2014 Conference News

April 13

  • ASAM Examines Implications of New Marijuana LawsAs more states look to legalize or decriminalize the use of marijuana, the growing acceptance of its use by the general public has created challenges for ASAM, which holds firm on its position about the dangers of smoking marijuana. A Plenary Session Saturday addressed challenges the Society faces moving forward. Read More
  • Symposium to Examine Issues Related to Marijuana UsePolicy issues regarding medical and recreational marijuana laws continue to stir debate among the general public, the media, and physicians, and many of these issues will be addressed during Symposium 11, “Marijuana: Addiction Physicians and the American Public 2014.” Read More
  • Session to Explore Interdisciplinary Approach to Addiction TrainingEven though various professional disciplines ultimately need to work together in addiction care and research, they are rarely trained to work together and communicate their different perspectives. A Sunday Symposium will highlight efforts to improve interdisciplinary training. Read More
  • Speakers to Debate Medication, Non-Medication Recovery ApproachesIn recent years, more medications for the treatment of addiction have been developed, but at the same time some addiction specialists and their patients have chosen to go down a different path by staying away from medications. Hear from supporters—both patients and physicians—of both approaches in an intriguing session Sunday. Read More
  • 11 Receive Ruth Fox ScholarshipsThe 11 Ruth Fox Scholars, and donors to the Ruth Fox Memorial Endowment Fund, were recognized at an invitation-only reception Friday night. The scholarships help winners increase their opportunities to learn about the diagnosis and treatment of substance use disorders. Read More
  • Practice Makes Perfect: The Art of Motivational InterviewingUsing a textbook to study the art of motivational interviewing is one thing, but putting it into practice—alongside an expert—is a step up to a higher level of education. That's the goal of Symposium 10, “Introduction to Building Skills in Motivational Interviewing,” which will be presented at 8 a.m. Sunday in Orange Ballroom D, Lower Level. Read More
  • ASAM a Partner in Education Efforts Outside Med-SciASAM is involved in three ongoing education programs with other entities outside the Med-Sci Conference. The REMS course educates clinical providers about the use of opioids; the Review Course in Addiction Medicine is a primer for physicians and health care professionals about addiction medicine; and PCSS-MAT educates and mentors health care providers treating opioid use disorders. Read More
  • ASAM Members to Choose First Vice President in ElectionASAM members are encouraged to participate in the ASAM 2014 election this fall to choose officers and Directors-at-Large including the Society's first Vice President. The new leaders will take office in April 2015. Read More
  • ASAM Awards Luncheon Spotlights Top AchieversThis year's top achievements in addiction medicine were the focus of Saturday's 2014 ASAM Medical-Scientific Awards Luncheon. ASAM honored nine professionals with awards during the luncheon—from the John P. McGovern Award to Best Paper. Read More
  • ASAM Steps Up Efforts to Reduce Incidence of NASThe incidence of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) increased 600 percent from 2003 to 2009, which has fueled increased efforts to address the problem. ASAM has joined that effort with educational events at Med-Sci along with other health care groups outside of the conference. Read More
  • ASAM Welcomes Associate MembersChange is in the air as ASAM welcomes associate members to the organization and the Med-Sci Conference following the creation of a new membership category. Read More

April 12

  • Opening Plenary SessionShelly Greenfield, MD, MPH (left) discussed gender differences in addiction treatment when she accepted the R. Brinkley Smithers Distinguished Scientist Award Friday. See reactions to her address in Question of the Day, on page 9. Also, ASAM President Stuart Gitlow, MD, MPH, MBA, reflected on the need for addiction physicians to learn to work better with the media. Read More
  • Is Confidentiality Compromising Care? Symposium to Look at CFR 42 Part 2Three addiction medicine professionals will sift through the complexities and divided opinions of current patient privacy regulations during Symposium 9, “CFR42.2 and the EMR: Necessary Protection or Barrier to Coordinated Care?” from 4:30 to 6:30 pm Saturday in Orange Ballroom D, Lower Level. Read More
  • Biologics Could Make Impact in Treating Substance Use DisordersBiologics hold great promise for treating patients with drug addictions, and theoretically even drug overdoses. Two Saturday symposia will look at the potential of biologics in treating patients addicted to nicotine, cocaine, and methamphetamines. Read More
  • Methadone Treatments, Gambling Study Highlight International SessionAn annual Med-Sci symposium that showcases research from around the world will look at controlling HIV in Vietnam, gambling patterns in Canada, and links between injection drug use and HIV in Russia. Read More
  • Educating Prescribers a Key in Reducing Opioid Addiction, OverdoseAddiction physicians are increasingly being asked to help stem the rising tide of opioid addiction and overdose in their local communities. A special workshop Saturday has been developed to share strategies in this effort. Read More
  • ASAM Movie Night Features Special Screening of The Anonymous PeopleNew to the Med-Sci Conference is ASAM Movie Night. The featured film, The Anonymous People, is already turning heads in the field of addiction medicine. Read More
  • ASAM Criteria Offers a Look at What’s New and How to Apply ItApplying the principles of ASAM Criteria in daily practice was the focus of Thursday's “ASAM Criteria Book and Software Live Course.” The course provided attendees with an opportunity to study the most widely used and comprehensive set of guidelines for placement, continued stay, and transfer/discharge of patients with addiction and co-occurring conditions. Read More
  • Symposium to Examine Latest Treatments for Alcohol WithdrawalThe latest information on current medical treatments for alcohol withdrawal syndrome and a look ahead at how genetic information could help drive treatments will be presented Saturday during Symposium 8, “Evidence-Based Approaches to Alcohol Detoxification and Treatment.” Read More
  • ASAM Leading Development of Practice Standards, Performance MeasuresIn 2014, U.S. health care professionals are increasingly expected to meet standards of care and measure patient outcomes to gain optimal reimbursement from government and private payers. ASAM is taking a lead role in establishing standards and measures for addiction medicine to meet these demands. Read More
  • MRI Fellowship Awarded for Toxicology Screening ResearchSarah Bagley, M.D., is this year's ASAM Millennium Research Institute (MRI) Fellowship Award winner. Dr. Bagley, who also is the recipient of a 2014 Ruth Fox Award, is a Fellow in Addiction Medicine in the Section of General Internal Medicine at Boston University Medical Center. Read More
  • President’s Symposium Panelists to Discuss Current TopicsGet up to speed on some of the hottest topics in addiction medicine and health care by attending the President's Symposium, “Addiction Medicine Today,” from 10 am to noon Saturday in Orange Ballroom A, Lower Level. Read More
  • Misuse of ADHD Medications Linked to Other Drug IssuesThe pressure to excel academically in college has led many students and their families to link low grades to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and seek stimulants as a treatment. A Saturday Symposium will examine the issues related to stimulant misuse among adolescents and college students, including sharing and/or selling prescribed stimulants. Read More
  • Reserve Your Seat at the Annual Awards LuncheonASAM's Annual Awards Luncheon is a favorite at the 2014 Med-Sci Conference, and attendees are encouraged to reserve their spots early. Tickets for the Saturday event are $75 per person and can be purchased at Registration. The luncheon runs from noon to 2 pm, and is a celebration of the best and brightest in the field of addiction medicine. Read More
  • Stay Cool at the Ice Cream Novelties and Networking ReceptionWhile education is the primary focus of Med-Sci, having a little fun at the largest gathering of physicians, psychiatrists and other health professionals dedicated to addiction medicine is also important. Read More

April 11

  • Med-Sci Reflects Hot Topics Keeping Addiction Medicine in the NewsFrom marijuana legalization and decriminalization to opioid addiction and overdose to issues related to women's health, addiction medicine faces many hot-button issues, and they all will be addressed at the 45th ASAM Medical-Science Conference over the next three days. Read More
  • Harm Reduction Fits in With Patient-Centered ApproachThe path to recovery is not a straight line. It takes some people longer to begin treatment, and relapse is common. A controversial tool some addiction medicine professionals use to help these patients is harm reduction, which will be explained in a Friday workshop. Read More
  • There’s an App for That! Using Technology in Addiction Prevention and TreatmentThere's an app for just about everything, so it's no surprise addiction medicine has its own cutting-edge technology to improve patient care. Symposium 1, “There's an App for That! Using Technology in Addiction Prevention and Treatment,” will highlight that technology from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm Friday in Orange Ballroom A, Lower Level. Read More
  • Workshop to Focus on Working with the MediaWith the increase in opioid abuse and some states legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana, more and more addiction medicine specialists find themselves talking to members of the news media seeking their expertise, and many are not prepared for the conversation. A Friday workshop aims to change that. Read More
  • New Edition of Principles of Addiction Medicine AvailableMed-Sci attendees can get an early preview of the fifth edition of The ASAM Principles of Addiction Medicine. Revised every six years, the newest edition will be available for purchase during the conference. Senior Editor Richard Ries, MD, FASAM, ABAM Diplomate, said it is the go-to source in addiction medicine, blending scientific principles with the practical essentials of clinical addiction medicine. Read More
  • Hepatitis C Comorbidities Persist Despite Treatment AdvancesMuch of the focus on treating hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients in recent years has been on using medications to treat the infection. While advances are promising, most patients today are untreated, particularly those who use illicit drugs and are struggling with comorbidities. These issues will be addressed Friday in Symposium 3, “Neuropsychiatric Complications of HCV Among Drug Users.” Read More
  • Pain and Addiction Course Focuses on Use of BuprenorphineOne of the staples of the Med-Sci Conference, the Pain and Addiction Course, received a makeover this year. The daylong session moved from presenting an overview of several topics to zero in with in-depth presentations on current uses of buprenorphine in a variety of areas, and the roles of other pain and addiction treatment strategies, from marijuana to benzodiazepines. Read More
  • Fundamentals Course Aimed at Primary Care ProfessionalsA new Med-Sci Pre-Conference course, “The ASAM Fundamentals of Addiction Medicine,” helped members and non-members learn more about addiction medicine and how to recognize, treat and/or refer patients. Read More
  • New NIAAA Director to Address Annual Business MeetingASAM Medical-Scientific Conference attendees will have the opportunity to meet the newly appointed director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). George Koob, PhD, is the featured speaker at the ASAM Members Annual Business Meeting and Breakfast from 7 to 8:30 am Friday in Orlando Ballroom V-VI, Lower level. Read More
  • Two-Part Symposium to Address Women’s IssuesWomen's issues in addiction medicine will be the focus of two Symposia presented Friday. Symposium 2A, “Update on Women's Issues—Part I,” will be presented from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm and Symposium 2B, “Update on Women's Issues—Part II,” will be presented from 2:30 to 4:30 pm, both in Orange Ballroom D, Lower Level. Read More
  • Course, White Paper Show Renewed Emphasis on Clinical Drug TestingA key to improved treatment of patients with drug addiction lies in knowing more about those patients, so ASAM has developed a white paper and is offering a four-hour, two-part course, “Clinical Drug Testing in Medical Care.” Read More
  • Shelly Greenfield to Receive Smithers AwardThe challenges in the treatment of female addiction patients have grown as more women take prominent positions in the workforce and research shows how they differ from male patients. A leader in recognizing and defining these differences will receive the R. Brinkley Smithers Distinguished Scientist Award Friday. Read More
  • Component Session Helps Prepare for ABAM Certification ExamASAM members can prepare for the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) certification exam by attending Component Session 13, “ABAM Certification 101,” from 4:30 to 6 pm Saturday in Orlando Ballroom V, Lower Level. This is a session that has been beneficial in preparing for the exam, said Kevin Kunz, MD, FASAM, ABAM Executive Vice President. Read More
  • ASAM Board Approves Dues IncreaseThe ASAM Board of Directors met Wednesday and took the following actions: Read More