Yale Accredited for Addiction Medicine Program

Article excerpt

The Yale School of Medicine has received accreditation for a program in addiction medicine, meaning more specialists in treatment will be available.

Yale, whose accreditation was announced Tuesday by the American Board of Addiction Medicine Foundation, is one of eight new programs, bringing the national total to 18. Yale will have four fellowships.

The designation makes sense, according to Dr. Patrick O'Connor, chief of general internal medicine at Yale School of Medicine and president-elect of ABAM. "We've led the country in addiction research in the last few decades," he said.

Doctors who complete the fellowship will be board-certified in addiction medicine, giving them additional skills in diagnosis and assessment. "Typically treatment involves a combination of counseling approaches or medication," depending on the patient, O'Connor said. Twelve Step programs also work well with medical treatment but are not a mandatory feature.

An addict can suffer from numerous problems, including physical symptoms such as liver disease, legal and family problems and psychological ailments, including depression and anxiety, O'Connor said. While "addiction" is used to describe physical addiction to drugs and alcohol, issues like gambling can be considered because they include "a compulsive set of behaviors that are difficult to be controlled."

Traditionally, prevention and treatment of addiction has been done by psychiatrists. …