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Types of Providers

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There are different types of health care professionals that can treat mental health and drug and alcohol use. You might see one type of health care provider or many, depending on the treatment or support you need.

It can be a good idea to start with the doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant that is your primary care provider (PCP)—this is the health care professional that you see regularly for your physical health. If you have anxiety, depression, or need help with quitting tobacco, they can often help.

All types of health care professionals provide important care and support, but some can prescribe medicines and some cannot.

Health care professionals who can prescribe medications for mental health and substance use conditions

Note: This may depend on the state you live in, so ask when setting up an appointment.

  • Psychiatrists (M.D. or D.O.)
  • Psychiatric or mental health nurse practitioners (NP with a focus in psychiatry)

Primary care providers and other doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician’s assistants can also prescribe medication for many conditions including depression, anxiety, alcohol use disorder, and tobacco use disorder.

Professionals who can provide counseling and therapy

Note: This may depend on the state you live in, so ask when setting up an appointment.

  • Clinical social workers (such as LICSW, LCSW, or ACSW)
  • Counselors (such as LPC or LADC)
  • Psychologists (such as Ph.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D.)
  • Therapists (such as LMFT)
  • Peer support specialists and crisis counselors
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“I didn't want to admit I needed help, but once I did, things changed. Therapy is for everyone.”

Last Updated
Last Updated: 04/24/2023
Last Updated