AMA Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force

In 2015, the American Medical Association convened more than 25 national, state, specialty and other health care associations to develop industry-wide recommendations for physicians to help end the nation’s opioid epidemic. In 2019, the AMA Pain Care Task Force highlighted efforts needed to help patients with pain. In 2021, the AMA joined the two task forces to address the changing–and worsening–drug overdose epidemic, emphasizing tangible actions needed to increase access to evidence-based care for patients. Read the new task force recommendations here. Previous work by the task force includes:

Recommendations for Physicians (2015)

These recommendations guide the nation’s medical societies and physicians’ efforts on a daily basis. As demonstrated in the 2019 Task Force progress report, physicians have taken significant steps across the board on each of the recommendations below.

  • Support physicians’ use of effective PDMPs.
  • Enhance education on effective, evidence-based prescribing and treatment.
  • Support access to comprehensive, affordable, compassionate treatment.
  • Put an end to stigma.
  • Expand access to naloxone in the community and through co-prescribing.
  • Encourage safe storage and disposal of prescription medication.

Recommendations for Physicians

Recommendations for Policymakers (2019)

In light of the worsening and changing epidemic, the Task Force issued new recommendations urging policymakers’ action to remove barriers for evidence-based care for patients with pain and patients with opioid use disorder.

  • Remove inappropriate administrative burdens or barriers that delay or deny care for FDA-approved medications used to help treat opioid use disorder (OUD).
  • Support assessment, referral, and treatment for co-occurring mental disorders as well as enforce meaningful oversight and enforcement of state and federal mental health and substance use disorder parity laws.
  • Remove administrative and other barriers to comprehensive, multimodal, multidisciplinary pain care and rehabilitation programs.
  • Support maternal and child health by increasing access to evidence-based treatment, preserving families, and ensuring that policies are non-punitive.
  • Support reforms in the civil and criminal justice system that help ensure access to high-quality, evidence-based care for opioid use disorder, including MAT

Recommendations for Policymakers

Resources

Reports of efforts to help the nation’s overdose epidemic

Updated September 20, 2021. This issue brief is focused on positive interventions from 40 states that are working to help increase access to evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders, patients with pain and harm reduction efforts. The reports include news releases, data from multiple and varied sources, including national, state and local public health agencies, advocacy organizations, law enforcement, emergency medical services, hospitals, treatment centers, research journals and others.

Advocacy and Action to End the Opioid Epidemic by the AMA Opioid Task Force

By Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, Chair, AMA Opioid Task Force; Bobby Mukkamala, MD, Chair AMA Pain Care Task Force

America’s drug overdose epidemic: Select 2020-2021 research

Updated August 4, 2021 This issue brief is focused on providing a representative sample of the research published during the COVID-19 pandemic focused on substance use disorders, pain and harm reduction. It includes research from medical and scientific journals as well as advocacy organizations. Some of the materials require a subscription while most are publicly available.

AMA Fact sheet: Physicians’ and health care professionals’ use of state PDMPs increases 64.4 percent from 2014 to 2019; 739 million queries in 2019

“Enhanced Attestation”: A Simple Tool Regulators Can Use to Help Enforce the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

AMA Education Hub: Opioid and Pain Management: Guidelines, Research and Treatments

Fulfill your state-mandated CME credits while enhancing your knowledge of opioid and non-opioid pain management, safe opioid prescribing and substance use treatment. Learn now. CME 44.25 Total Credits

AMA-Manatt National Roadmap on State-Level Efforts to End the Opioid Epidemic

Leading-edge Practices and Next Steps

ACOG District II Opioid Use Disorder in Pregnancy Bundle – Part 1

Readiness, Recognition and Prevention

ACOG District II Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) in Pregnancy Bundle – Part 2

Response & Reporting

AMA Issue Brief: Wit v. United Behavioral Health

Pain Management Program 2018 Update

This program will cover topics in Pain Management including: Pain Assessment, Opioid Titration, Understanding and Managing Adverse Effects of Opioid Analgesics, and Achieving Balance: Under or Overtreatment of Pain in Oncology.

Substance Use, Misuse, and Use Disorders During and Following Pregnancy, with an Emphasis on Opioids

Given the complex needs of pregnant and postpartum women and their children, and the number of systems they encounter during critically important periods in their lives, ASAM provides policy recommendations on substance use, misuse, and SUDs during and following pregnancy.

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to reverse the nation’s opioid epidemic.