Addiction psychiatry and addiction medicine–Strange bedfellows or separated at birth?

Alëna A. Balasanova, Alexis D. Ritvo, Joel Yager

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


Substance use disorders (SUDs) are major causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States. SUDs commonly co-occur with other psychiatric and physical illness and often require management by an addiction specialist to comprehensively address patients’ complex needs. The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) offers two pathways leading to addiction subspecialty board certification: addiction psychiatry (American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology) and addiction medicine (American Board of Preventive Medicine). We explore the history of the distinct but overlapping practices of addiction medicine and addiction psychiatry and describe the unique contributions of each field. Specifically, we review skill sets, specialty training, and career outcomes for physicians specializing in the assessment and management of SUDs. We conclude by highlighting collaboration between the two specialties and offer a shared vision for the future of addiction specialty care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-135
Number of pages6
JournalSubstance Abuse
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • Addiction medicine
  • addiction psychiatry
  • education
  • training
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Addiction psychiatry and addiction medicine–Strange bedfellows or separated at birth?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this