Addiction medicine is the diagnosis and medical treatment of addictions and substance abuse disorders. Addiction is a chronic disease of compulsive or uncontrollable behavior which may have adverse health effects. Addictions include substance abuse (such as the abuse of opioids, alcohol, or perscription drugs) and certain non-drug related behaviors such as gambling. Addiction medicine may help patients recover from their addictions and manage health conditions that have been affected by addiction.
Addiction medicine physicians are doctors who possess specialized training in substance abuse diagnosis and treatment. They can treat patients in rehabilitative treatment facilities, hospitals, and other clinical settings. Patients can be assessed through a variety of means such as diagnostic screening, substance abuse assessment, or psychiatric evaluation. Addiction medicine treatments may include:
Addiction medicine has expanded to include the treatment of patient substance abuse in a nonclinical setting. A number of community programs now provide at-risk substance users a safe place or means to use drugs and mobile doctor's services for drug associated illnesses and injuries.