Application Form

International Certification in Addiction Medicine

  • ISAM's Certification of Addiction Medicine is a credentialing process that assures the public that the holder has the pre-requisite knowledge competence to practice in that field within the confines of his/her medical license. .
  • to met the needs of an international membership of practicing physicians for standardized, valid and affordable credentialing in addiction medicine

Specific Knowledge and Skills
The field of Addiction Medicine requires knowledge of pharmacology, psychiatry, general medicine, and psychology, as well as an understanding of the interaction of these disciplines. In order to insure that the trainee is well-versed in these areas, training programs must include both hands-on experience in clinical situations as well as classroom and seminar sessions.

1. Recognition of the signs and symptoms of the use of all of the major categories of drugs/psychoactive (mood-altering) substances, including sedatives (alcohol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates), stimulants (cocaine, amphetamine, tobacco), opioids, hallucinogens (marijuana, LSD, PCP) and inhalants (organic solvents, glue)

2. Recognition of the signs of abuse and dependence on these categories of drugs/substances

3. Recognition of the signs of withdrawal from these major categories of drugs and knowledge and experience with the range of options for treatment of the withdrawal syndrome and its complications.

4. Recognition of the signs and symptoms of overdose and medical and psychiatric sequelae of these major categories of drugs and knowledge of the proper treatment of overdose.

5. Diagnosis of the medical sequelae of addiction, including hepatic, central nervous system, infectious, and HIV illness.

6. Recognition of the signs and symptoms of the psychological, social and spiritual problems accompanying the chronic use, abuse and dependence related to the major categories of drugs and knowledge of the range of management options.

7.Recognition and understanding of the special problems of drug/substance use, abuse and dependence during pregnancy and of the babies born to these mothers.

8. Recognition and understanding of the special problems of drug/substance use, abuse and dependence in target populations such as children and adolescents, women and seniors.

9. Recognition, education and appropriate treatment related to behavioral addictions like gambling, sex and love, internet, work, shopping etc.

10. Recognition, education and appropriate treatment of adjustment disorders and/or other concurrent illness in individuals and their family members


1. Exposure in the clinical context to:

a) patients with substance-related disorders in a community, out-patient setting
b) hospitalized medical and surgical patients with substance-induced disorders andsubstance use disorders
c) psychiatric patients -- inpatient or outpatient -- with concurrent substance use disorders, specifically - Substance Abuse and Substance Dependence, including alcohol, tobacco and other drugs
d) families of above patients suffering from adjustment disorders

2. Laboratory assessments

a) biochemical indicators of chronic alcohol/drug use and their complications
b) questionnaire assessments, such as the MAST, AUDIT and CAGE-AID

3. Knowledge of the evaluation and treatment of abuse of each of these categories of agents:

a) depressants like alcohol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates
b) opioids
c) cocaine and stimulants
d) marijuana and hallucinogens
e) inhalants like organic solvents, glue

4. Pharmacology of the aforementioned psychoactive/mood-altering substances

5. Types of treatment

a) detoxification
b) medical complications of substance use disorders (including intravenous drug use and its related transmission of infectious diseases like Hepatitis B, C and AIDS)
c) rehabilitation models based on 12-step programs and other psycho-social-spiritual, behavioral approaches
d) counseling, individual psychotherapy and group psychotherapy

6. Exposure in the clinical context to the diagnosis and treatment of behavioral addictions

Recommended Textbooks and other basic references 

Basic Textbook

  • Graham A et al. Principles of Addiction Medicine. American Society of Addiction Medicine. 3 rd Edition, Chevy Chase , MD , 2003. [83%]

Additional Textbooks

  • Galanter M, Kleber HD. Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment. 3 rd Edition. American Psychiatric Press, Washington DC , 2004.
  • Lowinson JH et al. Substance abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook. 4 th edition. Williams & Wilkins, 2004.

Additional References

  • Ghodse H. Drug and Addictive Behavior. A guide to treatment. 3 rd Edition, Cambridge UK , 2003.
  • DSM-IV TR. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. American Psychiatric Association, Washington DC , 2000.
  • ICD 10. International Statistical Classification of diseases and Related Health Problems. [ONLY Section on Behavioral & Mental Disorders] 1989 revision, Geneva , World Health Organization, 1992.
  • World Health Organization. Neuroscience of psychoactive substance use and dependence. Geneva 2004.
  • ISAM Definitions, website

225 questions on the following Content Areas

I. Definitions & Core Concepts, Basic Sciences,Epidemiology & Pharmacology
II. Diagnosis, Assessment & Early Intervention incl Prevention & Family
III. Intoxication & Withdrawal
IV. Treatment: Outcomes incl family, Linkages, PharmacologicalInterventions (Opioid), Behavior Interventions, 12-Step/Spirituality
V. Workplace Issues/Physician Health
VI. Medical Disorders & Complications
VII. Psychiatric Comorbidities & Complications
VIII. Pain and Addiction
IX. Children, Adolescents
X. Behavior Addictions