Treatment Specialties and Specialists
Addiction is a treatable, chronic medical condition involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences. Treatment specialities include addiction medicine, addiction psychiatry, and addictions nursing and key professionals in the prevention, treatment and recovery fields include Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselors (CASAC), Credentialed Prevention Practitioners (CPP/CPS) and Certified Recovery Peer Advocates.
Prevention efforts and treatment approaches for addiction are generally as successful as those for other chronic diseases. OASAS provides clinical support and best practices for New York's addictions workforce including person-centered care principles and practices, medication for addiction treatment, and harm reduction strategies.
The New York State DOH AIDS Institute Clinical Guidelines Program, a collaboration between the NYS DOH AI Office of the Medical Director and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, has developed Harm Reduction Approach to Treatment of All Substance Use Disorders guidance that should be reviewed closely by all practitioners.
Addiction medicine is a medical subspecialty, formally recognized since 1990, concerned with the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery of persons with the medical condition of addiction, of those with substance-related health conditions, and of people who show potentially unhealthy or harmful use of substances, including nicotine, alcohol, prescription medications, and other licit and illicit substances.
Adapted from the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
An official subspecialty of psychiatry since 1993, addiction psychiatry significantly overlaps with addiction medicine in preventing, evaluating, diagnosing, and treating persons with substance use disorders. Addiction psychiatry’s particular focus is on the treatment of co-occurring psychiatric conditions that co-occur with substance-related and addictive disorders.
Adapted from the American Academy Of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP)
A nursing specialty committed to the prevention, intervention, treatment, & management of substance use disorders. Addictions Nurses may practice in a variety of settings such as acute care & outpatient treatment programs. Licensed Registered Nurses can obtain certification to practice as a Certified Addictions Registered Nurse (CARN) by meeting specific requirements. Information about Addictions Nursing and becoming a CARN can be found at the Addictions Nursing Certification Board (ANCB) website.
Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselors (CASACs) provide direct clinical care services and substance use disorder counseling. Their duties include performing diagnostic assessments, evaluations, and interventions, and providing treatment referrals and substance use disorder counseling in individual and group settings. Learn more about CASACS, including eligibility requirements here.
Credentialed Prevention Professionals (CPPs) and Credentialed Prevention Specialists (CPSs) use evidence-based processes to prevent or reduce substance use disorders in individuals, families, and communities. CPPs and CPSs use a comprehensive, multidimensional prevention approach that includes the following performance domains: planning and evaluation, prevention education and service delivery, communication, community organization, public policy and environmental change, and professional growth and responsibility. Learn more about CPPs and CPSs, including eligibility requirements here.
Certified Recovery Peer Advocates (CRPAs) use their experience with substance use and their professional training to provide non-clinical support services for individuals in a treatment program or considering treatment. CPRA duties may include providing non-clinical crisis support, educating program participants about various models of recovery, accompanying clients to medical appointments, connecting individuals to community-based social and recovery supports, and assisting with applications for benefits. Learn more about CRPAs, including eligibility requirements here.