Health Service Categories and Careers


Addiction Medicine is a medical specialty that focuses on treating and managing an individual experiencing addiction. Typically, these addictions are alcohol, illicit drugs or prescription drugs. It is a multifaceted field which incorporates knowledge and treatments from psychology, public health, internal medicine and social work. The field uses several tools such as managing withdrawal symptoms during a ‘cold turkey’ approach, twelve step programs, detoxification, rehabilitation, individual and group therapy, counselling, ongoing therapy and acute intervention. Alcohol and Drug (AOD) services are provided in hospitals, in primary care practices and in community settings by multidisciplinary teams.

Addiction Medicine Jobs

Addiction Medicine Specialists are doctors who have undertaken Advanced Training in Addiction Medicine, a 3-year RACP program which leads to eligibility for Fellowship of the Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine (FAChAM) and specialist registration with the Medical Board of Australia (AHPRA). These physicians provide clinical leadership and specialist care in Alcohol and Drugs (AOD) services in both acute and outpatient settings. They are responsible for assessment, pharmacotherapy, withdrawal and relapse prevention, consultations with patients, and coordination of care within the clinical team and with other AOD service providers (such as community clinics or GPs). Specialist physicians are also responsible for training registrars and undertaking research and continued professional development.

Addiction Medicine Doctors/Registrars are doctors who are undertaking specialist training in addiction medicine. They are important members of the integrated and multidisciplinary care team. They are supported by senior doctors and specialists, and receive structured training, but at times will be the most senior doctor on duty and are responsible for overseeing medical students, junior doctors, nurses and other staff. Addiction Medicine Registrars provide care for patients with addiction related disorders which are often complex and involve other medical and psychiatric co-morbidities. They provide care in both inpatient and outpatient settings, which might involve clinical care for acute episodes, assessment, withdrawal management, rehabilitation, early intervention and delivery of education programs. They will connect patients to a variety of prevention and treatment services and may be involved in Community Pharmacotherapy Programs or receive training for Opioid Replacement Therapy (ORT). They have direct contact with patients and their families, provide clinical leadership to AOD hospital and community teams, and are involved in research and data collection. Addiction Medicine Registrar positions are available to doctors who are registered with the Medical Board of Australia (AHPRA), and have completed RACP basic training, or for those doctors who have Fellowship with another specialist College, such as GPs. These positions often involve after-hours and on call rosters.

AOD Nurses specialise in providing Alcohol and Drugs (AOD)/Addiction Services in hospitals and community clinics. They work collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams, providing clinical and operational support, to deliver services which help people struggling with addiction and other co-morbid health conditions and circumstances. They help provide acute care, assessment, and intervention. They help manage, support, and care for patients in withdrawal and other rehabilitation programs. They may be involved in education and prevention, or research and data inquiry. They are often responsible for patient flow, medication management and keeping records. AOD Nurses have varying levels of responsibility, qualifications, and experience. They include Clinical Nurse Managers, Clinical Nurse Consultants/Specialists, Nurse Practitioners, Charge Nurses, Registered Nurses, and Assistants in Nursing. Please refer to the Nursing section for more information on the different levels of nursing.