A recent Washington Post article highlighted a serious obstacle facing patients in need of treatment for substance dependence. Only 0.1% of all practicing physicians in the United States are trained in addiction medicine. As we noted in a previous CBAM blog post; alcohol, tobacco and other substance use are risk factors in 8 of the 10 leading causes of death in Los Angeles County. Findings from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) report, cited in the Post article, show that addiction contributes to “more than 70 diseases or conditions and accounts for a third of inpatient hospital costs” nationwide.
Evidence-based medical treatment options exist to treat dependence on a number of substances including alcohol, prescription pain medications, heroin, and nicotine. However, patients cannot access these treatments if their physicians are unaware of them or unable to properly diagnose the illness. To address this disparity, CBAM provides treatment for addiction, works with clinics to integrate addiction medicine into primary care settings, and oversees a postdoctoral training fellowship on “Addiction Medicine in Primary Care.”
To learn more about the benefits of integrating addiction medicine and primary care, click here to read a recent article on the topic.