ASAM Welcomes Associate Members

Change 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.

After launching the associate membership category in September 2013, ASAM has seen a steady rise in interest from both current ASAM members and nonphysician professionals. The Society has received several ASAM member-endorsed applications from masters-level drug and alcohol counselors, which was omitted from the list of professionals originally approved by ASAM. That prompted the organization to refine the eligibility criteria.

Many nonphysician professionals have relevant and extensive teaching, research, and clinical work in the field of addiction, despite being ineligible for ASAM membership, so it was only natural for the organization to evolve in this way, said ASAM Membership Co-Chairs Surita Rao, MD, and Brian Hurley, MD, MDA.

“ASAM has always had a collaborative spirit toward nonphysician addiction professionals. Now, we’ve simply made it official by offering this category, which allows associate members to participate in ASAM’s Associate Member Section and take advantage of benefits, including special rates to attend the Medical-Scientific Conference,” said Dr. Hurley, Clinical Fellow in Addiction Psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine’s Bellevue Hospital.

Associate membership is open to individuals who teach, conduct research, or provide clinical care for individuals who are at risk for or have a substance use disorder. As the field of addiction medicine evolves, ASAM recognizes the trend toward more team-based treatment approaches to join.

“ASAM is in a unique position to foster a strong and cohesive voice for addiction medicine. We recognize that all professionals involved in addiction treatment need access to the latest research, cutting-edge technology, community, and knowledge exchange that a professional society provides,” said Dr. Rao, Chairman and Director of the Behavioral Health Department at St. Francis Hospital, Hartford, Connecticut.

All professionals applying for associate membership must be sponsored by an ASAM member in good standing.