What are Addiction Specialists?

In each type of medical specialty, there are professionals that have expert knowledge that can be used to help people. If you or someone you care about is dealing with a drug or alcohol problem, addiction specialists can offer knowledge and experience-based advice and support. Their assistance can be pivotal in obtaining help for a substance abuse problem that’s spun out of control. Learn more about what an addictions specialist is and does to understand the important role these people can play in supporting you or a family member on the path toward sober living.

Definition of an Addictions Specialist

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, an addiction specialist is a doctor who’s received certification from the American Board of Addiction Medicine. He or she may also practice psychiatry and be certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. In either case, the specialist has the experience, education and skills to screen, intervene and provide treatment for substance abuse. Similar to any other medical discipline, an addiction specialist focuses solely on helping people suffering from the symptoms and effects of drug or alcohol abuse. By working with an addiction specialist, you or a family member can receive individualized treatment for help in overcoming drug or alcohol addiction.

In addition to addiction specialists, there are many other professionals who provide essential support to those in recovery. An addictions counselor is often the first person an individual speaks with and can play an important role in an recovery. You or your loved one may also work with nurses and other professionals who come together to help throughout recovery and aftercare.

How an Addictions Specialist Helps

  • Prevent. One of the most important tasks of an addiction specialist is to assist in the prevention of drug or alcohol abuse. This can be done through education and an ongoing, trust-based relationship with the patients he or she treats.
  • Screen. When you reach out for help with substance abuse, an addiction specialist will determine the best methods for assisting you by conducting a screening. A screening can consist of a phone or face-to-face conversation, a physical examination and psychological or psychiatric exam. The information gathered is used to create a treatment plan that’s geared toward the specific and individual needs of your loved one.
  • Intervene. A friend or family member who needs help with a substance abuse problem might not recognize the need. During an intervention or appointment, a person with professional experience in addiction treatment can assist family members and friends in their quest to get help for a loved one. From his or her objective standpoint, an addiction specialist can provide concrete reasons for seeking treatment, as well as workable treatment options.
  • Treat. For longlasting effect, treatment for an alcohol or drug abuse problem should be tailored to your loved one’s needs, says the National Institute on Drug Abuse. An addiction specialist will work with you and family members to create a treatment plan that meets the needs of the person seeking treatment. As treatment progresses, the plan will change as needed to continue supporting the person’s journey toward healing and sobriety.

Reach Out for Help

An addiction specialist can be reached with a phone call or over the internet. Once connected, you can receive the answers to your questions, gain support and find help in knowing what to do next. Likewise, you’ll gain an awareness of the fact that you’re not alone. There is help available for you or a person you care for that’s suffering from drug or alcohol addiction. Hope is moments away and can pave the road toward recovery and a life of sobriety.
Sources http://www.asam.org/for-the-public/what-is-an-addiction-specialist http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/substance-abuse-and-behavioral-disorder-counselors.htm#tab-2

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