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Effective Rx thwarted for deadly opiate epidemic

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) will release the most comprehensive report on the effectiveness of medications for opioid addiction and on the arbitrary restrictions on these FDA-approved drugs by many state governments and insurance companies. Drug overdoses now kill more Americans than drunk driving car crashes, an epidemic led by misuse of opioid pain medication and use of heroin. Yet, safe and effective medications to treat opioid addiction are seriously under-utilized, resulting in preventable suffering and death. "This report will show how we could be saving lives and effectively treating the disease of addiction if state governments and insurance companies remove roadblocks to the use of effective, FDA-approved medications," said Stuart Gitlow, MD, President of ASAM.

The report will be released at a press event at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, June 20, at The National Press Club, 529 14th St NW, Washington, 20045.

Speakers include:

  • Stuart Gitlow, MD, President of ASAM
  • Tom McLellan, PhD, Executive Director of Treatment Research Institute, former Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
  • Whitney, opioid addiction patient and expectant mother taking buprenorphine, an FDA-approved addiction medication
  • Michael Botticelli, Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy

The American Society of Addiction Medicine is a national medical specialty society of over 3,000 physicians. Its mission is to increase access to and improve the quality of addiction treatment, to educate physicians, and other health care providers and the public, to support research and prevention, to promote the appropriate role of the physician in the care of patients with addictive disorders, and to establish Addiction Medicine as a specialty recognized by professional organizations, governments, physicians, purchasers and consumers of health care services and the general public. ASAM was founded in 1954, and has had a seat in the American Medical Association House of Delegates since 1988.

Media Contact:
ALEXIS GEIER HORAN, 202-276-7873,

SOURCE American Society of Addiction Medicine
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