September 29, 2021
ASA and Healthcare Stakeholders Announce Recommendations to End the Nation's Overdose Epidemic
On September 29, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), along with the medical society members of the American Medical Association’s Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force announced new recommendations to help address the nation’s drug-related overdose epidemic. ASA was involved in two previous task force efforts between 2014-2019 to address the opioid epidemic and the unique needs of patients with pain. As a result of the changing drug overdose epidemic, the task force has been reconvened.
The new guidance urges physicians to take specific actions to improve opioid prescribing practices to help prevent opioid use disorder and to provide evidence-based care for patients in need of pain medicine services. The recommendations focus on the need for physicians to utilize their training to better identify and treat opioid use disorder, prescribe naloxone to mitigate the risk of overdose, and to improve patient outcomes and reduce the stigma of patients with pain or opioid use disorder.
The recommendations also highlight the need for policymakers to remove barriers to evidence-based treatments for substance use disorder (SUD), including improved access to medication-based treatment for opioid use disorder as well the need to support payment of comprehensive multi-disciplinary, multi-modal evidence-based treatment for patients with pain, SUD, or mental illness.
ASA will continue to support evidence-based strategies and to advocate for individualized patient care and safety during the treatment of patients.
Read the full recommendations here.