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About Addiction Medicine Specialists

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Addiction medicine doctors treat patients with a variety of addictions and addiction-related illness, from substance withdrawal to intervention and rehabilitation.  These specialists may also involve other related areas of medicine along with their main practice including psychiatry, internal medicine and family medicine.

Addiction and substance abuse can encompass dependence on nicotine, tobacco, alcohol, drugs, opioids and prescription medications. Specialists in addiction medicine provide and are qualified in many forms of treatment for addictive disorders, offering help to patients in the form of medically assisted detoxification and treatment of withdrawal symptoms, rehabilitation programs, intervention, harm reduction and continuing treatment for the prevention of relapse.

Addiction specialists work to prevent and treat not only the physical complications of addiction but the mental and emotional health of the patient as well. The effects of addiction on health can include both short-term and long-term physical and psychological including the risk of overdose, contracting a communicable disease, mental health issues as well as social and economic problems.

Due to the multi-faceted nature of treatment required within addiction medicine, these doctors can specialize in addiction medicine and addiction psychiatry including knowledge in the specializations of Psychology, counseling, Psychiatry and Internal medicine.

Patients can be referred to an Addiction Medicine specialist from their Family Doctor/General Practitioner to seek expert treatment and undergo testing and evaluation to determine the presence or extent of an addiction.  This process can include blood tests to see if the substance is found in the patients system and to determine what substances are being used. 

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