Hill Briefing

Research shows that addiction is a chronic disease similar to diabetes and hypertension, with long-term treatment success equal to or better than those diseases.

"No state legislature would put a time limit on medications for any other chronic disease, such as diabetes or hypertension," said ASAM President Stuart Gitlow, MD. "Yet there is a patchwork of such policies across the country on addiction medications."

On Monday, September 30th, ASAM held a policy briefing on Capitol Hill about Advancing Access to Addiction Treatment Medications. This was a continuation of ASAM’s efforts to inform policy makers, payers and the public about the clinical and cost effectiveness of these therapies and the limitations patients face in accessing them.

Over 50 people attended, including mental health and addiction advocates, staff from congressional offices, ASAM members, and corporate partners. The speakers for this event included:


  • Stuart Gitlow, MD, MPH, MBA, FAPA, President, American Society of Addiction Medicine
  • H. Wesley Clark, MD, JD, PPH, CAS, FASAM, Director, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • Jack Stein, PhD, Director, Office of Science Policy and Communications, National Institute on Drug Abuse. Jack Stein PowerPoint Presentation
  • Tom McLellan, PhD, CEO and Co-Founder, Treatment Research Institute. Tom McLellan PowerPoint Presentation
  • Kurt Kemmling, Founder/Director, Connecticut Chapter of the National Alliance of Medication Assisted Recovery and New England Regional Director of NAMA Recovery
  • Christopher Jones, PharmD, MPH, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC. Christopher Jones PowerPoint Presentation
  • Representative Paul D. Tonko (NY) 

The House Prescription Drug Abuse Caucus, Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) sponsored this briefing, along with cosponsors American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAP), American Association of Public Health Physicians (AAPHP), American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM), (American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM), (American Psychiatric Association (APA), and Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP).