Search for Addiction Doctors

Pointing the way to evidence-based care®

In the U.S., more than 5,000 medical doctors are board-certified specialists in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry. They have the highest level of training to evaluate and treat people with addiction.  

Three groups certify these specialists: The American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM), the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM), and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN).  

We’ll link you to the directories where you can look for these specialists. These doctors can be hard to find in some areas, so we recommend that you search all three directories. Use our search tips to help.

What do addiction doctors do?

There are two types of addiction doctors: Addiction medicine physicians and addiction psychiatrists. Both can do independent assessments and help set up complete treatment plans. Both can also prescribe medications for alcohol use disorder.

  • Addiction medicine physicians are often primary care doctors. They can provide a complete medical exam to assess all health issues, related or not to alcohol. They can also offer brief counseling to help motivate patients to make a change.
  • Addiction psychiatrists are experts in mental health. They are well equipped to care for patients with more than one mental health issue. Some provide both medications and talk therapy while others focus mainly on medications.

Either type of addiction doctor may work in a solo or group practice, a health clinic, or a hospital.

How can I spot quality?

Board certification is a sign of quality. Specialists who are board certified have thousands of hours of training and practice. They have passed a long and difficult exam. And they must continue to take training courses to keep their certification.

What questions should I ask?

You will not need to ask a board-certified addiction doctor about qualifications. But you will need to ask, of course, about availability, costs, and insurance.

Questions to ask addiction doctors.

Tips to help you search

You can search three directories to find board-certified addiction doctors near you. We recommend that you search each directory so you know all your options.

  • The American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) and the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) directories list doctors who are board-certified in addiction medicine. Many are primary care doctors.
  • The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) directory lists doctors who are board-certified in addiction psychiatry. These doctors specialize in mental health.

We've created step-by-step Search Tips [PDF-422 KB] to guide you as you use these directories to search for addiction doctors near you.  (Note: This guide currently covers the ABAM and ABPN directories; tips for searching the ABPM directory coming soon.)

What if I can’t find an addiction doctor nearby?   

See the Frequently Asked Questions for helpful suggestions.

Also, be sure to look for the other types of treatment providers—addiction therapists and specialty alcohol treatment programs.

NIAAA cannot endorse any treatment providers nor be responsible for the options ultimately chosen. The NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator® cannot ensure that the search process will deliver higher-quality treatment providers in your vicinity who are using evidence-based approaches. In addition, the search tools on the Navigator may not capture every possible higher-quality treatment provider in your vicinity.