Confronting a National Epidemic

Turning the tide on the nation’s devastating opioid epidemic requires big and bold policy solutions. With Congress poised to act on a sweeping opioid legislative package (H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act), the American Society of Addiction Medicine saw an opportunity to advance a number of legislative priorities designed to bolster the country’s addiction treatment workforce, provide standardized, evidence-based treatment, and ensure that coverage and payment models facilitate continuity of care for patients with substance use disorder.

Focusing on Congress

To set ASAM’s legislative priorities apart from many competing stakeholder interests, we developed a rallying cry “(Addiction Medicine: Teach It. Cover It. Standardize It.”) and launched an integrated communications campaign focused on the need for structural solutions to the opioid crisis, as told by addiction medicine leaders on the frontlines of care. Working in close coordination with the lobbying team, we targeted key Congressional leaders through high-profile media placements, strategic social media communications, and grassroots campaigns that highlighted ASAM’s legislative priorities.


H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, was signed into law on October 24, 2018. In a major victory for the addiction medicine community, the package included all of ASAM’s legislative priorities and provided a critical policy foundation for efforts to strengthen the addiction treatment workforce and save lives.