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The current addiction treatment workforce is too small to meet the needs of the millions of Americans living with substance use disorder (SUD).  

Treating the 21.2 million Americans who need treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD) will require training that it too often lacking in our nation's current medical workforce.  There are only about 5,000 medical doctors with addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry credntials, according to the Office of National Control Policy.  As of February 2020, only 75 of the nation's 179 accredited medical schools offer addiction medicine fellowships and only 59 of those have met the certification criteria set by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

ASAM advocates for targeted funding to increase the ranks of qualified, well-trained addiction treatment professionals in high-need communities across America and close the current treatment gap.


GOOD NEWS!  The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has posted information about The Addiction Medicine Fellowship (AMF) Program which will expand the number of fellows at accredited AMF and Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship (APF) programs trained as addiction medicine specialists who work in underserved, community-based settings that integrate primary care with mental health disorder and substance use disorder (SUD) prevention and treatment services.  Read more.

FY21 Workforce Appropriations Priorities


The Mental and Substance Use Disorders Workforce Training Demonstration Program was authorized in the 21st Century CURES Act of 2016.  For Fiscal Year 2020, Congress appropriated $26.7 million for this program to award grants to support training in addiction medicine and addiction psychiatry to help underserved communities.  ASAM is advocating for Congress to appropriate at least $30 million for this program for Fiscal Year 2021.


The Loan Repayment Program for Substance Use Disorder Treatment Workforce program was authorized at $25 million per year in the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6).  It will help people who pursue full-time substance use disorder treatment jobs in high-need geographic areas repay their student loans.  For Fiscal Year 2020, Congress appropratied $12 million for this program.  ASAM is advocating for Congress to appropriate at least $25 million for this program in Fiscal Year 2021.

Authorizing Legislation


Opioid Workforce Act of 2019

H.R. 3414, the Opioid Workforce Act of 2019, would create 1,000 additional residency positions over five years to hospitals with addiction medicine, addiction psychiatry, or pain management programs.

Addiction Medicine Certification

In March 2016, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) announced the recognition of addiction medicine as a new subspecialty under the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM). ABPM administers the board exam for Addiction Medicine (ADM).

Physicians who have a primary ABMS board (including current addiction medicine specialists with a primary ABMS board certification) may apply to take the exam to become or continue to be an addiction medicine specialist; however, this pathway will expire in 2021.

Upon expiration of the practice-based pathway, a one-year fellowship will be required to become an addiction medicine specialist for those who hold a primary ABMS board certification.

Organizational Resources


Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education

ACGME is an independent, not-for-profit, physician-led organization that sets and monitors the professional educational standards essential in preparing physicians to deliver safe, high-quality medical care to all Americans.

Medical School

American College of Academic Addiction Medicine

ACAAM works to improve the well-being of patients, families and the public health of communities by promoting excellence in addiction medicine fellowship training and education to current and future generations of physicians in the practice, research, prevention and treatment of substance related conditions and complications, including addiction.