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Rush Addiction Medicine Program

This spring the Department of Psychiatry launched a new program to serve patients suffering from substance abuse or other addictive disorders. Under the direction of addiction medicine specialist Gail M. Basch, MD, the Rush Addiction Medicine Program offers comprehensive services for this substantial population. Because people with addictive disorders are at a higher risk for several other conditions — and vice versa — Basch says that addiction prevention and treatment efforts can be particularly cogent and effective at a large medical center such as Rush, where they can be integrated with care for other diseases.

Comprehensive Addiction Services
The program's multidisciplinary team collaborates to develop individualized treatment plans for patients suffering from conditions such as the following:

  • Alcoholism
  • Compulsive gambling or shopping
  • Dependency on illicit or licit drugs
  • Eating disorders
  • Sexual addictions
  • Workaholism

Treatments may involve a variety of therapeutic interventions — including individual and group therapy, inpatient and outpatient services, and medication — prescribed alone or in combination. "To reduce craving and promote recovery, for example, we might use medications along with psychosocial therapies," Basch says.

Integrated Psychiatric Treatment

The program has a particular focus on treating the broad array of difficulties that people with addictive disorders may experience. "Frequently people with addictions have a dual diagnosis," Basch says, "meaning they have comorbid psychiatric conditions such as mood and anxiety disorders that require treatment as well in order for the patient to experience full recovery." Thanks to their broad expertise, the program's multidisciplinary team can provide integrated treatment for such patients, making their psychiatric care more streamlined and convenient.

"Although recovery from addictive disorders requires hard work on the part of the patient and clinical team, often people are surprised to find addiction can be managed successfully," Basch notes. "Relapse rates are similar to hypertension and diabetes. Addiction is now treated like many other chronic illnesses."

To refer a patient to the Rush Addiction Medicine Program, call (312) 942-2400. If you have questions or would like more information about the program, contact Gail Basch, MD.


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