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

  • January 8, 2018

    ASAM Welcomes CDC Letter Clarifying Dosage Thresholds

    Several weeks ago, ASAM contacted the CDC to discuss the persistence of misunderstandings surrounding dosage thresholds in the CDC Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain – 2016 (Guideline) and addiction medicine.
  • December 6, 2017

    ASAM Applauds FDA's Approval of New Monthly Injectable Buprenorphine Formulation

    On December 30, 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the approval of Sublocade, a monthly formulation of buprenorphine subcutaneous injection for treatment of opioid dependence. This injection is the first monthly formulation of buprenorphine to be approved by the FDA.
  • November 17, 2017

    ASAM Cosigns Letter Opposing the Repeal of the ACA's Individual Mandate as a Part of Tax Reform

    On behalf of the Mental Health Liaison Group (MHLG), we are writing to express our opposition of specific provisions within the House and Senate versions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, particularly the provisions repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual shared responsibility mandate and the House’s provision repealing the medical expense deduction. 
  • November 14, 2017

    ASAM Joins Letter to Expand CBHC Demonstration Program

    The Mental Health Liaison Group is writing to express support the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act (S. 1950/H.R.3931) -  legislation to expand the Certified Community Behavioral Health Center (CCBHC) demonstration program authorized in Section 223 of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act that is based on your Excellence in Mental Health Act.
  • November 6, 2017

    ASAM Welcomes New CMS Direction on Section 1115 Waivers

    ASAM commends CMS for issuing this new guidance which expands access to care and requires states to align their section 1115(a) demonstrations with certain goals and milestones.

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