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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.
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ASAM Applauds House Resolution on Substance Use Disorder and Addiction

by | Nov 20, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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Resolution Recognizes Addiction as a Complex Medical Disease, Urges Support for Evidence-Based Treatment, and Supports Efforts to Prevent and Destigmatize Substance Use Disorder and Addiction

 

ROCKVILLE, MD – The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) today applauded the introduction of a bipartisan resolution in the United States House of Representatives recognizing addiction as a complex disease and supporting efforts to prevent, treat, and destigmatize substance use disorder (SUD) and addiction.

 

The resolution, which was introduced by Representatives Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) and Ted Budd (R-NC), recognizes addiction as a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences.  The resolution aligns with ASAM’s new definition of addiction, which was recently updated to highlight this complex interaction and was the subject of a commentary published in Medium by the president and vice president of ASAM.

 

The House resolution also supports evidence-based treatment approaches for SUD that address biological, psychological, and social factors and calls for an end to stigma surrounding SUD and addiction and seeking treatment.

 

“ASAM applauds Congressional leaders for recognizing addiction as a chronic, treatable medical disease and for resolving to ensure that high-quality, evidence-based addiction treatment is available to all Americans who need it,” said Paul H. Earley, MD, DFASAM, president of ASAM. “Public acknowledgement by our nation’s policy leaders is important to ongoing efforts to destigmatize addiction, address this disease compassionately and effectively, and save lives.”

 

Access to evidence-based treatment for SUD is critically needed in communities across America.  According to 2018 estimates, approximately 21 million Americans needed treatment for SUD in the past year, but only 3.7 million received any form of treatment or ancillary services — a gap that has contributed to a record 70,237 drug overdose in deaths 2017, two-thirds of which involve opioids.

 

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.

 

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Rebecca Reid

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rreid@schmidtpa.com