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National Addiction Treatment Week Highlights the Critical Need for the Medical Community to Treat Addiction



Rockville, MD, Oct. 21, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Each year, National Addiction Treatment Week (NATW) raises awareness that addiction is a disease, evidence-based treatments are available, and recovery is possible. This year, October 21-October 27, the week will highlight the critical need for clinicians to enter the field of addiction medicine. Clinicians trained in addiction are essential to fill the treatment gap between patients who need evidence-based addiction treatment and the insufficient number of clinicians qualified to treat addiction. Along with its supportive partners, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) will be hosting a dedicated twitter handle @TreatmentWeek this week using #TreatmentWeek to build important conversations on social media.

More clinicians trained in addiction are needed to overcome the epidemic addiction overwhelming the United States today. In 2018, approximately 20.3 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder (SUD) related to their use of alcohol or illicit drugs in the past year. 1 More people died from a drug overdose than from car accidents in 2017, 2,3 and nearly 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes each year.4 Only about 17% of those diagnosed with SUD receive the treatment they need.5 In 2018, an estimated 2 million Americans are addicted to opioids, yet only about 400,000 people receive treatment at a specialty facility.6

“National Addiction Treatment Week amplifies the crucial message that when patients are treated appropriately by certified addiction medicine specialists, we can save lives and improve treatment outcomes. The medical community should at the forefront of communities claim that addiction is a chronic brain disease, not a moral failure, and as such should be treated with evidence-based, research-verified care, ”said Paul H. Earley, MD, DFASAM, president of ASAM. “To overcome the health crisis, we need to expand the number of medical professionals who understand the complexities of the disease and are trained to treat addiction. Only then will we see real progress. ”

We are proud to stand with our dedicated National Addiction Treatment Week partners: Advocates for Opioid Recovery, the American Medical Association, the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine, Beyond Definition, MI Cares, the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), National Institute of Drug Abuse / NIDAMED (NIDA), and Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Join the engaging events of the week that include Twitter chats with ASAM and NIAAA on alcohol use disorder and NIDA experts on adolescents and addiction; a Facebook rebroadcast of a compelling conversation between David and Nic Sheff, from Beautiful Boy, and adolescent addiction medicine specialist, Dr. Marc Fishman; and inspiring social media posts from addiction medicine specialists throughout the week. Together, we can help more people receive evidence-based treatment and improve patient outcomes.

Learn more by visiting TreatAddictionSaveLives.org.

Christine Merrifield
American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
301-547-4140
cmerrifield@ASAM.org

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