To provide the best possible care for substance users, medical addiction specialists combine the best aspects of internal medicine, social work, mental health counseling, and public health. In other words, a medical addiction specialist is a medical professional who has received specialized training and certification to assist in the challenging case of a drug addict. There are numerous employment options if you want to become an addiction specialist. Consider learning a little bit about what to anticipate working in this field, including the following information, before making a final decision.
What does a Medical Addiction Specialist do?
When treating a patient with addiction issues, medical addiction specialists can handle a wide variety of duties. Specialists in addiction medicine may be found in any hospital environment, but frequently in the ER, where they assist overdose admissions. They may also work as medical directors in treatment facilities. They are in charge of the assessment, diagnosis, and therapy of drug-using individuals. An expert in addiction medicine may concentrate on one component of the patient’s treatment process, but they are knowledgeable about all facets of addiction therapy.
How to Become a Medical Addiction Specialist?
You need a bachelor’s degree and a medical degree, as well as extensive training, credentials, and abilities in the fields of mental health and substance misuse, to become an addiction expert.
Aside from your pre-medical studies, you should take psychology courses in college if you know you want to become an addiction expert. Finally, you must finish a clinical residency and earn board certification after graduating from medical school.
Why are Experts in Addiction Medicine Necessary?
People make a significant leap of faith when they commit to the therapeutic process. It goes similarly when parents leave their children in a facility, trusting the system. Giving power to somebody they may not know is highly challenging, and addiction treatment has seen its fair share of highs and lows. Moreover, according to addiction recovery experts at Little Creek Recovery, laws are still trying to catch up with a quickly expanding and dynamic business.
A specialist in addiction medicine has the training, education, and expertise to reassure patients’ families and their patients. They must uphold their Hippocratic oath as doctors and medical professionals in addition to the ethical and professional obligations of addiction therapy.
Things You Need To Know
Before you set off to become a medical addiction specialist, there are more things you need to know about addiction and the nature of the job itself.
Addiction is Very Complicated
In school, you’ll most likely discuss the impact of alcohol and other substances on the body. You’ll probably talk about what occurs to the body and brain as addiction starts to affect a person. However, some medical schools look at addiction, a really complicated subject, in a very one-dimensional light. Instead of taking on this point of view, it is crucial to keep in mind that no one chooses to become an addict. There isn’t a single individual who starts using drugs or alcohol for the rationale that they want to become an addict. Most often, it’s something that happens accidentally, and it usually takes people a long time to admit to themselves they have an actual problem.
The Answers Aren’t Straightforward
Your patients will frequently have many problems that need to be resolved. As you know, when it comes to prescription drugs, some of them can be addictive. So, for instance, if someone was hurt and was given painkillers, they may become dependent on them and perhaps self-medicate with other drugs. While addressing the addiction issues is definitely a priority, you also need to assist your client in finding potential pain relief. Recovery will be far more challenging if the person’s pain concerns persist.
Addictions Can Vary
Everyone experiences addiction differently. Moreover, not everyone is addicted to the same things. While medicine has come a long way in battling drug addiction and problems with alcohol, it’s not yet as equipped for dealing with sex and gambling addictions. These issues are so complicated dealing with them usually requires an advanced degree and continued learning.
You Can Work On Addiction From Either Side
Although many people working as medical addiction specialists spend their time assisting folks who are struggling with addiction, this is not the only option. Instead, you may also work on the preventative end of things. A Prevention Specialist collaborates with institutions, including hospitals, schools, police stations, community organizations, and others, to help stop harmful behaviors like addiction.
As a prevention specialist, for instance, you can provide resources for a nearby school or possibly presentations for instructors or after-school program directors. Aside from substance abuse, you can also cover problems like bullying, suicide, sex ed, and many others.
The Benefits of Working With a Medical Addiction Specialist
It goes without saying that having an addiction specialist on staff at a clinic is to everyone’s advantage. Nearly 50% of those who struggle with drug or alcohol addiction already have, or will eventually acquire, a mental disorder with a second diagnosis. These highly qualified doctors and psychiatrists possess specialized expertise that may help people through the healing process. Addiction specialists frequently oversee a group of counselors and medical experts. Each team member will contribute to improving the treatment plan created by the addiction expert while working under the leadership of the addiction specialist.
Starting a career as a medical addiction specialist isn’t easy, but it’s a big step to take toward helping those struggling with different types of addiction. Recognizing that nobody wants to become addicted and that everybody experiences addiction differently is the first step to understanding. Aside from this, there are plenty of other things you need to be aware of before going into this field of medicine. For example, you should be aware of some of the most common problems many medical professionals face in this field. After you’ve got all the information, it’s on you to decide whether this path is for you.