Addiction Psychology

The specialty of Addiction Psychology emphasizes an evidence-based clinical approach to the application of addiction sciences to understand addictive behavior and develop interventions that improve health and well-being. Addiction psychologists engage in research, evaluation, education, training, consultation, and clinical practice addressing the wide range of substance use and behavioral addictive behavior problems and affected populations.

Empiricism is a hallmark of all Addiction Psychology. Consequently, good practice in Addiction Psychology relies heavily on assessment and intervention procedures that have been found to be empirically supported. The distinct focus of Addiction Psychology entails several pertinent areas: (a) epidemiology, etiology, and course; (b) theoretical conceptualizations; (c) assessment; (d) treatment and recovery; and (e) prevention.

Specialists may identify themselves as board certified psychologists through the American Board of Addiction Psychology (ABAP). They may indicate so in the signature line as follows:

John Doe, Degree, ABAP
Board Certified in Addiction Psychology
They may also inform people that the ABAP has a provisional affiliation with ABPP. However, specialists may only use ABPP (as opposed to ABAP) in their signature line once full affiliation is attained (unless boarded through another ABPP board).

Become an ABPP Board Certified
Specialist in Addiction Psychology
Virtual (Zoom) Exams Available

Why Become Board Certified in Addiction Psychology?

  • “Gold Standard” of professional practice
  • “Trusted Credential’ (i.e., psychologists have met their specialty board’s standards and competencies)
  • Potential for increased financial compensation (VAs, PHS, DOD, some hospitals)
  • Reflects a higher standard of expertise over a generalist license
  • Enhances one’s qualifications as an expert witness
  • 40 CE credits after passing the exam (# depends on state licensing board)
  • Graduate students, interns, and postdoctoral residents get a discount by applying before getting licensed
  • We consider diversity a core value, and recognize, respect, and value differences among individuals.

Steps to Addiction Certification:

  • Submission of educational and training materials
  • Review of a practice sample (see exam manual for senior and other options)
  • 3-hour virtual oral exam, or if available, in-person exam