by ASAM Staff | November 2, 2017

Rockville, MD – Yesterday, President Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Epidemic held its fifth and final meeting during which the commission approved its final report to the president. The president established the commission to review the state of drug addiction and the opioid epidemic in the United States and to make recommendations regarding how the Federal Government can best address this crisis.

ASAM commends the president’s commission for a thorough and thoughtful report that recommends an array of smart and actionable interventions that can make a meaningful difference in our nation’s current opioid epidemic. ASAM submitted comments to the commission in preparation for the report and is glad that many of those recommendations are incorporated in the final report, including:

  • The development and implementation of a national public education campaign to reduce addiction stigma;
  • Training prescribers in engagement and addiction screening strategies to identify substance use disorders and link patients to treatment;
  • Requiring that clinicians registered with the DEA to prescribe controlled substances demonstrate competency in opioid prescribing;
  • Improving the quality of treatment by, among other things, using The ASAM Criteria to help determine the appropriate level of care and services needed by patients;
  • The systematic monitoring and enforcement of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) to ensure parity in the coverage of mental health and addiction services; and
  • Ensuring there are adequate resources for a sufficient and well-trained workforce of addiction specialist physicians and other clinicians.

Dr. Kelly Clark, MD, MBA, DFASAM, president of ASAM, had this to say about the commission’s report:

“The commission clearly considered the evidence for what works in addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery. That focus on the scientific understanding of addiction as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that can be successfully treated with evidence-based solutions should be carried through by the administration and Congress as they consider and implement the commission’s recommendations. ASAM urges our federal, state, and local elected leaders to take the commission’s report to heart and work quickly. ASAM stands ready to work with the administration and Congress to mount a united response to this public health emergency which must include sufficient funds to implement the commission’s recommendations.”


President Trump has a long career as a very successful businessman.  One doesn’t get that by being an idiot and by not paying attention to details.  Additionally, he seems to be a talented delegator who can bring out the best in his support staff.

Dr. Raymond Oenbrink
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