New Medical Specialty a Win for Substance Abuse Treatment

substance abuse treatmentFollowing their basic medical training, physicians select something called a specialty. Each doctor chooses a specific field of medicine to train in and gain expertise toward. Many become surgeons, oncologists, psychiatrists, and even infectious disease specialists. A more recent addition to a long list of options focuses on substance abuse treatment. And it’s changing how addiction is prevented and treated.

The American Board of Medical Specialties announced in March 2016 that doctors can now officially specialize in Addiction Medicine. This means medical students can now receive the proper education and training to successfully treat patients with addiction and substance use disorders in primary care settings.

Previously, psychiatrists were the only medical professionals who could specialize in addiction. Also, none of the thousands of accredited medical residency programs in the United States offered programs designed to train students in this area. This new specialty is the medical equivalent of a psychiatric-focused certification in addiction and substance abuse treatment.

The emergence of Addiction Medicine as a board certified specialty brings with it much higher standards for the quality of education and care doctors will receive and provide. Now, those with an addiction problem can receive a referral to see a specialist who is fully qualified to help them get help before any long-lasting damage to their health takes effect.

One of the most significant benefits of an Addiction Medicine specialty has to do with insurance. Doctors and the institutions they work for will have more incentives to prevent and treat cases of addiction in patients. A focus on early intervention in these treatments could significantly improve outcomes for many who struggle with these issues.

Practicing physicians who receive an Addiction Medicine credential become experts in diagnosing and properly treating addiction and substance use disorders. The American Board of Addiction Medicine considers this a major milestone for addiction treatment nationwide.


Did you know an addiction can be caused by a mental disorder?

One of the primary reasons that mental disorders and substance abuse so often go hand-in-hand is that drugs and alcohol can provide an escape from the pressures of mental health problems. Self-medicating is surprisingly common: you’re not alone.

But unlike real, effective, long-term solutions, such as medication and detoxification in a treatment center, drugs and alcohol won’t amount to effective treatment.

If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from addiction, then take our free 3 minute assessment.
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