Statement from the president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
Kelly J. Clark, MD, MBA, DFAPA, DFASAM
The American Society of Addiction Medicine is pleased to hear that The ASAM Criteria – nationally-recognized and research-validated criteria that can unify the addiction field around comprehensive assessments that match services to individualized patient needs and a clearly defined continuum of treatment services – was included in today’s discussion about solutions to combat the opioid misuse and overdose crisis. Addressing this public health emergency will require systemic and sustainable changes to our addiction treatment infrastructure and workforce, as well as expanded access to comprehensive, evidenced-based treatment that includes all levels of care.
While multi-year, sustainable funding streams will be critical, they alone are not sufficient to comprehensively address this pervasive addiction problem. We must invest in establishing and maintaining addiction treatment programs that ensure intake and ongoing evaluations meet the clinical needs of patients, and implement new treatment center certification programs that can provide patients, families and payers with a reliable indicator that providers are delivering a certain level of care. Such efforts are critically needed to help improve the overall quality of addiction treatment provided in our nation and assure those who are seeking and paying for treatment that they are receiving medically appropriate and high-quality care.
As the nation’s leading voice for professionals who specialize in the prevention and treatment of addiction, ASAM will continue to serve as a resource to policymakers and states working to reverse the course of this deadly, public health crisis. Our patients’ lives depend on it.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine, founded in 1954, is a professional society representing over 5,000 physicians, clinicians, and associated professionals in the field of addiction medicine. ASAM is dedicated to increasing access and improving the quality of addiction treatment, educating physicians and the public, supporting research and prevention, and promoting the appropriate role of physicians in the care of patients with addiction. For more information visit www.ASAM.org.
It’s good to know that congress is starting to pay attention to those with the experience & expertise.