ASAM is proud to partner with its 39 independent State Chapters to advance access to high-quality, evidence-based addiction treatment.

State Advocacy

State Capitol

On a diverse set of issues ranging from mental health and addiction parity to pharmacy regulation, American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) State Chapters are instrumental in shaping addiction policy conversations in state capitols across the country.  ASAM National staff can track addiction-related state legislation and regulations; help keep State Chapters informed of state policy developments, and provide them with consultation and technical assistance on state-level issues important to them. In addition, ASAM National staff closely works with many other national organizations on mental health and addiction issues and can connect ASAM State Chapters with those national organizations and their state branches.

MWSAM Supports Legislation to Improve Access to Addiction Treatment for Individuals who are Incarcerated

April 28, 2021

 

On April 28, the Midwest Society of Addiction Medicine (MWSAM) submitted a letter of support for SB521, which would require that state entities in Missouri responsible for individuals who are incarcerated provide screening and assessment for substance use disorder (SUD), as well as access to various forms of medications for addiction treatment (MAT).

 

MWSAM's letter focused on the benefits of improving access to addiction treatment for individuals who are incarcerated. Specifically, MAT has been shown to reduce recidivism, illegal drug overdose deaths, and infectious disease transmission both inside jails and prisons, but also in the community. Furthermore, improving access to addiction treatment for incarcerated individuals is a cost-effective public health measure. The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that every dollar invested in addiction treatments yields a return of $4 and $7 in reduced drug-related crime, criminal justice costs, and theft. When savings related to healthcare are included, total savings can exceed costs by a ratio of 12 to 1.

 

MWSAM also noted that as written, SB521 would only allow a social worker, licensed professional counselor, licensed psychologist, or psychiatrist to assess individuals who are detained or incarcerated for a SUD. The letter stressed that the American Board of Preventive Medicine offers a certification in the subspeciality of addiction medicine for which non-psychiatrist physicians are eligible. Therefore, the legislation should be amended to include “board certified addiction medicine physicians in the list of healthcare professionals who may assess individuals who are incarcerated for SUD.

 

Read the letter here.

 

Read the bill here.

Legislative Tracking

ASAM tracks legislation relating to its chapters' legislative priorities in all 50 states. 

Chapter Leadership

ASAM's state chapters are led by experts in the field of addiction medicine. Each chapter elects its own leaders. 

East - Regions I, III, IV, V, X

West - Regions II, VI, VII, VIII

State Advocacy Resources

Find tools designed to help support your advocacy efforts with state legislators and regulators here. 

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