Public Policy Statements
ASAM's public policy statements guide its advocacy on legislative and regulatory issues.
The Regulation of the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder with Methadone
This policy statement outlines existing regulatory barriers that prevent broader access to methadone treatment for OUD and summarizes current challenges to optimizing the quality of care offered by OTPs. Recommendations address ways to improve both access to, and the quality of, methadone treatment for OUD by making such treatment more patient-centered and integrated with other medical care. Such improvements are expected to reduce overdose deaths and improve health outcomes.
Overdose Prevention Sites
The United States has seen staggering increases in drug overdose deaths since the beginning of the 21st century. The 12 months ending in May 2020 witnessed the largest number of drug overdose deaths for a 12-month period ever recorded.
Patient Review and Restriction (PRR) Programs
Patient Review and Restriction (PRR) programs, also known as pharmacy “lock-in” programs, allow payers, including State Medicaid programs and commercial insurers, to curb a beneficiary’s overutilization, and possible misuse, of physician services and/or prescription medications by restricting the patient to a single designated provider, pharmacy, or both.
Use of Naloxone for the Prevention of Opioid Overdose Deaths
Naloxone is a remarkably effective, inexpensive and safe medication. It acts quickly, has no addictive potential, may be dispensed by injection (preferably intramuscular) or intranasally, and has mild side effects (other than precipitating opioid withdrawal) when used at the lowest effective dosage for reversal.
Advancing Racial Justice in Addiction Medicine
This is the first of a series of policy statements on racial justice through which ASAM reiterates the fundamental axiom that systemic racism is a social determinant of health that has had profound, deleterious effects on the lives and health of BIPOC.
Access to Medications for Addiction Treatment for Persons Under Community Correctional Control
Individuals under community correctional control include those on probation or parole. People on probation may have been sentenced to a term of supervision in the community or may be serving their sentence in the community in lieu of incarceration, the latter of which includes those involved with problem-solving courts such as drug courts, mental health courts, and veterans’ courts, among others.
Cannabis is a plant that has been used for its intoxicating effects for at least a century in the United States and for longer in other cultures. It also has a long history of use around the world for purported medical benefits. More than 100 different cannabinoids have been identified in cannabis.
Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder in Correctional Settings
This policy statement describes the standard of care that ASAM believes all detained and incarcerated individuals with OUD should receive. ASAM also advocates for systemic changes to ensure universal access to such care within correctional institutions.
Third-Party Payment for Addiction Treatment
This policy statement addresses some of the key issues facing clinicians and third-party payers as they work together for the benefit of patients to solve the real-world practical problems of access to care, reimbursement for professional services, insurance benefit design, and health plan clinician network adequacy.
Electronic cigarettes, also referred to as e-cigarettes, vaporizers or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), are non-standardized, battery-operated devices that use a “liquid” that most commonly would contain nicotine, as well as varying compositions of flavorings, in addition to propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin as vehicle forming a vaping cloud when exhaled, and other ingredients.
Physicians and Other Healthcare Professionals with Addiction
This policy statement articulates the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s recommendations for promoting the health of healthcare professionals with addiction and thereby contributing to their safe practice.
Endorsed Public Policy Statement on 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.
Ethical Use of Drug Testing in the Practice of Addiction Medicine
Drug testing uses a biological sample to detect the presence of drugs and/or drug metabolites in a patient’s body. Drug tests are ordered by physicians in a range of medical specialties, but drug testing has particular utility in addiction practices.
Medical Ethics with Annotations Applicable to Addiction Medicine
This document aims to adhere to the basic AMA Principles of Medical Ethics with annotations to help guide the ethical decision-making of those clinicians practicing addiction medicine.
ASAM supports a wide variety of measures to prevent alcohol and other drug-related problems in contemporary society, understanding that carefully thought out prevention measures have demonstrably reduced the early onset of alcohol, nicotine, and other drug use in some populations. This has contributed to a reduction in deaths and serious injuries resulting from drug related injuries and illnesses. These and other identifiable results have major economic implications.
Inclusion of Addiction Specialist Physicians in Managed Behavioral Health Care Organization In-Network Provider Panels
MBHCOs manage behavioral health benefits, including treatment for mental and substance related disorders, for member patients through their utilization review process. Because utilization rates within MBHCOs tend to be predominantly weighted toward mental health treatment over addiction treatment, MBHCOs’ provider panels tend to be predominantly composed of physicians specializing in psychiatry.
Public Policy Statement on Ethical Promotion and Patient Recruitment by Addiction Treatment Programs
For the purposes of this policy statement, an addiction treatment program is defined as an entity that claims to provide evaluation, treatment, or referral for substance-related and other addictive disorders.
Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs)
Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) are statewide electronic databases that collect designated data from pharmacies and medical offices that dispense controlled substances in the state. PDMPs are maintained at the state level and housed in various statewide regulatory, administrative, or law enforcement agencies.
The Role of Recovery in Addiction Care
ASAM recognizes that, just as there are many contributing factors to addiction, there are many contributing factors to any one individual’s recovery. In this context, ASAM has based its definition of recovery, as delineated in the statement “Terminology Related to Addiction, Treatment, and Recovery”, on current knowledge and approaches, informed in large part by decades of experience of people living with addiction.
Joint Public Correctional Policy Statement on the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorders for Justice Involved Individuals
Regulation of Office-Based Opioid Treatment
The initial model of office-based opioid treatment using methadone was first devised as a pathway to expand the reach and capacity of methadone treatment in the 1980’s.1,2 In the United States today, the most common type of OBOT uses the partial opioid agonist buprenorphine and was made possible by the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA 2000).
Ethical Promotion of Addiction Treatment Medications
This public policy statement focuses on guiding principles for pharmaceutical companies’ ethical marketing, advertising, information sharing, and advocacy practices related to addiction medications (collectively referred to as “promotion” of addiction medications).
Opioid Use and Opioid Use Disorder in Pregnancy: A Joint Opinion of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' Committee on Obstetric Practice and the American Society of Addiction Medicine
Opioid use in pregnancy has escalated dramatically in recent years, paralleling the epidemic observed in the general population. To combat the opioid epidemic, all health care providers need to take an active role. Pregnancy provides an important opportunity to identify and treat women with substance use disorders.
Hepatitis C Infection
Hepatitis C is the most common chronic blood borne infection in the United States. There are currently an estimated 3.5 million persons infected with Hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the United States and almost half are unaware they are infected.1 Depending on the population, acute Hepatitis C infection becomes chronic in anywhere from 75- 85% of persons.
Substance Use, Misuse, and Use Disorders During and Following Pregnancy, with an Emphasis on Opioids
Given the complex needs of pregnant and postpartum women and their children, and the number of systems they encounter during critically important periods in their lives, ASAM’s policy recommendations on substance use, misuse, and SUDs during and following pregnancy fall into several categories.