In the News Addiction Medicine Specialists Urge Senate Leaders to Pass Comprehensive Opioid Legislation

Press Release
Letter to Senate Leadership

Rockville, MD (August 20, 2018) – Today, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) – the nation’s leading authority on evidence-based treatment and prevention for the chronic disease of addiction –– and 28 of its chapters –– sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer urging the US Senate to pass swiftly comprehensive legislation to address the opioid overdose epidemic.

Noting that regarding addiction involving opioid use, discrimination and stigma have “crippled our national response to a public health crisis of historic proportions,” the letter states that effectively addressing the opioid overdose epidemic “requires a new approach to the delivery of substance use prevention, addiction treatment, and recovery support services. Considering all the lives we have lost and all the lives we still risk losing, the time for change is now.”

Additionally, the letter outlines specific provisions supported by the addiction medicine community that prioritize the following key areas: expanding the addiction workforce, standardizing treatment practices, and ensuring appropriate coverage of addiction treatment that recognizes and facilitates the full continuum of care for patients.

“These provisions collectively recognize that, when it comes to addiction medicine, we must do three things: Teach it, standardize it, and cover it,” the letter states, urging Senators to include the following critical provisions in its opioid legislative package.”

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