Teach It: Addiction Treatment Workforce
Our nation needs a stronger addiction treatment workforce to serve the needs of the millions of Americans living with addiction.
Investments in the addiction specialist physician workforce are long overdue. While Addiction Psychiatry is a subspecialty that has been available as a career choice for board certified psychiatrists since 1994, Addiction Medicine was first recognized as an American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) subspecialty in 2016, and it is racing to catch up with other medical specialties and subspecialties in terms of teaching and training opportunities.
Addiction Medicine Fellowship (AMF) Program
This program was authorized in the 21st Century CURES Act of 2016 and has since been reauthorized through Fiscal Year 2027 by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023. The AMF Program expands the number of fellows at accredited addiction medicine and addiction psychiatry fellowship programs who work in underserved, community-based settings that integrate primary care with mental health and substance use disorder prevention and treatment services. For Fiscal year 2023, Congress has appropriated $25 million for this program for grants to support training in addiction medicine and addiction psychiatry to help underserved communities. ASAM is advocating for Congress to continue appropriations for this vital program for Fiscal Year 2024.
Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Loan Repayment Program (STAR-LRP)
Established in 2018 by the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, STAR-LRP helps people repay their student loans if they pursue full-time substance use disorder treatment jobs in high-need geographic areas. On June 8, 2021, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) launched the program. For Fiscal Year 2023, Congress has appropriated $40 million for the STAR-LRP program. ASAM is advocating for Congress to continue appropriations for this vital program for Fiscal Year 2024.
On December 29, 2022, President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (the “CAA 2023”) into law. Section 4122(a)(3) of the CAA 2023 provides for the distribution of 200 additional Medicare-funded graduate medical education (GME) residency positions for Fiscal Year 2026, with 100 of those positions set aside for psychiatry or psychiatry subspecialty residencies.
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