Fletcher Allen, a Vermont university hospital and medical center, serves all of
Vermont and the northern New York region. Located in Burlington, Fletcher Allen is a regional, academic healthcare center and teaching hospital in alliance with the University of Vermont.
Drug Addiction Diagnosis & Treatment
People of any age, gender or economic status can have drug addiction (also called substance dependence). Substance dependence is a disease. It is not a weakness or a lack of willpower. It is your choice to begin using a drug, but as you use it more your brain begins to change. This change can lead to a craving to use the drug, and this can influence how you act. You will benefit from the care and expertise of a specialized group of physicians who work together as a team to help you get and stay drug-free.
Drug Addiction Diagnosis
Many times drug addiction diagnosis begins with a primary care or family doctor. Often behavior is the first concern and a family member brings it to the medical professional’s attention. Your doctor may ask questions such as:
- How often do you use the drug?
- Has a family member criticized your drug use?
- Have you ever felt like you might have a drug problem?
An official drug addiction diagnosis (called substance dependence) happens after an evaluation by a psychiatrist, a psychologist or a specialized addiction counselor where you meet the criteria defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This is an American Psychiatric Association manual used by mental health professionals to diagnose mental conditions and also by insurance companies to determine whether or not they will pay for treatment.
In order to be diagnosed with substance dependence, three or more of the following must happen any time in a 12-month period, where you:
- Need more of the drug to get high (develop tolerance)
- Have physical or mental withdrawal symptoms or you take the drug (or a similar drug) to avoid withdrawal symptoms
- Find yourself taking larger amounts of the drug over a longer period of time than you planned
- Try to cut back or stop using the drug
- Spend most of your time getting, using or recovering from the effects of the drug
- Give up or cut down on social, recreational or job related activities that used to be important to you because of the drug use
- Keep using the drug, even though you know it's causing physical or mental problems
Drug Addiction Treatment in Burlington, VT
The first step in treatment is to quit using drugs. You may need medical care to manage withdrawal symptoms when you first quit. This is also called detoxification or detox.
When you have stopped using drugs, you have taken the first step toward recovery. To gain full recovery, you need to take steps to improve other areas of your life, such as learning to deal with your work, family, and living situation in healthy ways. This makes it easier to stay drug-free.
Fletcher Allen's outpatient clinic for drug addiction and co-occurring disorders is called DayOne.
We use a team approach with licensed master-level clinicians and an addiction psychiatrist. Treatment includes:
- Participation in our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) - usually involves around 10 to 20 hours of counseling or group therapy spread over 3 days a week. This may last for 1 to 3 months. A more intensive form of outpatient treatment is day hospital. This means you go for treatment 5 days a week, usually for most of the day
- Group counseling
- Individual counseling
- Psychiatric services
Find a Fletcher Allen physician or call the DayOne program at 802-847-3333.