Addiction Psychiatrist Job Description

Addiction Psychiatrist Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of an addiction psychiatrist. Feel free to use our job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as an addiction psychiatrist.


Who is an Addiction Psychiatrist?

An addiction is a state that is characterized by compulsive drug use or abuse which usually leads to mental disorder. This is a global menace that is eating up people rapidly and the only way out is with the help of a specialist known as an addiction psychiatrist. An Addiction Psychiatrist is a medical doctor who treats, evaluates, and diagnoses disorders that are not regular and that exhibit various behaviors and substance intake. The primary focus of an addiction psychiatrist is helping patients quickly recover especially patients that are on drugs. They may also treat patients that are struggling with little addictions and also those that are battling with high cases such as multiple substances and re-occurring mental health issues.

Addiction psychiatrist deals particularly with the use of drugs but they can also attend to other mental health issues. These specialists cater to individuals of all ages. Once you involve yourself in the illicit use of drugs, alcohol, or other medical use prescription, then you need to consult an addiction psychiatrist. It becomes very crucial for you to visit these medical professionals when you suffer serve mental issues. Mental conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression can complicate your addiction. The work environment of an addiction psychiatrist is usually a hospital or a private hospital. They typically work full-time that is during weekdays and weekends. They sometimes perform administrative duties by overseeing other clinicians, teaching, or conducting research. Their work is very stressful and so they take it upon themselves to manage stress.


Cases Treated by Addiction Psychiatrists

Before you consult an addiction psychiatrist you must, first of all, identify that you have an addiction problem. Addiction according to some experts is high craving for a particular substance without any control. Addiction is a disease that can hamper the memory and the motivation purpose of the brain. Addiction recovery treatment can be very difficult depending on the substance involved and someone that has not accepted that he has a disease will be very far from recovery. There is no need for an individual to consult a medical psychiatrist without accepting that he or she is an addict. Here are some signs that an individual is addicted:

Lack of Self-Control

This is one of the means to identify that you are addicted; when you feel a compulsion to take a substance regularly even when you don’t like it then you are addicted. There is always a feeling of depression, bitterness, or lack of restlessness when you feel like taking that substance and that substance is not available. You always feel at ease any time you take the substance you crave for. This is a clear case of addiction and you need to look for a way out.

Losing Consciousness of the risk associated with the substance

An addict can know that there is a grave consequence of using a particular drug but he or she will choose to ignore it and proceed with using it. An addict also knows that he is putting his health at risk by the continual process of injecting himself or herself with drugs but he or she will continue anyway.  This is a clear case of addiction and you need to consult an addiction psychiatrist immediately.

Reduced Social Interaction

Another way to identify that you are an addict is when you love to isolate yourself from people. You find yourself not interacting with your peers or contemporaries but all you want to do is to stay alone with your substance.

It is gross that, your substance becomes your only find and you base your social experiences around the substance. This is a severe situation and you need the help of an addiction psychiatrist.

Withdrawal Symptoms

An addict must have withdrawn from the use of a particular substance in the past but these feelings and emotions keep on taunting him or her again and again. Most of the time, he feels like going back to using such substances again. He can experience dizziness, psychological symptoms, and nausea.

Once you notice all these signs in your life then you are an addict and there is no need for further research. You need to consult an addiction psychiatrist to initiate a recovery treatment immediately.


Addiction Psychiatrist Job Description

Below are the addiction psychiatrist job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write an addiction psychiatrist job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The duties and responsibilities of an addiction psychiatrist are:

  • Reviews a patient’s medical history. substance utilization and medical condition
  • Supervises the treatment plan throughout the time of the program and ensures that patients adhere strictly to their schedules and make progress
  • Educates patients about the type of their condition, treatment plans, and how treatments will be administered to them
  • Talks one-on-one with patients to get first-hand information from them about their mental condition before consulting other friends and family
  • Researches to discover new strategies for treating addiction using the latest technology
  • Provides follow-up care to patients after the completion of their treatment to ensure they are in the right frame of mind
  • Examines a patient’s ability to go about his or her daily activities
  • Diagnoses of psychiatrist diseases such as anxiety, depression, sleep disorders or insomnia, dementia, bipolar disorder, and eating disorder
  • Provides therapy to the patients occasionally but  refers patients to a dedicated facility
  • Supervises the execution of laboratory tests carried out on patients if necessary
  • Prescribes medication to patients
  • Connects you with the best medical team to oversee your treatment
  • Conducts detoxification for patients in their body system
  • Encourage patients that all will be well



  • Possession of an acceptable medical degree
  • Completion of a reputable psychiatric residency training program
  • Receipt of Addiction Psychiatry training
  • Must possess a Valid Psychiatric licensure
  • Must showcase proven experience as an Addiction Psychiatrist
  • Well-skilled diagnostic, psychotherapeutic, and referral techniques
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Multicultural competent
  • Familiarity with medical terminology
  • Patience and empathy


Essential Skills

  • Communication Skills: Addiction psychiatrists must possess this skill to communicate with patients and other medical professionals. They must be able to break down difficult medical terminologies or information in a way that patients can easily comprehend. They must also communicate with friends and family of the patient and explain the patient’s condition to them in a way they can understand.
  • Medical Knowledge: Addiction psychiatrists must be familiar with or possess knowledge of medical terminology. They must know the conditions they treat such as physical health issues, mental health, and substance abuse. They must also know the overall effect of addiction on the body and how to successfully treat addiction-related issues.
  • Empathy: this is the ability to be emotionally moved by the circumstances others are passing through. Addiction psychiatrists regularly utilize sympathy to make patients feel very comfortable and at ease during their treatment sessions. This makes the recovery process very easy because patients extra medical care from the addiction psychiatrists.
  • Problem-solving Skills: there are different kinds of medical mental conditions and some may be common while others are strange. It is the responsibility of the addiction psychiatrist to find solutions to medical challenges that he or she is consulted about. There may also be challenges that may spring up during treatment, this can be when a patient is facing difficulty responding to treatment. It is the responsibility of the addiction psychiatrist to offer solutions to this problem and sometimes this solution has to be prompt so that the life of the patient will not be at risk.
  • The Ability to Manage Stress: An Addiction Psychiatrist is a very busy person and sometimes he or she may work long hours and have a tight schedule. They may experience some moments of a high degree of stress throughout the day; it is highly requisite for them to know how to manage stress at all times so that they will not break down. This can help them to work with positive energy and continue to provide the best medical care to patients.


How to Become an Addiction Psychiatrist

  • Earn a Medical Degree

An addiction psychiatrist belongs to the field of medicine and it takes many years of studies to achieve that. The first step to take is to enroll in a college and then proceed to an accredited medical school. The medical school is a four-year program that includes laboratory and classroom learning. Students study diverse kinds of topics such as biochemistry, microbiology, physiology, pharmacology, psychology, and anatomy. After you have graduated from medical school; you will need to complete a residency program in psychiatry practice. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) specifies that residents must enroll for 48 months (4 years) of psychiatric residency. After completing a residency, you will need to also complete one of ACGNE (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education) accredited addiction psychiatry-specific fellowship training. A residency program is a post-graduate program and during the program, a resident student work under the oversight of a licensed professional. A residency program usually takes place in a hospital or clinic. They specialize in a variety of fields in which addiction psychiatry is part of it.

  • Medical Internship Or Experience

Addiction psychiatrists gain experience through their residency programs. These programs usually for three to four years and it exposes them to adequate training to become licensed psychiatrists. During this training, the resident will work under the supervision of a licensed psychiatrist to gain relevant experience in treating patients.

  • Licensing

Fresh graduates must pass the written and oral examinations to acquire a medical license-mandated to practice medicine, although this can vary it depends on the state you find yourself in. It is very good to study or research the requirement of your state while pursuing your education. Ensure that the steps and classes you take will help you build your career goals.

  • Certification

Certification in addiction psychiatry is highly relevant for you to prove that you are a professional. This can be acquired through the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) which is a branch of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). The exception is given to those who are certified in general psychiatry; they will be considered for the subspecialty certification in addiction psychiatry; if they meet the educational training and another requirement.

  • Keep up with the latest trend in the field of Addiction Psychiatrist

As the field of addiction psychiatry continues to grow, you need to also keep up with the trend in this field so that your services will not be considered outdated. One of the ways to keep up with this trend is to focus on early prevention and early intervention of the disease. This is because most professionals have conducted research and have thus discovered that it is better to prevent a disease before it grows into full maturity.

Addiction psychiatrists maximize this trend by becoming experts in the prevention of disease and early intervention. They can do things by educating people about the early signs of addiction and how to identify them in patients. They can also work with families to develop plans for the children.

Another trend they need to keep up with is to educate families about the role they need to play in the treatment of addiction, especially for their children. This is highly crucial because the closest person to an addict is a family member. As people keep on suffering from addiction daily, doctors need to emphasize the role of family members in treating a patient. The role family play is to provide treatments to their loved ones during the recovery process.

  • Apply for Jobs

Being an addiction psychiatrist is highly lucrative and it may not be difficult for you to get a job. The hospital you enroll in for your residency program can employ you upon the completion of the program. You can also look out for open positions in various health facilities around you.


Where can An Addiction Psychiatrist Work?

  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Private or individual practice
  • Residential treatment facilities


Addiction Psychiatrist Salary Scale

In the United States,  an addiction psychiatrist earns $285,730 per year, $137.37 per hour and this is the equivalent of $23,811 per month. This salary may vary based on the location the addiction psychiatrist is working.

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