Addiction Medicine Specialist

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Addiction Medicine includes primary, secondary and tertiary harm reduction related to non-medical use of drugs, management of acute drug-related problems, and rehabilitation of people who have become dependent on drugs. Addiction Medicine is a mix of physical and psychological medicine that involves a range of aspects from neurobiology to human behaviour and management of lifestyle factors.

The practice of Addiction Medicine is holistic and embraces three perspectives – a clinical perspective, a public health approach to drug-related problems, and a clinical advisory role to practitioners in primary and secondary care working with alcohol and drug users. Some conditions that Addiction Medicine Specialists will assess and treat include chronic pain conditions, persistent non-malignant pain, prescription drug dependence, heroin dependence, solvent abuse, amphetamine dependence, hallucinogen abuse, marijuana dependence, alcohol abuse, smoking and gambling addiction.

Training for Addiction Medicine can only be undertaken by a qualified physician. The training, which is overseen by the Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine Education Committee, is three years in duration. The award upon completion of training is Fellowship of the Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine (FAChAM).