Addiction is a complicated topic. There are many types of addictions ranging from substances to behaviors. An addiction professional should have a broad range of understanding the many models and theories of addiction as well as physical, psychological and social problems related to using substances or engaging in dangerous, addictive behaviors.
This means that an addiction professional should be competent in research and theory both scientific and theoretical. In addition, an addiction professional needs to understand the criteria and methods involved in evaluations of models and theories and how to appropriately apply it to their practice. Because the science and research is constantly evolving it’s equally important for an addiction professional to stay up to date with these findings and know where to access the literature from multiple disciplines.
Addiction professionals should always be open to information that challenges their existing and personally held views. It’s important for addiction professionals to appreciate the complex nature of addiction while valuing many different forms of concepts and theories. An addiction professional should be a critical thinker and be able to form their practice around the knowledge they are receiving on an ongoing basis.