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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 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 www.ASAM.org.