Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Addiction Psychiatry

The Division of Addiction Psychiatry provides fellows with clinical services to individuals who have problems with drugs and alcohol, training for medical personnel in addiction treatment, and consultation to other programs that may address these issues. The faculty is comprised of Board Certified Psychiatrists with added qualifications in Addiction and other researcher and clinical staff with expertise in this field.


The Addiction Psychiatry fellowship offers the opportunity to gain specialized skills in the care of patients whose lives are complicated by the effects of substance use. The clinical rotations are primarily located in addiction treatment programs and offer experience in the various levels of care and treatment modalities available to address these problems. The emphasis is to understand addiction as a chronic brain disease that can be successfully treated by a comprehensive biopsychosocial approach including medications which target the underlying brain pathophysiology. Furthermore, it is now more the expectation, rather than the exception, that individuals with psychiatric problems may also have a substance use disorder. This means that expertise in working with co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders is essential for competence as a practicing psychiatrist. The interplay of psychiatric symptoms with the effects of drugs and alcohol is a complex confounder in the treatment of both disorders. Addiction psychiatrists are the best prepared of all clinicians to provide the necessary care. The Addiction Psychiatry training experience takes place after the completion of training in General Psychiatry so the fellow is often able to function as a junior attending or consultant and gains the experience needed to succeed as an independent practitioner after graduation. Each of the program’s faculty members are experienced specialists in the treatment of addictive disorders and provide the fellow with important professional mentoring. The trainee learns about the current behavioral health systems of care, and by the end of training, is easily employable and can often find leadership positions in this developing field. Finally, completion of the Feinberg fellowship conveys the privilege to gain further medical board certification in Addiction Psychiatry, professional recognition of the highest degree.


The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences features several nationally recognized research programs. Addiction psychiatry fellows have opportunities for supervised participation in funded research projects.

Patient Care

The specialty of Addiction Psychiatry offers evidence based integrated treatment for individuals who have co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders that make up the majority of people seeking behavioral health services so as to achieve the best treatment outcomes. This division works to develop hospital and community resources available for people with these complex problems and to promote understanding of their development and treatment.

John E. Franklin, MD

John E. Franklin, MD
Director, Division of Addiction Psychiatry