Message from the Conference Committee Chair
By: Joy Hao, MD, PhD, Conference Committee Chair
For the past three years, we have struggled collectively with an epidemic on top of a pandemic: drug overdose deaths skyrocketed during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, predominantly due to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. In the wake of this fentanyl epidemic, there has been a major shift in public policy in the treatment of opioid use disorder at the same time that the federal Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 comes to an end this year.
For the first time in history, any physician registered with the DEA will be able to prescribe buprenorphine, one of the most effective treatments for opioid use disorder. In December 2022, the United States Congress signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, thereby eliminating the DATA X-Waiver requirement and ending nearly 20 years of intensive governmental regulation of buprenorphine.
This monumental shift in policy reflects the advocacy efforts of many agencies and organizations over the past decades, including CSAM and ASAM. The mission of CSAM is to promote evidence-based treatment and improve access to high quality addiction treatment for all. As more providers are now able to prescribe buprenorphine, it is even more imperative to promote educational efforts in addiction from medical school through Continuing Medical Education, especially since the DEA now requires all registrants to fulfill mandatory 8-hour substance use disorder training.
CSAM celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. In honor of this momentous occasion, this year’s conference will feature a new approach by combining the traditional review course with panels highlighting cutting edge practices in addiction medicine. We will offer plenary sessions on all major substance use disorders focusing on epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment, geared towards ABPM Board exam preparation. Furthermore, we will feature multidisciplinary panels for the first time at a CSAM conference, addressing topics as diverse as: treatment of ADHD in substance use disorders, adolescent addiction medicine, frontiers in harm reduction, ketamine and other novel treatments, and alcohol withdrawal management other than benzodiazepines (See schedule here: LINK).
We are excited to present two phenomenal keynote speakers this year: Dr. Dan Ciccarone will speak on the future of fentanyl: supply, use patterns, and public health response. Dr. Anna Lembke will speak on dopamine “fasting” as an early intervention for compulsive overconsumption in the digital age.
The conference will also feature four workshops: Treating Pain and Addiction, Fitness for Duty Evaluation, Bridging the Silos – Arm in Arm for Better Patient Care, and Motivational Interviewing for Busy Clinicians. Lastly, the poster session will return as well.
As we find our footing in a post-pandemic world, I invite you to join us in San Diego this year from August 30th to September 2nd for the opportunity to review, rejuvenate, and reconnect. I hope to see you also at the special CSAM 50th anniversary celebration on Friday evening, September 1st. We look forward to serving you for the next 50 years.
-Joy Hao, MD, PhD