A certified addiction specialist could refer to an addictionologist, psychiatrist, doctor, psychologist, nurse, or counselor who handles patients addicted to a substance or expresses behaviors they wish to change. Some of the behaviors that are addictive and whose conditions can be treated by a certified addiction specialist are sex, gambling, and computers use. Substance addictions involve legal substances like alcohol, sedatives, and painkillers, or illegal ones like marijuana, cocaine, opiates, and meth.
If you are an addict of any kind or have a relative who is addicted to anything, then there is a lot of help you can receive from a certified addiction specialist.
Addiction specialists who are trained to be counselors (interventionists) can provide their services to help clients comprehend their situations and agree to get treatment. Many addicts wait until the dangerous effects of the addiction are being felt before going for rehab. An interventionist is usually called in by a concerned family member of the addict to come and hold a session with him or her in and plead with the person to go to a treatment center.
The interventionist will also give advice to family members about the addiction that is affecting their relative and tell them what type of support they should receive throughout the treatment.
Many addicts suffer from cases of dual diagnosis, a situation where there is more than one issue an addict is dealing with. Most of these problems are psychiatric and a trained psychiatrist is needed. A psychiatrist is a certified addiction specialist who specializes on issues affecting the mind. By dealing with these issues adequately, a psychiatrist gets to the basics of what could have caused the addiction and gives adequate directions.
Addiction specialists also have a duty to keep and maintain all the files belonging to the patient as confidential as possible. All these file must be kept safe and in good order so that they can be referred to later in case of any complications during or after treatment.
A certified addiction specialist can help in ensuring that a patient is recovering well and in accordance to goals that had been set by the patient at the beginning of treatment. These goals help to direct the course of treatment and ensure that it is successful.
Certified addiction specialists provide counseling to the patients in their care almost on a daily basis. This counseling can be given intimately or to a group of addicts all at the same time. Counseling is a major component of treatment for all forms of addiction and is given by addiction counselors.
Addiction specialists also provide training opportunities for family members and colleagues of the addict when necessary, to help them understand the basics of addiction. At the same time, nurses who work with doctors treating the addict also give regular updates to the family on how the patient is carrying on with treatment and the reaction being felt.
Finally, after treatment, these certified addiction specialists also do follow ups on the recovering addicts to help them until they have fully settled back into normal lives and to ensure they do not begin taking addictive substances again.