Addiction Policy News

ASAM Applauds Reintroduction of the Opioid Workforce Act

April 27, 2021


On April 27, Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Opioid Workforce Act of 2021. ASAM commends the reintroduction of this legislation, which would expand the physician workforce by providing support for 1,000 new graduate medical education training positions over five years in hospitals that have—or are in the process of establishing—accredited residency programs in addiction medicine, addiction psychiatry, or pain medicine. Hospitals may also receive additional slots for residents training in a pre-requisite program.


The SUD workforce shortage represents a serious barrier to addiction treatment access and the integration of evidence-based addiction treatment practices into the broader healthcare system. In 2018, an estimated 21.2 million people aged 12 or older needed substance use treatment in the past year. By creating these 1,000 additional residency positions over a five-year period, this bill would strengthen the pipeline of addiction physician specialists at a time when the workforce is severely under-equipped to meet the needs of millions of Americans living with substance use disorder and addiction. 


Read the announcement from Senator Hassan's office here