Matthew Felgus, M.D.

(ARC)

Matthew Felgus
personal website

Dr. Matthew Felgus is Board Certified in Addiction Medicine and Psychiatry. He has been treating individuals with substance use, abuse and dependence for over 20 years. Before he went to medical school, Dr. Felgus was a drug counselor and brings that perspective to treating his patients. He would say (and often does) that he is the least pill-happy doctor he knows. Medication is only one piece of the puzzle of getting well, and he believes in a well-rounded treatment program that includes all areas of wellness including counseling, exercise, nutrition, and finding one’s passion in life whatever that may be. He will evaluate for medication use and strives to recommend the most user-friendly medications at the lowest doses. Not everyone walks out of his office with a prescription as he is also happy to evaluate and make recommendations without medication in a no-pressure, educational setting. Treatment is driven by the individual seeking his services, and he sees himself as a guide rather than working in the traditionally-paternalistic medical model.

Dr. Felgus has a clinical faculty appointment to the UW Department of Psychiatry, and has been lecturing for the past 15 years on addiction issues to doctors and doctors-in-training as well as nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and whoever else will listen. He also loves teaching on mental health issues (such as anxiety and depression) to addiction treatment professionals. He has been interviewed on radio shows and TV news and has given over 100 lectures and presentations on substance use, and the bridge between use and mental health issues.

For the past 15 years, he has been utilizing Suboxone for treatment of Opiate Dependence. While there are differing opinions among addiction-treatment experts, Dr. Felgus believes in stabilizing the individual on the lowest dose to keep him or her out of opiate withdrawal, then over a several year period, slowly stepping down while working on all the above areas of wellness, plus a few more. Often, an underlying mental health issue such as anxiety, depression, past trauma, or insomnia is fueling the use and treatment is focused equally on treating the underlying condition as it is on recovery work. There is no one-size-fits-all approach as respect for individual differences is emphasized since everyone needs to walk their path in the way they see fit. He has successfully tapered many of his patients off Suboxone, many of whom never believed it possible to be opiate free.