Internal medicine physicians say White House strategy would improve treatment for substance use disorders
The 2022 National Drug Control Strategy released by the White House yesterday would expand substance use prevention and early intervention strategies and enable physicians to more effectively provide treatment to patients with substance use disorder (SUD). SUD is a treatable chronic medical condition, like diabetes and hypertension, but access to care for this disorder is limited.
The American College of Physicians (ACP) is glad to see that the White House's strategy would evaluate reimbursement policies for treatments, remove barriers to buprenorphine prescribing, and develop addiction curriculum for medical schools. It also promotes proven harm reduction strategies like expanded access to naloxone. ACP also supports the administration's call for reforms in related criminal justice policies. This includes promoting alternatives to incarceration and identifying racial inequities in investigation, arrest, and sentencing data and using that to drive policy change.
"The United States is experiencing a devastating drug overdose epidemic with more than 100,000 drug overdose deaths during a 12-month period," said George M. Abraham, MD, MPH, MACP, FIDSA, president, ACP. "SUD poses a heavy societal burden, endangering individual and family health and well-being, tearing through communities and sapping resources from the health care system, more needs to be done to improve access to care. We look forward to working with the administration to implement policies to help better treat SUD."