Addiction Medicine is concerned with the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and recovery of people with the disease of addiction, of those with substance-related health conditions, and of people who show unhealthy use of substances including nicotine, alcohol, prescription medications and other licit or illicit drugs. Physicians in this subcategory also help family members whose health and functioning are affected by a loved one’s substance use or addiction.

Benefits of Addiction Medicine Certification

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) list a variety of benefits of board certification. Some benefits include:

  • Joining a distinguished community of physicians whose priority is the advancement of patient care and safety
  • Helping bridge the gap of 20 million people struggling with addiction with only 4,400 specialists nationwide
  • Increased practice-based and clinical efficiencies, and enhanced communication with colleagues, patients, and caregivers
  • Possible increase in compensation; it is estimated that physicians with board certification earn 67% more than those without it
  • Certification in Addiction Medicine is a credential that allows physicians to prescribe “narcotic drugs in Schedule III, IV, or V or combinations of such drugs to patients for maintenance or detoxification treatment” under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA 2000) and is one of only two pathways that qualify physicians to treat the maximum number of 275 patients