Doctor Benjamin Rush was a Revolutionary War physician, and he practiced what’s known as psychiatry today. He’s the father of modern day psychiatry. But he also was the first physician to acknowledge alcoholism as a disease. He believed in hospitalizing patients suffering from alcoholism. What he understood then, and what we know now, is that substance abuse is a process that affects the brain. And we offer patients treatments and give patients choices. And what we know is addiction takes patients’ choices away, and treatment provides patients with choices.
What we know works best for patients — it’s a combination of medication and therapy. Patients respond best when they’re given the most tools. We have a lot of tools in our toolbox, and people respond best when they’re given both medication and therapy.