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What Is an Addiction Medicine Specialist?

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An addiction medicine specialist is to addiction what a cardiologist is to heart disease: the right expert for the respective condition. Unfortunately, the terms “expert” and “specialist” is often thrown around lightly in the addiction field and this often leads to substandard care and a bad reputation for the industry. While there are many comprehensive and competent treatment programs, there are also many that simply do not provide a sufficient level of care. Addiction medicine is fully recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties and addiction medicine specialists are fully trained and specialized physicians.

What does an Addiction Medicine Specialist do?

Addiction Medicine Specialists can hold a broad range of tasks and responsibilities when treating a patient with addiction problems. You may find addiction medicine specialists in a hospital setting, often in the ER, where they intervene with overdose admits. You may also find Addiction Medicine Specialists at treatment centers, heading up the medical department. They oversee the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment for patients using substances. While an addiction medicine specialist may focus on one aspect of the patient’s journey through treatment, they are well-versed in all aspects of addiction treatment.

Why are Addiction Medicine Specialists important?

When someone commits themselves to the treatment process or when parents entrust their loved ones to a facility, they are taking a huge leap of faith. Not only is it a very difficult decision to relinquish control to people they may not know, but the addiction treatment world has had its fair share of ups and downs. Indeed, regulatory bodies are still catching up to a fast growing and fluid industry.

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An Addiction Medicine Specialist has the experience, education, and knowledge to put families and patients alike at ease. Not only do they subscribe to the ethical and professional responsibilities of addiction treatment, but they must also abide by their Hippocratic oath as physicians and medical professionals.

Destination Hope’s Addiction Medicine Specialist

Dr. Charles Smith is a fellowship trained Addiction Medicine specialist. He completed a 2-year Addiction Medicine Fellowship at the University of Florida from 2016 – 2018.  He was Chief Fellow of Addiction Medicine at that program from 2017 -2018. Dr. Smith is also coauthor of “Understanding Addiction: Know Science, No Stigma”

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