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CSAM - President's Message 03/31/2020

Dear CSAM Members,

Thank you for your hard work, and for risking your personal safety to care for vulnerable and often marginalized patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. The importance of what you do cannot be overstated. We want to encourage you and offer some resources that you may find helpful.


  1. Guidance on treating patients in residential settings from the national council ( and the New York State offices of Addiction Services and Supports.
    The National Council Guidance: NCBH_COVID19_Guidance_for_BH_Facilities.pdf
    New York State Guidance: Click Here

  2. Guidance on available online support groups, provided by SAMHSA.
    Click Here to read the information.

  3. A Webinar by David Kan about using telemedicine for addiction treatment (you will need both the attached powerpoint slides and the webinar link to best use this resource.
    The webinar can be found here:
    The powerpoint slides can be found by Clicking Here (approx. 30 MB).

  4. ASAM has a created a specially designated e-mail address to receive information from you about local, regional, or national issues that are hindering the care of patients during this national emergency. Please e-mail your comments, questions, and issues to: ASAM's Quality & Science team is actively monitoring this e-mail account.

  5. CSAM is considering the initiation of several on-line forums using the Zoom platform. Ideas for such forums include: OTP treatment providers, physician's health providers, residential/inpatient treatment providers and outpatient MAT providers. If you are interested in any of these, or other topics, please let us know by emailing your topic of interest to
    Please let us know if you would be willing to lead, or co-lead one of these forums (application would be required to lead or co-lead). Based on your responses, we will determine the feasibility of developing these on-line forums.

  6. New guidance from DEA on buprenorphine inductions using telephone appointments:

    "Under normal circumstances, DEA would not consider the initiation of treatment with a controlled substance based on a mere phone call to be consistent with the framework of the CSA given that doing so creates a high risk of diversion. However, in light of the extraordinary circumstances presented by the COVID-19 public health emergency, and being mindful of the exemption issued by SAMHSA, DEA likewise advises that, only for the duration of the public health emergency (unless DEA specifies an earlier date), OTPs should feel free to dispense, and DATA-waived practitioners should feel free to prescribe, buprenorphine to new patients with OUD for maintenance treatment or detoxification treatment following an evaluation via telephone voice calls, without first performing an in-person or telemedicine evaluation."

    Click Here to read the information.

Best Wishes,

Tony Albanese, MD, FACP, DFASAM
President, California Society of Addiction Medicine
Chairman, State Chapters Council, ASAM