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National Addiction Treatment Week Highlights the Critical Need for the Medical Community to Treat Addiction

by ASAM Staff | October 18, 2019

(Rockville, MD) October 21, 2019 - Each year, National Addiction Treatment Week (NATW) raises awareness that addiction is a disease, evidence-based treatments are available, and recovery is possible.  This year, October 21-October 27, the week will highlight the critical need for clinicians to enter the field of addiction medicine. Clinicians trained in addiction are essential to fill the treatment gap between patients who need evidence-based addiction treatment and the insufficient number of clinicians qualified to treat addiction. Along with its supportive partners, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) will be hosting the week with a dedicated twitter handle @TreatmentWeek and using #TreatmentWeek to build important conversations on social media.  

More clinicians trained in addiction are needed to overcome the addiction epidemic overwhelming the United States today. In 2018, approximately 20.3 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder (SUD) related to their use of alcohol or illicit drugs in the past year. 1 More people died from a drug overdose than from car accidents in 2017, 2,3 and nearly 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes each year.4 Only about 17% of those diagnosed with substance use disorder received the treatment they need.5 In 2018, an estimated 2 million Americans were addicted to opioids, yet only about 400,000 people received treatment at a specialty facility.6

“National Addiction Treatment Week amplifies the crucial message that when patients are treated appropriately by certified addiction medicine specialists, we can save lives and improve treatment outcomes.  The medical community must be at the forefront of communities proclaiming that addiction is a chronic brain disease, not a moral failure, and as such must be treated with evidence-based, research verified care.” said Paul H. Earley, MD, DFASAM, president of ASAM. “To overcome the health crisis, we need to expand the number of medical professionals who understand the complexities of the disease and are trained to treat addiction. Only then will we see real progress.”

We are proud to stand with our dedicated National Addiction Treatment Week partners: Advocates for Opioid Recovery, the American Medical Association, the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine, Beyond Definition, MI Cares, National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), National Institute of Drug Abuse/NIDAMED (NIDA), and Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Join the engaging events of the week which include Twitter chats with ASAM and NIAAA on alcohol use disorder and NIDA experts on adolescents and addiction; a Facebook rebroadcast of a compelling conversation between David and Nic Sheff, from Beautiful Boy, and adolescent addiction medicine specialist, Dr. Marc Fishman; and inspiring social media posts from addiction medicine specialists throughout the week.  Together, we can help more people receive evidence-based treatment and improve patient outcomes.  

Learn more by visiting TreatAddictionSaveLives.org.

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National Addiction Treatment Week Highlights the Critical Need for the Medical Community to Treat Addiction

by ASAM Staff | Oct 18, 2019

(Rockville, MD) October 21, 2019 - Each year, National Addiction Treatment Week (NATW) raises awareness that addiction is a disease, evidence-based treatments are available, and recovery is possible.  This year, October 21-October 27, the week will highlight the critical need for clinicians to enter the field of addiction medicine. Clinicians trained in addiction are essential to fill the treatment gap between patients who need evidence-based addiction treatment and the insufficient number of clinicians qualified to treat addiction. Along with its supportive partners, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) will be hosting the week with a dedicated twitter handle @TreatmentWeek and using #TreatmentWeek to build important conversations on social media.  

More clinicians trained in addiction are needed to overcome the addiction epidemic overwhelming the United States today. In 2018, approximately 20.3 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder (SUD) related to their use of alcohol or illicit drugs in the past year. 1 More people died from a drug overdose than from car accidents in 2017, 2,3 and nearly 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes each year.4 Only about 17% of those diagnosed with substance use disorder received the treatment they need.5 In 2018, an estimated 2 million Americans were addicted to opioids, yet only about 400,000 people received treatment at a specialty facility.6

“National Addiction Treatment Week amplifies the crucial message that when patients are treated appropriately by certified addiction medicine specialists, we can save lives and improve treatment outcomes.  The medical community must be at the forefront of communities proclaiming that addiction is a chronic brain disease, not a moral failure, and as such must be treated with evidence-based, research verified care.” said Paul H. Earley, MD, DFASAM, president of ASAM. “To overcome the health crisis, we need to expand the number of medical professionals who understand the complexities of the disease and are trained to treat addiction. Only then will we see real progress.”

We are proud to stand with our dedicated National Addiction Treatment Week partners: Advocates for Opioid Recovery, the American Medical Association, the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine, Beyond Definition, MI Cares, National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), National Institute of Drug Abuse/NIDAMED (NIDA), and Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Join the engaging events of the week which include Twitter chats with ASAM and NIAAA on alcohol use disorder and NIDA experts on adolescents and addiction; a Facebook rebroadcast of a compelling conversation between David and Nic Sheff, from Beautiful Boy, and adolescent addiction medicine specialist, Dr. Marc Fishman; and inspiring social media posts from addiction medicine specialists throughout the week.  Together, we can help more people receive evidence-based treatment and improve patient outcomes.  

Learn more by visiting TreatAddictionSaveLives.org.

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The ASAM Board Examination Study Tool (BEST) helps prepare physicians for the ABPM certification/re-certification examination utilizing an interactive and engaging format.

  • 700 Board-Style Self-Assessment Questions
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MOC Guide

Considering a career in Addiction Medicine or expanding your practice services?

Physicians who have a primary ABMS board may apply to take the ABPM Addiction Medicine exam to become or continue to be an addiction medicine specialist. This specific pathway will expire in 2021. Download the NEW ASAM Information Guide on Certification and MOC.

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New Resources

JAM Podcast

Journal of Addiction Medicine May/June 2019, Volume 13, Issue 3;

In episode thirteen of Addiction Medicine: Beyond the Abstract, we are joined by Dr. Jessica Gray. In her recent article, Dr. Gray discusses a case of a woman who was able to continue opioid agonist treatment during the postpartum period while she remained incarcerated, in a system that generally did not allow for opioid agonist treatment during incarceration except during pregnancy.

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Drug court resources

Drug Court Resources

Tens of thousands of Americans access addiction pharmacotherapies through drug courts every year. New resources are now available. Created in partnership with the NADCP National Association of Drug Court Professionals.