The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) had their 49th annual conference in San Diego this past month. It was an event in which thousands of medical professionals in the addiction care landscape – including our CMO Dr. Carlos Tirado and COO David Walsh – exchanged ideas, learned about new trends in the industry and discovered new resources to help best treat patients. David reports “the overarching theme of this year’s conference was the imperative to link patients to care, seamlessly and quickly.” A number of presenters described how their clinical practices were actively working to remove barriers to care and to provide immediate access to life-saving, evidence-based medication therapy like buprenorphine and naltrexone.
As ASAM president Dr. Kelly Clark noted, study after study demonstrate that mortality rates are higher in those patients who either don’t have access, or who are actively denied access, to FDA-approved treatments for opioid use disorder.
Also on hand to tout the virtues of medication-assisted treatment was Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) assistant secretary Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz who discussed its benefits at the opening ceremony in front of 2,000 attendees and colleagues. McCance-Katz specifically discussed the Rhode Island study in which addicted inmates who were given these treatments showed promising rates of long-term recovery.