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Cracking Addiction

August 05, 20211 min read

Why am I interested in Addiction Medicine and treating patients with substance use disorders?


Addiction and managing patients with substance use disorders was one of the farthest things from my mind when I entered medicine. Indeed, I was the general practitioner who 'refused to prescribe and would show people the door' if I was concerned about the medications they were taking. I used to feel that addiction was a problematic behaviour and that 'people should pull their socks up and straighten up'. I was concerned that I would be pushed to prescribe medications I was not comfortable prescribing or act in an unsafe manner. I was worried about me!

However, a funny thing occurred. The more people I started seeing with substance use disorder the more I started to recognise that addiction and substance use disorder was a medical problem. I saw that a lot of patients with substance use disorder had significant trauma histories or had sustained some great emotional hurt and responded well to kindness, empathy and compassion.

I also reviewed the literature and recognised that there were treatment protocols, paradigms and management plans for substance use disorder-backed up with high level evidence. I soon realised that addiction medicine was a fascinating area where a lot of patients go untreated or undertreated and simple interventions and linkages to services can have outsized effects and benefits. In short I realised that addiction and substance use disorder was a fascinating and intriguing area that was worth exploring in depth.

Cracking Addiction is a new show on MedHeads.

Watch Episode 1 now

Listen to Audio Podcast

Addiction MedicineSubstance Use DisordersTreatment ProtocolsEvidence-Based TreatmentsAddiction Management
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Dr Thileepan Naren

Dr. Thileepan Naren, an esteemed medical professional, holds prestigious qualifications including MBBS, FACRRM, FRACGP, and FAChAM, showcasing his extensive expertise in the field. Renowned as an Addiction Medicine Specialist, he brings a wealth of experience to the forefront, particularly in catering to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalised communities. With a proven track record, Dr. Naren exemplifies dedication and compassion in providing comprehensive healthcare solutions to those in need.

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