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There is not a blanket solution for treating addiction as every person is affected differently. Genetics, environment, mental health, type of substance, duration and amount of use, and many other factors all play a role. This means that, in order to support effective recovery, treatment should be tailored to each client’s needs. What works well for one person, may not be as effective for the next.

That is where addiction medicine specialists come into play. They are specially trained in the prevention, screening, intervention, and treatment of addiction. They can also address the psychiatric and physical complications that can emerge with substance misuse. In addition, an addiction medicine specialist often works with clients as well as their families to recognize the impact of addiction and promote comprehensive recovery.

What Sets Addiction Medicine Specialists Apart?

While all physicians receive basic training in recognizing and treating addiction, addiction medicine specialists have undergone more extensive training to gain in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience in the field. They have not only completed board certification in an initial medical specialty such family medicine, internal medicine, or primary care, they are also board certified in addiction medicine as a subspecialty. Addiction Medicine was recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) as an official subspecialty in October 2015, with the first ABMS-recognized board exam occurring in October 2017.

Addiction medicine specialists can provide the full scope of medical care and understand how substance use impacts all aspects of a person’s health. They are familiar with the intricacies of treating addiction while also managing other medical needs including mental health. Many clients have co-occurring disorders, and an addiction medicine specialist can ensure all their needs are effectively met and managed to promote more effective recovery.

Benefits of Working with an Addiction Medicine Specialist

Not every hospital or addiction treatment facility utilizes addiction medicine specialists, but as the subspecialty grows and more physicians become board certified, they are playing a more integral role in the growing need for specialized care. At Experience Recovery, Dr. Mario San Bartolome is board certified in family medicine and addiction medicine and works with clients across all stages of treatment and recovery.

For clients going through the detox process, an addiction medicine specialist can support withdrawal management and provide treatment to ease withdrawal symptoms keeping clients safer and more comfortable. If medication-assisted treatment is necessary, they can monitor use and help clients safely transition off of these medications when the time is right.

As clients progress through the various stages of treatment, addiction medicine specialists can provide targeted treatment and relapse-prevention strategies to support clients in building healthier routines, avoiding temptation, curbing cravings, and reducing risk of relapse. They know the signs to look for and what evidence-based practices may be effective in enacting lasting changes. It is important that clients trust and understand the care they are receiving, and addiction medicine specialists can explain information in an easily understood manner.

Choosing an Addiction Treatment Facility

When choosing an addiction treatment facility, look for one that has board certified addiction medicine specialists like Dr. Mario San Bartolome to provide targeted and comprehensive care for substance misuse. Find out what approaches to treatment are used, how clients are supported along each step of the way, and what is done to personalize the care received. Remember that not all rehab facilities are the same, so do your research to find out what sets each one apart and which facility can best meet your needs. Men looking for high-quality, comprehensive care that includes addiction medicine specialists as part of the care team can find the treatment they need at Experience Recovery.