Addiction Medicine’s Array of Organizations Simplified

In our rapidly expanding field, eight organizations are or have been active, thus physicians often seek clarification on the identity and function of each. This page is offered for that purpose. The organizations are:

American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, AAAP

“We are psychiatrists, faculty, medical students, residents and fellows and related health professionals committed to evidence-based clinical practices and research in the prevention, identification and treatment of substance use disorders and co-occurring mental disorders.” (

The American Board of Addiction Medicine, ABAM

ABAM was established in 2007 as an independent non-profit entity for the purpose of setting standards for initial certification and offering continuous certification to physicians in the field of addiction medicine. After certifying over 4,000 physicians, ABAM stopped offering initial certification as the ABMS member board, the American Board of Preventive Medicine began this function in 2017. ABAM continues to offer Continuous Certification to its diplomates, currently numbering 1,800 (decreasing census is due to normal attrition and to movement of eligible diplomates to ABPM certification). (

American Board of Preventive Medicine, ABPM

ABPM is a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties. It is the designated certifying and Continuous Certification board for the subspecialty of addiction medicine.

“Preventive Medicine is the specialty of medical practice that focuses on the health of individuals, communities, and defined populations. Its goal is to protect, promote, and maintain health and well-being and to prevent disease, disability, and death. Preventive medicine specialists have core competencies in biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental and occupational medicine, planning and evaluation of health services, management of healthcare organizations, research into causes of disease and injury in population groups, and the practice of prevention in clinical medicine. They apply knowledge and skills gained from the medical, social, economic, and behavioral sciences.

Preventive medicine has three specialty areas with common core knowledge, skills, and competencies that emphasize different populations, environments, or practice settings: Aerospace Medicine, Occupational Medicine, Public Health and General Preventive Medicine. Preventive medicine also encompasses 4 subspecialty areas, including: Addiction Medicine, Clinical Informatics, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine, Medical Toxicology”. (

The American College of Academic Addiction Medicine, ACAAM

The organization presented on this website. It is a non-profit, independent physician organization and although it has relationships with others, it is not formally affiliated with other organizations listed here. (

The Association for Multidisciplinary Education and Research in Substance use and Addiction, AMERSA

Founded in 1976, AMERSA is a non-profit professional organization whose mission is to improve health and well-being through interdisciplinary leadership in substance use education, research, clinical care and policy. AMERSA promotes leadership, mentorship and collaboration among multiple healthcare professions including, but not limited to, physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, dentists, pharmacists, and public health professionals. (

Addiction Medicine Fellowships Directors Association, AMFDA

AMFDA was an independent entity incorporated in 2016, dedicated to advancing fellowship training in the field of ADM. It was closely affiliated with The Addiction Medicine Foundation (TAMF). A strategic plan was executed which brought the AMFDA mission and leadership and the TAMF mission and leadership into ACAAM on January 1, 2019. AMFDA dissolved in December 31, 2018 and the next day TAMF was renamed ACAAM.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine, ASAM

“ASAM, founded in 1954, is a professional medical society representing over 6,000 physicians, clinicians and associated professionals in the field of addiction medicine. ASAM is dedicated to increasing access and improving the quality of addiction treatment, educating physicians and the public, supporting research and prevention, and promoting the appropriate role of physicians in the care of patients with addiction.” (

The Addiction Medicine Foundation, TAMF

Founded in 2007, TAMF was renamed ACAAM on January 1, 2019. See ACAAM above.