Addiction medicine is a branch of medicine that focuses on treating addiction. This can be an addiction to substances and/or behaviors. It is a board-eligible specialty under the American Board of Preventative Medicine.
The St. Peter’s addiction medicine clinic is led by Dr. Kyle Moore, a board-certified family medicine provider and board eligible addiction medicine specialist. Dr. Moore completed a one-year addiction medicine fellowship and is licensed through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prescribe medications to treat opioid use disorder including buprenorphine (Suboxone).
St. Peter’s Approach to Addiction Medicine
Addiction can affect anyone, no matter their socioeconomic status, age or race. Many stigmas surround addiction medicine and its treatment. Dr. Moore and our team are committed to providing a safe, supportive environment for treatment.
We work with patients and primary care providers to identify and treat addiction through comprehensive treatment plans that often involve care from a multi-disciplinary team and FDA approved medications. Our clinic offers screening support along with treatment.
Commonly treated conditions
Alcohol and tobacco are the most common addictions. Both have FDA approved medications for treatment. Similarly, the abuse of opioids (narcotic pain pills, heroin, etc.) is increasing and there are FDA approved medications for this condition. Other substances like amphetamines (methamphetamine, cocaine), benzodiazepines, cannabis/marijuana and many others can also be treated.
Behavioral addictions (such as gambling, sex, pornography) can be treated with medications and intensive psychotherapy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is addiction?
Addiction is a chronic relapsing/remitting brain disease that is characterized by a compulsive drive to use despite serious adverse consequences, loss of control and the emergence of a negative emotional state during abstinence (source: Volkow and Koob). Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.
How do you treat addiction?
In addition to the comprehensive approaches of various medical care team members, there are a number of medications that can help diminish the unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal and/or craving for alcohol, tobacco, opioids and other substances. Furthermore, as with other chronic disease states like diabetes, treatment requires frequent follow-up.
I think I might benefit from addiction treatment. How can I get care?
If you have a primary care provider, talk to them about your concerns and about screening information. Your provider can provide a referral to the addiction medicine clinic. A referral is beneficial but not necessary. If you don’t have a primary care provider, call the clinic at 457-4180 for more information.
Isn’t addiction the same as pain medicine?
No, they are very distinct scopes of medicine. Addiction medicine works to improve the functionality of life by reducing or eliminating the use of harmful substances. Pain medicine focuses on improving function by reducing or eliminating pain. Pain is a board-eligible sub-specialty with physicians from anesthesiology, physical medicine and rehabilitation and neurology.
These physicians have special training in evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of all different types of pain (acute, chronic, cancer, etc.) In relation to addiction, the overlap usually occurs secondary to one of the treatment modalities for pain: opioids. Opioids are used appropriately and inappropriately by the medical community for the management of pain. Individuals using opioids (such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, and morphine) are vulnerable to become not only dependent but also addicted to these substances at which point addiction medicine may help.
Every branch of medicine overlaps with others. An individual being treated for a diabetic foot ulcer may have an endocrinologist, family medicine provider, vascular surgeon, podiatrist and more all treating them. Similarly, a patient with acute or chronic pain may be addicted to any number of substances, but the approach and management between addiction and pain medicine specialists may be very different.
Does Dr. Moore treat chronic pain?
Yes and no. Dr. Moore is board certified in family medicine. As such, he will seek to alleviate acute and chronic pain for his family medicine patients when needed. He will treat pain with a wide variety of approaches including physical therapy, massage therapy, osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMT), analgesic medication (although very rarely opioids), braces/supports, mindfulness techniques, referral to sub-specialists and more. However, Dr. Moore does not treat chronic pain in the addiction clinic. Primary pain concerns will be re-directed to primary providers in most cases.
Kyle Moore, DO earned his medical degree at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences in Yakima, Wash., and his Bachelor of Science at Brigham Young University – Idaho in Rexburg, Idaho. Dr. Moore completed his family medicine residency at the Mayo Clinic and was elected the chief resident in his final year. He then completed a fellowship in addiction medicine at the University of Utah.
Megan Zawacki, PA-C earned her Master of Physician Assistant Studies at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, and her Bachelor of Arts in Biology at Carroll College. She is a member of the Montana Academy of Physician Assistants and the American Academy of Physician Assistants.
No referral is required to make an appointment, but please note that some insurance companies may require a referral. Please check your insurance requirements.
Location(s) of Addiction Medicine Services
Helena, MT 59601