More than two-thirds of individuals with substance-use problems visit their primary care physician every six months, but the majority of these patients are never screened or counseled for their substance use. Primary care physicians may be unable to assess, diagnose, or treat individuals properly, either because they have limited time with the patient or because they have not been trained in addiction care specifically. Even if a primary care doctor recognizes a problem and gives a patient a referral to a specialized treatment facility, patients are less likely to follow up on that referral if it means going out of their way to an unfamiliar location with staff and clinicians they don’t know or trust.

To increase the likelihood of screening, diagnosis, and treatment of substance use and dependence in the U.S., healthcare systems have begun to move in the direction of integrating addiction services into primary care. In response to this approach, CBAM’s postdoctoral training program on addiction medicine in primary care is training physicians and behavioral health scholars on the relatively new topic of addiction medicine in primary care. To date, fellows in the program have made significant achievements, including:

1. Certification from the American Board of Addiction Medicine to provide prevention, screening, intervention and treatment related to substance use disorders and addictions
2. Completion of requirements to obtain an X-Waiver to prescribe buprenorphine to treat opioid addiction
3. Direct experience treating patients for addiction in primary care settings
4. Exposure to the clinic administration and billing issues that are necessary to successfully integrate care
5. Analysis of primary care data
6. Publishing of two manuscripts in the journal Primary Care that address behavioral and addiction medicine in primary care

To read more about the requirements and application process for this training program, visit our Postdoctoral Fellowship page.


CBAM is a multidisciplinary center that seeks to advance the prevention and treatment of chronic illnesses, especially in communities with health disparities. As part of the UCLA Department of Family Medicine, CBAM works at the intersection of academia and community with a focus on treating addictions and preventing the spread of HIV.

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