In 1991, the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) established Addiction Psychiatry as a subspecialty in psychiatry. To achieve the subspecialty certification, the psychiatrist must:
- Be certified by the ABPN in general psychiatry
- Complete fellowship training in addiction psychiatry
- Successfully complete a certification examination
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education establishes program requirements for addiction psychiatry education and it accredits training programs. Following completion of training, a psychiatrist can be certified in the subspecialty through successful completion of an examination administered by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN). Candidates for the certification exam may find it helpful to access a review course that is sponsored by the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.
Requirements regarding Maintenance of Certification are also set by the ABPN and additional information on this process is available through APA’s Department of Education. APA’s FOCUS: The Journal of Lifelong Learning is a valuable resource in the MOC process.
Education and Training
APA provides a variety of training opportunities for physicians who wish to learn more about substance use disorders, including:
Opportunities for medical students and residents include:
Providers' Clinical Support System for Medication Assisted Treatment (PCSSMAT)
PCSS-MAT is national training and mentoring project developed in response to the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic and the availability of newer pharmacotherapies to address opioid use disorder. The overarching goal of PCSS-MAT is to make available the most effective medication-assisted treatments to serve patients in a variety of settings, including primary care, psychiatric care, and pain management settings.
This collaborative project is funded by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and includes the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry as the lead organization and the APA, American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine as partner organizations. The project’s website is accessible at www.pcssmat.org.
As a PCSS-MAT partner, the APA offers webinars presented by nationally recognized clinical experts, researchers, and government officials. Each session is FREE and CME credit is available to webinar participants.
Webinars are presented the second Tuesday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. ET. Sessions are recorded and made available with or without the CME option.
Providers' Clinical Support System for Opioid Therapies (PCSS-O)
A SAMHSA funded initiative that is a consortium of major stakeholders and constituency groups with interests in safe and effective use of opioid medications, extensive experience in training and peer support in the treatment of substance use disorders and specifically opioid use disorder, and experience in the interface of pain and opioid misuse. The partner organizations develop and make available educational products at no charge to those wishing to obtain additional knowledge on the safe and effective treatment of chronic pain with opioids and safe and effective treatment of opioid use disorder. The focus is on opioid medications without a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS), for example, immediate release, short-acting opioid medications.
As a partner organization in the PCSS-O, the APA offers occasional webinars and online clinical case vignettes. The dedicated website for the program is www.pcss-o.org.
Physicians’ Clinical Support System for Buprenorphine (PCSS-B)
A SAMHSA funded initiative that ended in May 2013. Its focus has been expanded and is now included in the PCSSMAT.As a PCSS-B partner, APA offered monthly webinars on a variety of clinical and practice management topics. Over 30 recordings remain available on this site.
Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment
A number of Federal agencies and offices promote Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) as a mechanism to address the health and societal consequences of substance abuse and addiction. Clinicians are encouraged to screen their patients for drug and alcohol use/abuse and provide treatment or referral to treatment when indicated. The following organizations offer an array of resources.