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 A Voice for Addiction Medicine

Leading the movement to transform America's addiction treatment infrastructure and expand access to research-validated, results-based care



ASAM Policy Principles

ASAM believes in a future in which addiction prevention, treatment, remission, and recovery are accessible to all, and where they profoundly improve the health of all people.  The following principles guide our advocacy and shape ASAM's advocacy priorities:
  • Addiction policy should be guided by - and promote the use of - the latest science and best practices in addiction prevention, treatment, remission, and recovery.  People with addiction deserve compassionate, evidence-based care that addresses the chronic nature of the disease of addiction.
  • Strategic and multifaceted policy solutions are needed to drive the development of a more accessible, effective, robust, and comprehensive addiction prevention and treatment infrastructure.
  • Policies and payment systems should ensure equitable access to comprehensive, high-quality addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery services.
  • Policy should challenge, rather than enforce, cultural misunderstanding, stigma and discrimination about the disease of addiction.
  • Addiction policy and advocacy should respect and integrate the perspectives of people with addiction and their families.

Federal Advocacy Priorities

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TEACH addiction medicine by expanding and strengthening our workforce and dispelling stigma
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STANDARDIZE the delivery of individualized addiction treatment so that more patients receive high-quality, evidence-based care
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COVER addiction medicine in a way that expands patient access to comprehensive, high-quality addiction care
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Advocacy Committees & Councils

ASAM's advocacy could not happen if not for the dedicated effort of our members.

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Public Policy Statements

Learn about ASAM's position on current policy issues.

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ASAM is proud to work collaboratively with others to improve the lives of those living with addiction.
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Advocacy Toolkits

ASAM provides toolkits to help you advocate for public policies that advance addiction medicine and promote access to treatment

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ASAM Unveils National Public Policy Statement on Substance Use Prevention

by | Dec 06, 2018

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Addiction Medicine Leaders Recommend Evidence-Based Approaches to Substance Use Prevention

Rockville, MD (December 6, 2018) – Recognizing that research-backed prevention measures play a key role in reducing the health, social and economic costs of substance use, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) has released a set of evidence-informed policy recommendations for preventing alcohol and drug-related problems in contemporary society. The policy recommendations were approved by the ASAM Board of Directors and have been endorsed by the American College of Preventive Medicine.

“This policy statement contains actionable information designed to help public health stakeholders – including policymakers, insurers, employers, schools, families and communities – implement substance use prevention policies and programs informed by the latest scientific evidence,” said Kelly J. Clark, MD, MBA, DFAPA, DFASAM, president of ASAM. “Given the sizable health, social and economic consequences of substance use and addiction in our country, it is critical that evidence-informed prevention programs and policies be more widely adopted and brought to scale as quickly as possible.”

According to reports from the U.S. Surgeon General’s office and the United Nations, existing evidence-based substance use prevention programs are not widely used or well implemented. Furthermore, studies have shown that the prevention programs used in many schools and communities are not evidence-based and have not been shown to be effective in reducing or preventing substance misuse.

“These recommendations are an important step toward ensuring that all Americans have access to effective, evidence-based substance use disorder prevention measures,” said Robert W. Carr, MD, MPH, FACPM, president of the American College of Preventive Medicine. “We look forward to working with ASAM and other stakeholders in the public health community to implement these recommendations into public policy quickly and effectively.”

Key policy recommendations include:

  • Urging legislators to fund prevention science research and work with stakeholders to develop national standards for substance use prevention. Lawmakers should also either increase or maintain significant taxes on legally available substances with addictive potential such as alcohol, cannabis, and nicotine and ensure that the revenue obtained from these sources is earmarked for public health prevention and treatment efforts.
  • Recommending that schools, families, and communities use evidence-informed programs to identify youth at risk of using or misusing substances and use evidence-based interventions to encourage the nurturing of children’s physical, cognitive and emotional development.
  • Encouraging employers to develop workplace prevention and wellness programs and ensure that all employee health insurance includes coverage of substance use detection and intervention programs while protecting patient confidentiality.
  • Recommending that insurers cover early detection of an intervention for substance use without burdensome utilization management techniques.

To view ASAM’s Prevention Policy Statement, click here.

Media Contact: Rebecca Reid P: 410-212-3843 E: rreid@schmidtpa.com