Friday, November 3, 2023

APA Collaborates With Other Medical Associations to Release New Addiction Resource Documents

Yesterday, APA joined three other major medical associations in releasing two resource documents listing the top 10 facts that both the public and every physician should know about addiction.

APA worked with the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine to develop the resource documents. The lists are a product of a meeting of medical association leaders that APA President Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A., convened this past summer. The meeting focused on ways that physicians can work together to combat addiction.

Top Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Addiction” provides basic facts about addiction, such as the importance of talking openly with kids about the risks of substance use to help prevent addiction. It also includes facts about treatment, such as that returning to substance use is a common part of the recovery process and does not mean treatment failed. The list’s top five items include the following:

  • Addiction is treatable with medications, therapy, and other supports, including group, individual, and family/friend integrated approaches.
  • No one chooses to develop an addiction; addiction is not caused by a moral defect.
  • Addiction can affect anyone; some groups of people are more impacted by addiction because of societal marginalization and discrimination.
  • Opioid overdose can be reversed by medications such as naloxone and nalmefene.
  • We can help prevent and treat addiction by recognizing the signs of addiction and encouraging treatment.

Top Ten Things Every Physician Should Know About Addiction” emphasizes the judgment that patients often face and encourages physicians to reduce stigma by spreading the message that addiction is a treatable chronic illness. It also dispels myths around substance use, stating that there is no healthy amount of use of an addictive substance, including alcohol. The list’s top five items include the following:

  • We already see patients with addiction in our practices. Nonjudgmental screening can identify patients with addiction, and education and referrals can encourage treatment.
  • Early identification of substance misuse and intervention saves lives, reduces harm, and promotes well-being for patients and their families.
  • There are effective medications and psychotherapy treatments for addiction.
  • Treating addiction does not require specialty training or referrals to ancillary clinical services for every patient.
  • Addiction is a relapsing-remitting chronic brain disease. Return to use is a common part of the recovery process.

“These resources, with succinct and powerful facts about addiction, are aimed at helping to raise awareness, increase understanding, and combat the stigma associated with addiction and seeking treatment,” the APA news release stated.

For related information, see the Psychiatric News article “Levounis Convenes Medical Leaders to Collaborate on Addiction.”

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