Locating Qualified Professionals
Physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, and counselors may all have some knowledge of addictions. However, only a limited number among these groups will have specialized training, experience, and certification to treat addictions. How does one locate a qualified professional? There are many avenues to pursue.
A person's health insurance company will have a list of qualified professionals for referral. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) will also be able to provide this information to employees. There are state chapters of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) that may be contacted for assistance.
An addictionologist is a physician who has received specialized training in the treatment of addictions. An addic-tionologist may be a doctor of medicine (M.D.) or a doctor of osteopathy (D.O.). This is a professional who is best qualified to treat the medical complications of addiction, prescribe medications for treatment, and recognize any complicating mental health disorders.
Some individuals prefer help for addictions through a spiritual leader. The American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) accredits pastoral counseling centers and can help locate a qualified person. The American Medical Association DoctorFinder program can be accessed to locate a physician specializing in addictions.
The National Register database and/or the American Psychological Association are associations that can help locate psychologists who work with addictions. The American Nurses Association and/or the International Nurses Society on Addictions are excellent resources for locating nurse practitioners who specialize in addiction treatment. Psychiatric hospitals, addiction treatment centers, and community mental health agencies will also have information about addiction treatment specialists in the community.