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ASAM Commends Bipartisan Senate Leaders for Supporting Investments in the Addiction Treatment Workforce In FY 2020 Appropriations Bill

by | Apr 25, 2019

New Workforce Programs Will Help Address Deadly Opioid Overdose Epidemic

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Rockville, MD – The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) today commended a bipartisan group of US Senators calling for strategic investments to increase the ranks of qualified, well-trained addiction treatment professionals in high-need communities across the United States. Fifteen Senators from both sides of the aisle signed on to a letter urging the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies to prioritize funding in fiscal year 2020 for two addiction treatment workforce programs authorized in previous legislation.

“We applaud this bipartisan group of Senators for recognizing the need to invest in and expand our nation’s addiction treatment workforce so Americans all across the country can better access the high-quality, evidence-based care they need to continue down the path of recovery,” said  Paul H. Earley, MD, DFASAM, president of ASAM. “By fully funding these two programs, which were previously authorized by Congress, lawmakers have the historic opportunity to help our country take a major step forward in addressing the deadly opioid overdose epidemic that is taking tens of thousands of lives every year.”

The letter, addressed to Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), urged lawmakers to appropriate full funding for two key programs that will invest in the nation’s addiction treatment workforce during a time when the country is grappling with a deadly opioid overdose crisis, as well as a shortage of professionals trained to provide addiction treatments that are proven to save lives.

Specifically, the Senators highlighted the Loan Repayment Program for Substance Use Disorder Treatment Workforce, which was authorized in last year’s landmark SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, and the Mental and Substance Use Disorder Workforce Training Demonstration Program, which was authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act.

The Senators called for $25 million in funding for the Loan Repayment Program for Substance Use Disorder Treatment Workforce, which would provide student loan relief to addiction treatment professionals who commit to working in designated Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas or in counties where the average overdose death rate is higher than the national average.

Additionally, the Senators urged their colleagues to appropriate $10 million in funding for grants to institutions that provide training opportunities for medical residents and fellows in psychiatry and addiction medicine, as well as nurse practitioners, physician assistants and others who are willing to provide SUD treatment in underserved communities.

“Funding these programs would allow more individuals to pursue and afford SUD treatment education and training, and would significantly increase the number of qualified experts available to help the more than 20 million Americans in need of care,” the Senators wrote.

The Senate letter follows two bipartisan House letters sent earlier this month calling for House Appropriations Committee members to prioritize funding for these two programs.

Despite the growing need, there are currently too few clinicians with the requisite knowledge and training to prevent, diagnose, and treat the disease of addiction. According to the latest estimates, nearly 21 million Americans needed treatment for SUD in 2017, but only 4 million received any form of treatment. Furthermore, addiction training is still too rare in American medical education. Since addiction medicine was only formally recognized as a medical subspecialty in 2016, the field is still catching up with other specialties in terms of available teaching and training opportunities. More investment is needed to close the existing treatment gap.

To view the letter, CLICK HERE.

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ASAM Commends Bipartisan Senate Leaders for Supporting Investments in the Addiction Treatment Workforce In FY 2020 Appropriations Bill

by | Apr 25, 2019

New Workforce Programs Will Help Address Deadly Opioid Overdose Epidemic

Download Release

Rockville, MD – The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) today commended a bipartisan group of US Senators calling for strategic investments to increase the ranks of qualified, well-trained addiction treatment professionals in high-need communities across the United States. Fifteen Senators from both sides of the aisle signed on to a letter urging the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies to prioritize funding in fiscal year 2020 for two addiction treatment workforce programs authorized in previous legislation.

“We applaud this bipartisan group of Senators for recognizing the need to invest in and expand our nation’s addiction treatment workforce so Americans all across the country can better access the high-quality, evidence-based care they need to continue down the path of recovery,” said  Paul H. Earley, MD, DFASAM, president of ASAM. “By fully funding these two programs, which were previously authorized by Congress, lawmakers have the historic opportunity to help our country take a major step forward in addressing the deadly opioid overdose epidemic that is taking tens of thousands of lives every year.”

The letter, addressed to Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), urged lawmakers to appropriate full funding for two key programs that will invest in the nation’s addiction treatment workforce during a time when the country is grappling with a deadly opioid overdose crisis, as well as a shortage of professionals trained to provide addiction treatments that are proven to save lives.

Specifically, the Senators highlighted the Loan Repayment Program for Substance Use Disorder Treatment Workforce, which was authorized in last year’s landmark SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, and the Mental and Substance Use Disorder Workforce Training Demonstration Program, which was authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act.

The Senators called for $25 million in funding for the Loan Repayment Program for Substance Use Disorder Treatment Workforce, which would provide student loan relief to addiction treatment professionals who commit to working in designated Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas or in counties where the average overdose death rate is higher than the national average.

Additionally, the Senators urged their colleagues to appropriate $10 million in funding for grants to institutions that provide training opportunities for medical residents and fellows in psychiatry and addiction medicine, as well as nurse practitioners, physician assistants and others who are willing to provide SUD treatment in underserved communities.

“Funding these programs would allow more individuals to pursue and afford SUD treatment education and training, and would significantly increase the number of qualified experts available to help the more than 20 million Americans in need of care,” the Senators wrote.

The Senate letter follows two bipartisan House letters sent earlier this month calling for House Appropriations Committee members to prioritize funding for these two programs.

Despite the growing need, there are currently too few clinicians with the requisite knowledge and training to prevent, diagnose, and treat the disease of addiction. According to the latest estimates, nearly 21 million Americans needed treatment for SUD in 2017, but only 4 million received any form of treatment. Furthermore, addiction training is still too rare in American medical education. Since addiction medicine was only formally recognized as a medical subspecialty in 2016, the field is still catching up with other specialties in terms of available teaching and training opportunities. More investment is needed to close the existing treatment gap.

To view the letter, CLICK HERE.

ASAM Weekly Commentary

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Education

Review Course 2019

The ASAM Review Course in Addiction Medicine is widely recognized as the essential primer for physicians preparing for the ABPM Addiction Medicine Exam and primary care providers who wish to increase their skills in identifying and managing patients whose medical problems are caused or exacerbated by substance use disorders. 

Learn More

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.

Click here

Opportunities

ASAM invites applications for the position of Editor-in-Chief of The ASAM Criteria

The ASAM Criteria® is the most widely used set of guidelines for placement, continued stay and transfer/discharge of patients with addiction and co-occurring conditions. The ongoing advances in the addiction medicine field and lessons learned from real-world implementations of The ASAM Criteria call for more regular updates to these guidelines.

The Editor-in-Chief is expected to participate in the development and execution of a process for reviewing data from real-world implementations of the ASAM Criteria, including the ASAM CONTINUUM Software, and working with the editorial team to make empirically-driven revisions of the ASAM Criteria text.

Interested individuals are referred to the position description online at https://www.asam.org/about-us/jobs/editor-in-chief-the-asam-criteria for detailed information about qualifications, duties, and responsibilities.

Applications for this position must be received by close of business on June 6, 2019.

New Resources

JAM Podcast
 
In episode eleven of Addiction Medicine: Beyond the Abstract, we are joined by Dr. Honora Englander, an Associate Professor of Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University and the Director and Principal Investigator of the Improving Addiction Care Team (IMPACT). In her recent article, Dr. Englander and her colleagues discuss using hospitalization as a "reachable moment" for highly vulnerable patients who are not engaged in treatment elsewhere and utilizing the IMPACT team in this process.

 

Journal of Addiction Medicine March/April 2019, Volume 13, Issue 2;

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.