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UTHSC psychiatrist to shape policy for better addiction treatment

A psychiatrist at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSC) will play a national leadership role in promoting accessibility to effective addiction treatment. The American Academy of Psychiatry (AAAP) has appointed John Pichot, M.D., to serve on its board of directors and to head the AAAP's Public Policy Section.

Dr. Pichot is a professor of psychiatry at the UTHSC and associate director of the South Texas Veterans Health Care System's substance abuse treatment program.

"Abuse of alcohol, drugs and nicotine is the nation's No. 1 health problem, accounting for more than 500,000 preventable deaths each year," Dr. Pichot said. "The AAAP is a professional organization that promotes accessibility to effective addiction treatment for all who need it and promotes excellence in the clinical treatment of addiction."

The AAAP also issues policy statements on addiction-related issues, such as medicinal use of marijuana, medical care for pregnant addicts, and harm-reduction policies including needle and syringe-exchange programs. "I also will provide leadership to review and revise those policies," Dr. Pichot said.

Dr. Pichot joined the AAAP in 1995 and has served on several committees. He began his work at the UTHSC in 1993 and directs the Addiction Psychiatry Residency Program in the department of psychiatry.

Contact: Amanda Gallagher or Aileen Salinas