facets, and one treatment plan doesn't work for everyone. Some patients will need access to inpatient treatment, detox, and rehab, while others can do fine with just outpatient treatment.  

It is a priority that those suffering from SUD get treatment for all health problems, not just their addiction. This is another reason visiting multiple health care providers is so vital. One doctor can help with therapy while one helps with medication and others offer general health and wellness treatment. Most people suffering from SUD have associated social or legal problems. Different medical professionals handle these issues at various stages throughout treatment and recovery. 

The Importance of Ongoing Care  

The best recovery outcomes happen when a patient has a suitable amount of time in treatment and the proper care. Even after the initial stages of rehab and treatment, ongoing care through counseling and therapy offers a much better result. 

Continuing care and check-ins with medical professionals are necessary to remain in recovery. One's treatment for addiction will adjust based on life changes, stress, and other factors. Still, it is helpful to have multiple health care providers involved in your ongoing treatment to remain in recovery. 

Many people who suffer from SUD also have mental health issues that require ongoing care as well. If there is a dual diagnosis, one should have multiple physicians involved. Medical intervention might be necessary for a mental health issue, meaning there is a heavier need for a physician's supervision. 

Addiction and recovery are both challenging enough without the added pressure of ensuring you're visiting multiple health care providers. Still, treatment from multiple healthcare providers is recommended for the best chance at a successful and long-lasting recovery. 

Psychiatrist prescribing medication.

Comprehensive Care Is The Best Way To Treat Substance Abuse 

Since substance abuse problems are so intricate and complicated, it makes sense that you might need help from more than one health care provider. Each physician, nurse, or therapist is trained in their specialty to help you with specific stages of recovery. Comprehensive care is your best chance to properly treat mental health issues, medical needs, addiction, and other parts of life impacted by substance abuse. 

The availability of such access in your area and within your means is crucial. Not everyone has easy access to visit multiple medical professions throughout their recovery, but it is possible. 

Don't let statistics and frustration steer you away from getting help. It takes time and patience, but with the right resources and aid from knowledgeable sources like, you can find the help you need to discover happiness, peace, and success in recovery. Reach out to today to get started.

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