Misuse leading to overdose and addiction to opioids has reached epidemic proportions in America and requires a comprehensive, public health approach. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 63,632 lethal drug overdoses in 2016. Of these, 19,413 were related to synthetic opioids and 15,469 were related to heroin.


Combatting this public health emergency will require systemic and sustainable changes to our addiction treatment infrastructure and workforce, as well as expanded access to comprehensive, evidenced-based treatment. 


To successfully reverse the course of the opioid epidemic, we must:

  • Equip states, payers and frontline caregivers with the tools and resources necessary to build an evidence-based addiction treatment infrastructure and deliver care that meets ASAM standards and guidelines;
  • Lead the transformation of the addiction treatment workforce by implementing competency-based education for all healthcare providers and increasing the skills and confidence of addiction specialists and other clinicians who actively treat patients;
  • Expand access to FDA-approved medications that are proven to reduce cravings, improve treatment retention, and reduce overdose deaths; and
  • Increase access to care in communities where evidence-based treatment is not currently available. 

ASAM Advocacy

  • July 24, 2018

    ASAM Applauds Congressional Oversight Hearing on Addiction Treatment Facilities and Calls on Senate to Act Quickly on Legislation

    The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) applauds the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations for reviewing advertising and marketing practices of addiction treatment programs in the United States (US) in its hearing titled “Examining Advertising and Marketing Practices within the Substance Use Treatment Industry.” The hearing is part of Congress’s ongoing effort to ensure addiction treatment facilities abide by appropriate standards and provide evidence-based treatment.
  • July 5, 2018

    ASAM, AAPA, AANP, and AOAAM Request Meeting with DOJ Regarding Recent Enforcement Actions

    On July 3, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), American Academy of PAs (AAPA), American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), and American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM), approved providers of DATA 2000 training, issued a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions thanking the Department of Justice (DOJ) for identifying individuals who may be committing opioid-related criminal activity and health care fraud involving patients with addiction and expressing the need to work together so such actions do not have unintended consequences that dissuade clinicians from prescribing buprenorphine and leave patients without treatment should their practitioners’ offices be closed.
  • May 16, 2018

    FDA Approves First Non-Opioid Drug for the Management of Opioid Withdrawal

    On May 16, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its approval Lucemyra, the first non-opioid treatment for management of opioid withdrawal symptoms. Lucemyra (lofexidine hydrochloride) reduces the release of norepinephrine and can be used to lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms that may occur after the discontinuation of opioid use.
  • May 14, 2018

    ASAM Applauds DOJ Settlement Enforcing ADA

    On May 14, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) issued a settlement agreement which found that Charlwell House,  a skilled nursing facility, violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by refusing to accept a patient for treatment because the patient was being treated with Suboxone for opioid use disorder (OUD).
  • April 23, 2018

    Department of HHS Releases Action Plan for Enhanced Enforcement of MH/SUD Coverage

    Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued their Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Action Plan. Congress included a provision in Section 13002 of the 21st Century Cutes Act requiring HHS to create this Action Plan detailing recent and planned actions from the Departments of HHS, Labor, and Treasury related to ongoing implementation of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA).

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