Addiction Policy News

ASAM Endorses ACMT’s Position Statement on Buprenorphine Administration in the Emergency Department

September 9, 2019


On July 17, ASAM’s Board of Directors approved ASAM’s endorsement of the American College of Medical Toxicology's position statement "Buprenorphine Administration in the Emergency Department." The policy statement acknowledges the increasing number of opioid-related emergency department (ED) visits and fatalities occurring across the nation, before endorsing the administration of buprenorphine to appropriate patients in the ED to treat opioid withdrawal and to reduce the risk of opioid overdose and death following discharge, as well as the administration of buprenorphine in the ED as a bridge to long-term addiction treatment.


The statement stresses the importance of empowering EDs with the ability to administer buprenorphine, noting that EDs see a large number of patients presenting with opioid overdose, opioid withdrawal, or opioid use disorder (OUD). Furthermore, the ED can be many people’s primary access point to health care and treatment, and evaluation in the ED represents an opportunity to engage patients in a discussion of opioid agonist therapy and harm reduction strategies to mitigate risk from the continued use of illicit drugs after discharge. As the opioid overdose epidemic continues to take lives across the country, it is vital that the addiction treatment workforce receive training and resources to provide treatment in many different settings for those suffering with OUD.


Read the full policy statement here.