Women and Substance Abuse Disorders Group to Meet

ASAM’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.

Action Group Chair Jacquelyn Starer, MD, FACOG, FASAM, President-elect of ASAM’s Massachusetts chapter, said she will review the public policy statement on women, alcohol and other drugs, and pregnancy that the group worked on with ASAM’s Public Policy Committee; a joint committee opinion on opioid abuse, dependence and addiction in pregnancy that was written in conjunction with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG); and a patient brochure for opioid-dependent pregnant women that is in development.

The opinion paper developed with ACOG, which was published in 2012, covers the pharmacology and physiology of opioid addiction, its effects on pregnancy, and outcomes, screening, and treatment.

“The purpose of the session is to let people know what the action group is doing and to get people’s input on what else needs to be done in this area,” said action group co-chair Catherine Friedman, MD, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University.

The annual session also provides an opportunity for attendees to hear about relevant academic events, legislation, and the group’s plans for future. Dr. Friedman said the session will feature a short lecture, but primarily is an open discussion that allows ASAM Med-Sci attendees to provide input and feedback to the action group.

Addiction medicine and regional policy vary greatly in the United States by geography, she said. This session offers an opportunity to hear different perspectives on treating women with substance use disorders.

“It’s useful for people to get together and find out how things are being done in different parts of the country,” Dr. Friedman said.