If you need psychiatric care for addiction, depression, anxiety or other mental health disorder, we know that symptoms can be exacerbated by what is going on in the world today. Dr. El-Asyouty is able to take new clients at this time through secure, online meetings until you can eventually meet in person.
Dr. El Asyouty started his medical career as a resident in General and Neuro Surgery where he was exposed to a wide array of medical and surgical experiences. He then switched to Psychiatry and joined the program at the University of Louisville, KY, where he finished his training in General Psychiatry. He then went to the University of Vanderbilt for additional training in Addiction Psychiatry. There he trained under nationally recognized physician in the field of addiction, Dr. Andy Spickard , III. Dr. El Asyouty practiced in Kentucky as a staff psychiatrist in both inpatient and outpatient settings. He last served in Kentucky as the Medical Director of West Lake Behavioral Health Program.
Dr. Sherif El Asyouty moved to Santa Barbara in 2003 and joined the staff of Cottage Hospital. It was also at this time that he opened his private practice at 3 West Carrillo Street, where he continues to see patients with Psychiatric, Chemical Dependency and Chronic Pain conditions. Dr El Asyouty is also licensed to prescribe Suboxone and is able to administer Vivitrol.
Dr. El Asyouty was a winner of the Patients' Choice Award in 2008, 2013, 2015, 2018 and 2019 and is very involved in the community, and has media appearances to talk about awareness concerning drug use among adolescents. Patients of Dr. El Asyouty are treated with respect and compassion, and those with chemical dependency conditions are treated from a medical standpoint.
Dr. El-Asyouty is also the co-director of Recovery Road Medical Center in Santa Barbara with Dr. Joseph Frawley, where the highest quality treatment is provided for patients with alcohol and drug addiction, mental health disorders, and/or chronic pain in an outpatient setting.
Partnering with Noozhawk and and the Santa Barbara Teen News Network, Dr. El-Asyouty speaks about prescription drug abuse.
Treatment for Alcoholism and Addiction
Dr. El-Asyouty believes it’s important to not confuse the person with their illness. Alcoholism, substance abuse and chemical dependency is actually a disease that affects the nervous system which results in a loss of control over the use of substances. A person suffering from substance abuse may experience cravings for drugs and alcohol and continue to use them despite adverse consequences.
Our primary treatment objective is abstinence and we also recognize that communication and refusal skills are a major part of a successful, lasting outcome.
Mental Health Disorders
With advances in psychiatric treatment and medication treatment we now look at a mental heath disorder as a medical illness, similar to diabetes or high blood pressure. These disorders also have a genetic component to them; they are chronic in nature and tend to get better or worse depending on the treatment and patient compliance. We understand that the brain is an organ and can have illnesses which are separate from the person’s true identity. The ability of patients with depression or an anxiety disorder to stop being depressed or anxious is the same as the ability of patients to stop being diabetic or hypertensive. That is, without the right treatment, the chances are very slim that the disorder will spontaneously get better on its own.
As in diabetes and hypertension, the treatment can require medications and a change in the lifestyle. The good news is that we now have more medications available for the treatment of various psychiatric disorders with fewer side effects than the previous generations of medications. Also, most psychiatric medications are not addictive. They help to improve the function of certain brain circuits that are involved in the processing of our feelings.
On Using Medication
Dr. El-Asyouty is also aware of the need to be very careful about using addictive medications in patients who are in recovery from addiction. It is also important to recognize that people who are in recovery from depression and anxiety usually also require a change in the way that the individual processes feeling information. This can require a training program such as that which Dr. El-Asyouty provides.
"Dr. El Asyouty helped me tremendously at a time when I really needed it, and has continued to help me be on the most effective and appropriate medicines for my particular needs. He has a great sense of humor, knows when it might be therapeutic to use it, and has a thoroughly compassionate nature. "
"I've been going to Dr. El Asyouty for about a decade now, after having seen almost every psychiatrist in town. While he does run a little late, it's because he actually takes the time to speak to and counsel his patients. Usually psychiatrists do a perfunctory inquiry into your well-being with regards to your medications. Dr. El Asyouty has given me more usable, practical, and reliable advice over the years than most of my talk therapists. He has a great understanding of psychology and the human condition. He has his quirks, but he's human. He's a great psychiatrist."
"Love Dr. El. Smart and professional. knows his stuff well and very knowledge able about different types of meds. took me many doctors and many diagnosis to finally feel like myself again and that is thanks to this dr and thanx to my friend who recommended him...."