Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship
Addiction is a brain disease that strikes nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population and stands as a leading root cause of medical illness, accidental injury and premature death. Through its Addiction Psychiatry Program, Indiana University School of Medicine is addressing the critical shortage of physicians with both psychiatric and addictions expertise.
The school’s Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship is one of fewer than 50 ACGME-accredited programs in the United States that trains psychiatrists in the neuroscience, diagnosis and treatment of patients with addictions. It is the first program in the country to publish a training textbook and practice guide for the field of addiction psychiatry—the “2 x 4 Model”—and to adopt this textbook as its curriculum guide, leading to American Board of Medical Sciences (ABMS)/ American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) certification in Addiction Psychiatry.
Fellows in this program have access to world-renowned faculty in the basic and clinical neuroscience of addictions and mental illness—funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
Faculty at IU School of Medicine partner with experts at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis (IUPUI) and IU Bloomington to conduct a wide range of basic, clinical and epidemiological research on addictions. This work includes trans-species animal modeling of many forms of addiction spanning alcohol, cocaine, opioids, nicotine (and their combinations) as well as human research focused on neuroimaging, genetics and cutting-edge virtual reality interventions.
Psychiatry faculty at IU School of Medicine have conducted pioneering research on the neurobiological and neurodevelopmental connections between mental illness and addictions, establishing a basic science framework for identifying the etiology of dual-diagnosis disorders. The school’s Alcohol Research Center invented and first characterized the famous Alcohol-P rat, which has become one of the most influential and scientifically important rodent models of alcohol addiction in the world. One of the school’s key faculty leaders in this work, the late Ting-Kai Li, MD, went on to become director of NIAAA (2002-2008).
Impact of Addiction
Various forms and combinations of addictions, often happening in tight association with mental illnesses, cause an incredibly wide spectrum of secondary medical complications, psychiatric destabilization, injuries and causes of death. On top of this health care impact, addiction disease is responsible for untold levels family suffering, economic deprivation, homelessness and criminalization that ultimately impacts the economy and the well-being of entire societies. As described in the Journal of Dual Diagnosis—Chambers, RA (2013) “The Addiction Psychiatrist as Dual Diagnosis Physician: A profession in great need and greatly needed” Journal of Dual Diagnosis, 9(3): 260-266. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3819106—Addiction Psychiatry has a unique and critically important role to play for the U.S. health care system and American society.
The Addiction Psychiatrist is the only type of physician that is formally trained and board-certified in the diagnosis and treatment of the full spectrum of both Mental Illnesses and Addictions. As such, the IU School of Medicine program considers the addiction psychiatrist not as a subspecialist but as a public health physician who is highly trained as a generalist with expertise in providing the highest level of care to the broad spectrum of patients with mental illness, addictions and their comorbid combinations.