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Addiction is a complex medical disease that has become a public health emergency throughout the US. ASAM advocates for policies that grow the addiction medicine workforce by integrating addiction medicine into medical school and residency curricula, supporting training programs, and incentivizing clinicians to work in programs and practices that specialize in the treatment of substance use disorder.

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.

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Featured Public Policy Statements



Learn more about ASAM's position on E-Cigarettes as a potential harm reduction strategy and for smoking cessation.

The Role of Recovery in Addiction Care

In ASAM’s definition, recovery from addiction is an active process of continual growth that addresses the biological, psychological, social and spiritual disturbances inherent in addiction.

Substance Use, Misuse, and Use Disorders During and Following Pregnancy, with an Emphasis on Opioids

Learn more about ASAM's policy recommendations on substance use, misuse, and SUDs during and following pregnancy.


Use of Naloxone for the Prevention of Opioid Overdose Deaths

See ASAM's policy recommendations on Naloxone prescribing, training, and use.  

Strengthening the Substance Use Disorder Workforce Graphic

"When something is stigmatized nobody wants to bring it up,
so therefore people who need the help are less willing to come forward."

Corey Waller, MD, MS, FACEP, DFASAM
Member of ASAM's Legislative Advocacy Committee


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Learn more about the three medications currently approved by the FDA to treat opioid use disorder.

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How is the opioid overdose epidemic affecting your state?


Check out this CDC report and learn more about effective strategies to prevent opioid overdose in your community.


Learn more about the growing problem of controlled substance diversion from presentations made at the DEA Practitioner Diversion Awareness Conference


Learn more about what the US Surgeon General has to say about e-cigarettes



Learn more about how ASAM is working to educate the next generation of addiction medicine professionals.

Related News


ASAM Applauds Introduction of Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act of 2019

by | May 08, 2019

Legislation Sponsored by Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Elijah Cummings Aims to Empower Communities with the Resources and Infrastructure Needed to Address the Nation’s Addiction Crisis

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Rockville, MD – The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) today commended Senator Elizabeth Warren, Representatives Elijah Cummings, and all original co-sponsors for introducing the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act of 2019. Building on last year’s landmark opioid legislation and modeled on successful, bipartisan legislation passed in 1990 to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the CARE Act would authorize $100 billion in federal funding over the next decade to states, local governments, and other organizations and institutions to support substance use disorder (SUD) treatment programs, improve training for addiction treatment professionals in communities across the US, and expand access to treatments that meet national standards and are proven to save lives.

“Today we commend these bill sponsors for recognizing that bold, swift action is needed to address the opioid overdose epidemic that is killing 130 Americans each day – more than HIV/AIDS did at the height of the AIDS epidemic in the US,” said Paul H. Earley, MD, DFASAM, president of ASAM. “By comprehensively and strategically investing in communities, strengthening the addiction treatment infrastructure, and expanding access to evidence-based care, the CARE Act will bring hope to the millions of Americans who are living with substance use disorder.”

The CARE Act is directly modeled on the bipartisan Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act, which was enacted in 1990 to help state and local governments address the HIV/AIDS epidemic and equip the country’s healthcare system to provide effective, evidence-based care for individuals with HIV/AIDS. The CARE Act would take a similar approach to address the addiction and opioid overdose crisis by providing communities with the resources needed to expand access to treatment and help individuals reach remission and sustain recovery.

In addition to authorizing billions of dollars to states, local governments, and community organizations, the CARE Act would also authorize funds to support the training of health professionals in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of SUD. This includes funding to train medical school faculty to teach students to provide for the needs of individuals with SUD or those at risk of developing a SUD, as well as grants to develop curricula and resource materials on evidence-based practices for the screening, prevention, and treatment of SUD.

Crucially, the CARE Act would also direct the Department of Health and Human Services to develop model standards for the regulation of SUD treatment services according to standards for levels of care set forth by ASAM in 2013 or an equivalent set of standards.

According to the latest estimates, nearly 21 million Americans needed treatment for SUD in 2017, but only 4 million received any form of treatment or ancillary services. The lack of adequate addiction treatment infrastructure contributed to a record 70,237 drug overdose in deaths 2017, two-thirds of which have been linked to opioids.

“Addiction is a public health emergency and it demands a comprehensive federal response,” said Dr. Earley. “The CARE Act would authorize critical and strategic funding that is proportionate to the size and scale of this crisis—so we can ensure that patients receive whole-person, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorder.”


About ASAM
The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), founded in 1954, is a professional medical society representing over 6,000 physicians, clinicians and associated professionals in the field of addiction medicine. ASAM is dedicated to increasing access and improving the quality of addiction treatment, educating physicians and the public, supporting research and prevention, and promoting the appropriate role of physicians in the care of patients with addiction. For more information, visit