Advocacy Update

July 30, 2021: State Advocacy Update


The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) has announced the launch of a free one-hour online training module designed to educate medical professionals and students about prescribing buprenorphine to patients with opioid use disorder (OUD).

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The "Buprenorphine Mini-Course: Building on Federal Prescribing Guidance" module, presented by ASAM in collaboration with the AMA and Shatterproof, will help strengthen America’s medical response to OUD and increase access to life-saving medications at a time when the United States is facing a record level of drug overdose deaths.

The training module is designed to expand on the recently released Buprenorphine Quick Start Guide (PDF) developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Learn more about the module.

On July 21, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas issued a preliminary injunction blocking HB 1570, the Arkansas SAFE Act. The act would have prohibited health care professionals from providing gender-affirming health care to transgender minors and was scheduled to go into effect on July 28. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), on behalf of families with transgender children and their providers, had challenged the law, alleging that it violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Similar bills were introduced, but defeated, in nearly half of the states this year. The legislation target surgical interventions as well as medications and hormone therapies that delay puberty while a child explores their gender identity. The AMA views such legislation as a dangerous governmental intrusion into the practice of medicine and has been working closely with state medical associations to vigorously oppose the bills. In a letter (PDF) to the National Governors Association, the AMA has emphasized that it is “imperative that transgender minors be given the opportunity to explore their gender identity under the safe and supportive care of a physician.”

The AMA joined the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychiatric Association and many other medical associations to oppose the act in court.