Thursday, February 5, 2015

Attacking Substance Abuse From All Angles

one of the first things that crossed my mind when thinking of multidisciplinary was medicine. a field where its presence is not only known but encouraged. its hard to figure out what exactly is going on when you have just one person looking at a case from a singular approach. i think this is a real downfall of modern medicine. nowadays all of our doctors are highly trained, however, they're usually highly trained in only one specified field of study. things get lost in translation when one specialist sends you to another and to another, i can't tell you how many different doctors i've seen to try to figure out the cause of a problem i have with my eye... my optometrist, primary physician, flabotomist, allergist, and finally a retinal specialist, not to mention all of the insurance referrals needed in the process. medical issues are without a doubt a multidisciplinary field. the key to which needs to be communication.

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another instance in medicine where i think working multidisciplinary is key is with substance abuse and substance abuse treatment. Stepping Stone Center has a WONDERFUL introduction to how this works with their patients and i highly encourage you to check it out. substance abuse is something that hits home for me, its an issue that has plagued my family for a long time now, and i've seen so many attempts to stay clean fail. i truly think that the only way that addicts are going recover to their fullest potential is to attack the cause at every angle. and a lot of that comes from being supportive in every discipline possible. Stepping Stone uses a variety of different professionals to come up with treatment plans and provide a 'well rounded comprehensive treatment experience.

well rounded is what i think the main goal of multidisciplinary is. we're taking components from all different fields in order to comprise a well rounded solution. and in the case of substance abuse i think this is a strong example of what we can do when different walks of life come together to form a support system.

what do you guys think? is there any form of medicine and practice that is best left as a singular method? i can't seem to come up with any fields that would benefit without knowledge of another. teamwork between disciplines is essential and i think that our health care providers are beginning to realize that as well.


  1. I think you are right on with this integrated approach. With issues like substance abuse and addiction, I can totally see how it would be imperative, but even with "purely physical" diseases like cancer or diabetes, you can see how integrating psychology, nutrition, occupational therapy, etc. would make such a difference to outcomes. When my mom had a stroke, it was her language therapists and her occupational therapist and her psychiatrist who helped improve her condition much more than her neurologists! Make sure your posts are grammatically correct, with proper capitalization and such. It effects the ethos of the work and also slows down your readers when your writing doesn't follow the standard conventions...

  2. I think that any form of medicine and practice could benefit with this integrated approach. I would much rather have different disciplines working together if I had a health issue knowing that I would be getting the best treatment possible!

  3. thanks Robin, I meant to ask you if you minded, the capitalization thing bothers me, there is no auto correct when you're writing the blog so I wasn't sure.

  4. Our separate organs, neurotransmitters, and amino acids come together to make the body function properly as a whole. I’m sure we have all come to find out that if one aspect of our body is imbalanced, it creates a domino effect on the rest of our body. I believe having an understanding of all aspect of medicine is vital to the future of health care. I also think you are right one with this holistic approach. One discipline can aid another and so on this way. And I think it is especially necessary when treating addiction since there are so many parts of the body (physical and mental) and medical disciplines involved in someone’s sobriety. Really cool find, Sonya!

  5. I definitely agree that medicine has a huge multidisciplinary approach to it and I believe it needs that approach to be successful. With substance abuse, which I have also seen many times in my life, is a disease that affects many aspects of a person. It affects you mentally, physically, and emotionally, therefore you need multiple disciplines to attack this. Great post Sonya!

  6. I did my blog post on something very similar! I strongly believe that in order for health care to be most effective it takes multiple disciplines to work together. Like you said in your post, sometimes it is hard for many disciplines to not work together because now doctors and even nurses are going and specializing in certain areas that not working together is not an option. Especially for substance abuse it doesn't just affect you in one way, but it affects you mentally/emotionally and takes a toll on your body as well.