2013 Conference News

April 28

April 27

  • ASAM Members Elect New OfficersASAM members elected new officers to the Executive Board and approved the addition of a vice president's position to the society during the ASAM Members Annual Business Meeting and Breakfast Friday. Read More
  • Two Researchers Honored for Their WorkTwo researchers will be honored during today's ASAM Awards Luncheon for their work on projects that examined the number of babies diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome and the amount of overlap between medical toxicology training and addiction medicine training. Read More
  • Coming Soon: The ASAM Criteria SoftwareThe ASAM criteria has been helping health care professionals make decisions about the care of patients with addictive disorders for more than 20 years. The forthcoming edition, The ASAM Criteria, has more than 300 pages and covers decision points related to admission, level of care, continued stay, and discharge. Now for the first time, ASAM will be releasing a software application-focused version of the ASAM criteria that will provide a standardized way for treatment assessment. Read More
  • Task Force to Fight Limitations on Addiction TreatmentsJutting into the Atlantic at the very northeast corner of the United States, Maine appears to be pointing the way for the other states, and in its reaction to Medicaid budget cuts for treating addiction, it is. Read More
  • Addiction Medicine Faces Challenge of Developing Quality StandardsThe Affordable Care Act promises to bring more support for addiction treatments, but that funding comes with requirements for setting and meeting standards of care. A symposium Friday examined expectations of federal agencies for quality standards and ASAM's plans to develop addiction medicine treatment standards. Read More
  • Report Details Substance Abuse Problems in MilitaryReacting to growing concerns about rising rates of alcohol and prescription drug abuse in the U.S. military, the Department of Defense (DoD) asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to analyze military policies and programs related to substance use disorders. Members of the IOM committee charged with that task reviewed its findings at a symposium Friday. Read More
  • Treating Substance Abuse in Prisons Presents ChallengesSixty-eight percent of prison inmates have a diagnosis of drug and alcohol abuse or dependence, but treatment is relatively rare. Only about 17 percent of those with problems are treated while they're in jail or prison, said Frank J. Vocci, PhD, President and Senior Research Scientist, Friends Research Institute, Inc. Read More
  • New Drugs, Approaches May Improve Hepatitis C TreatmentsHepatitis C is prevalent among substance users, and many barriers prevent these patients from receiving treatment. A symposium today will look at new treatments and treatment models that have the potential to break down these barriers and improve outcomes. Read More
  • Adding Naloxone to Prevention Programs Reducing FatalitiesNearly 40,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2010, the 11th consecutive year the number of fatalities increased. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report issued earlier this year said the steady rise started with 16,849 deaths in 1999. Read More
  • Journal of Addiction Medicine Now Available on iPadThe Journal of Addition Medicine (JAM) is taking steps to improve the publication, including making it available as an iPad application. The free application became available on iTunes earlier this month. To download the app, go to iTunes and search for "Journal of Addiction Medicine." The app offers a print-like reading experience but also improves the ability of readers to share information and will use multimedia links. Read More
  • Never Say ‘Never’ to Medication Use in Breastfeeding WomenTo breastfeed or not to breastfeed, that is often the question women ask themselves about taking medications during lactation, particularly when it involves substances such as methadone and buprenorphine. Debra L. Bogen, MD, FAAP, FABM, will shed light on what to advise these women when she presents Course 3, “Breastfeeding and Margaritas, Marijuana, Methadone, and More,” from 2:30 to 4:30 pm today in Continental C, on the lobby level of the Hilton Chicago. Read More
  • New Research Helps Integrate AA Program into TreatmentsResearch on how Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) operates and can be integrated into addiction treatment will be presented during two two-hour sessions today. Symposium 4, “AA and Twelve-Step Recovery: New Findings for the Clinician,” will be presented in two parts, from 10 am to noon and from 2 to 4 pm in Continental A on the lobby level of the Hilton Chicago. Read More
  • Women and Substance Abuse Disorders Group to MeetASAM's Action Group on Women and Substance Use Disorders will review its activities in the past year and discuss current issues in women and addiction during Component Session 6, “Women and Substance Use Disorders—An Action Group Update,” at 2 pm today in Williford A, on the third floor of the Hilton Chicago. Read More
  • Potential Is Great to Detect, Successfully Treat Hepatitis C VirusWith new treatments that can eliminate the hepatitis C virus in most cases, addiction medicine specialists are in a unique position to help their patients prevent the debilitating downstream consequences of the virus. Learn how you can make a difference by attending Symposium 7 from 2 to 4 pm today in Continental B, lobby level of the Hilton Chicago. Leading experts will address the question, “Hepatitis C in 2013: Where Are We, Who Should We Treat and With What Should We Treat?” Read More
  • Symposium 5 to Clarify Benzodiazepine Use and MisuseMuch mystery surrounds the appropriate use of benzodiazepines, and Symposium 5 “Benzodiazepine Use, Misuse, Addiction and Treatment” will clear the air about the indications, practice guidelines, outcomes, and limitations of prescribing these medications during this session from 10 am to noon today in Continental B on the Lobby Level of the Hilton Chicago. Read More
  • Addiction to Prescription Opioids Reaches Epidemic ProportionsWith the rising tide of addiction to prescription opioids, addiction medicine specialists will be called upon to apply their expertise in treating its myriad presentations. Hear leading experts address the range of issues from treating chronic pain effectively to avoiding addiction during Symposium 6, “Pain Treatment in the Setting of the Prescription Opioid Epidemic” from 10 am to noon Saturday in Continental C, Lobby Level of the Hilton Chicago. Read More

April 26

  • Med-Sci Highlights Expanded Role of Addiction MedicineThe 44th ASAM Medical-Scientific Conference opens today with a program highlighting the expanded role of the specialty as it shares its successes in combating addiction—in particular reaching out to primary care physicians—while also emphasizing the treatment of military veterans. Read More
  • Physical or Psychological Trauma Often Triggers AddictionBecause physical and psychological traumatic injury often leads to addiction, it was fitting that this year's Ruth Fox Course for Physicians thoroughly covered "Trauma and Addiction." Leading experts addressed the waterfront of issues Thursday from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to traumatic brain injury (TBI) and how those experiences relate to addiction and other psychiatric comorbidities. Read More
  • P & A Course Addresses Opioid Overdose EpidemicThis year's Pain & Addiction Course, "Common Threads XIV—When Opioids Fail," tackled the epidemic of prescription painkiller addiction with daylong sessions that included FDA-approved education on extended-release and long-acting (ER/LA) opioid analgesics. Read More
  • Workshop to Unveil, Critique Presentation on Addiction BasicsASAM members are often asked to teach other professionals about the basics of addiction and the treatment of patients who suffer from substance use disorders, but find themselves challenged to summarize their life's work in one hour. However, help is on the way. Read More
  • Awards Luncheon to Honor Leaders, Researchers, new DiplomatesMed-Sci Conference speakers, researchers, ASAM leaders, and newly certified diplomates will be honored during the Annual ASAM Awards Luncheon from noon to 2 pm Saturday in the Grand Ballroom on the second floor of the Hilton Chicago. Read More
  • Have Questions? Get Answers at Med-Sci BoothsIf you have questions during the Med-Sci Conference, there will be several locations to get answers. Read More
  • New ASAM Members Gather at ReceptionASAM has experienced tremendous growth in membership over the past few years. In 2012, 626 physicians joined the society, and 351 physicians have already joined the society so far in 2013. Many of those new members gathered to meet one another Friday night at the New Member Reception. Read More
  • Smithers Lecture: Use Mindfulness to Avoid Burnout, Improve TreatmentBecause of the life-and-death pressures of the job, burnout has long been a problem for physicians. Those working in fields of addiction medicine and psychiatry face the additional challenge of dealing with patients who have behavioral issues, where burnout can in turn affect treatment. Read More
  • Revised ASAM Criteria to Roll Out with Book and SoftwareThe revised ASAM criteria will soon make its debut through a new publication, The ASAM Criteria: Treatment Criteria for Substance-Related Addictive and Co-occurring Conditions, and The ASAM Criteria Software. David Mee-Lee, MD, chief editor of The ASAM Criteria, discussed key ways the new criteria will be particularly useful to addiction medicine specialists and how the book and software will facilitate application of criteria to addiction medicine daily practice. He and other ASAM criteria experts also addressed the user-friendly features of these two soon-to-be-released resources during Thursday's Component Session 1, "Update on The ASAM Criteria: The Revision and Software." Read More
  • PTSD, Addiction Complicate Treatment Options for VeteransCombat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) aren't just haunted by memories of their wartime experiences—they have “a new brain” that complicates treatment. This challenge will be examined during Course 2, “Combat Trauma and Addiction,” from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm today in the Waldorf Room on the third floor of the Hilton Chicago. Read More
  • Interventions in Primary Care Are EffectiveWhat is the secret to conducting effective yet inexpensive screening and brief intervention for substance use in primary care settings? How has care for addictions found a seat at the table of the primary care patient-centered medical home? Norman Wetterau, MD, FASAM, Addiction Medicine Specialist and Family Physician, Tri-County Family Medicine, Dansville, N.Y., discussed key insights to such questions that he and two other primary care and addiction medicine physicians presented during Thursday's Component Session 2 “Addressing Substance Use Disorders in Primary Care: How Can We Improve?” Read More
  • ASAM Chapters to Address Issues Developing in AddictionSeveral ASAM state and regional chapters will meet during the Med-Sci Conference to address issues ranging from the impact of medical marijuana and legalized marijuana to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to the role of the ASAM Patient Advocacy Task Force. Read More
  • New Formulations, Combinations May Improve Buprenorphine EfficacyBuprenorphine holds great promise in the treatment of opioid addiction, but its use and outcomes have lagged. However, new research and new formulations may make it more accessible—and effective. A symposium presented twice today will explore those advances. Read More