The American Association for Addictive Disorders (AAAD) defines an addiction specialist as a doctor or other licensed professional who specializes in the study of addictions and the treatment of their symptoms. Addiction specialists are trained in all areas of behavioral disorders including drug addiction, alcohol addiction, sex addiction, gambling addiction, compulsive overeating, pathological gambling, kleptomania, and other addictions. People who have one or more of these addictions are referred to an addiction specialist by their physician or other qualified medical specialist. An addiction specialist will not only treat patients but also advise them on the best course of action for their particular type of disorder.
An addiction specialist is well-trained health professionals that help patients overcoming addictions with medications. There are many professional organizations that certify many different types of addiction specialists. Certification depends upon state-specific licensure standards and whether or not the individual is a psychiatrist, psychologist, or an addiction specialist. When a patient decides to seek treatment through a substance abuse treatment center, their first step in the process is to get a referral from their physician. Once this step is taken, the individual can start the application process at their chosen addiction treatment center. Each treatment center has its own set of requirements for being admitted.
Once an individual has been accepted into a treatment program, the next step is usually to determine which type of treatment is needed. The first step in the process for most treatment centers is the assessment process. This process takes a look at the severity of the problem, the severity of the behaviors, and any co-occurring mental or physical health conditions. If there are any pre-existing health conditions, treatment plans are put in place to address those issues. Most centers offer a wide range of medication and behavioral treatment methods so patients can select the most effective option for them.
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