Adriane dela Cruz, M.D., Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. dela Cruz focuses on treating patients with drug and alcohol addictions.
Dr. dela Cruz earned her medical and graduate degrees at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston. Following her residency in psychiatry at UT Southwestern, she completed advanced training in addiction psychiatry at UT Southwestern. Dr. dela Cruz joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2016.
In addition to her clinical practice, Dr. dela Cruz is active in research and education. Her research work has been published in journals including the Journal of Psychiatric Research and The American Journal on Addictions. She developed a curriculum for training psychiatry residents in understanding medical literature, which has been published by the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training. She received a Faculty Innovation in Education Award from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in 2020-21 for her project "From 'Yeah, No' to 'Yeah, Yeah!': Development and Assessment of a Podcast to Promote Critical Evaluation of the Literature and Lifelong Learning in Psychiatry."
Dr. dela Cruz was first drawn to addiction psychiatry during her work for her Ph.D. in neuroscience. There, she developed a passion to better understand how people lose and gain control over their behaviors. The brain regions critical to the development and maintenance of addictions include learning and memory, reward, and self-control; and are fundamental to how we lead our lives and what makes us who we are.
She has furthered this work through medical training and the recognition that many patients with addictions suffer in silence, often ashamed to seek care and unaware of effective medical and behavioral treatments for addictions. Dr. dela Cruz is proud of helping patients identify the treatments that work for them and partnering with patients to help them achieve and maintain sobriety, which often also involves treatment for other psychiatric illnesses like depression and anxiety.
Helping patients get well is the best part of her job, and she is glad to receive feedback from patients that they trust and respect her. Her recent research projects have focused on testing the efficacy of a combination of medications for patients with methamphetamine use disorder and developing a measurement based care program to support primary care physicians in treating patients with opioid use disorder.