Advocating for Treatment and Patients at the State Level (1.5 CME)

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(1.5 CME) In this conference recording from the 2018 Annual Conference, you will learn that with the opioid misuse and overdose epidemic continuing to progress across the country, federal and state governments alike are swiftly passing legislation and implementing regulations to address opioid prescribing, access to treatment, parity, and other issues that impact the addiction medicine field. 

Since the beginning of 2017, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) has dedicated resources to assisting our state chapters with responding to or leading these legislative and regulatory efforts at the state level. From submitting letters of support for and opposition to legislation, commenting on regulations and Governor initiatives, or testifying at committee hearings and agency meetings, ASAM members have been taking advantage of the opportunity to be a part of the discussion. 

Several states have been more aggressive in addressing this issue than others and the ASAM chapters in those states have interacted with state legislators and agency officials more frequently this past year. Thus, these chapters have insight into how these processes and interactions work that can benefit other chapter officers and members. 

This workshop will:

  1. review several case studies of state chapter advocacy action related to addiction medicine policy;
  2. review what chapter presidents did with regards to state advocacy, including how they engaged ASAM’s national office, their local members, and elected officials; how they worked with other local advocates and stakeholders to affect positive policy changes; 
  3. describe the overall successes experienced and improvements that are needed in advocacy at the state level.

The workshop will close with a question-and-answer session that allows members in the audience to ask these chapter presidents for guidance and advice on how they and their chapters can be more engaged around state legislation and regulations on addiction medicine.  This is an opportunity for members to learn, first-hand, the best approaches to advocate for policy change that helps patients and provides addiction specialists the discretion to do their job in order to provide the highest quality treatment.

Brad Bachman

State Advocacy and Government Relations Manager

Brad Bachman is the Manager of State Government Relations for the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). Prior to joining ASAM, he was a legislative aide in the Maryland Senate and worked on several state and federal campaigns. At the beginning of his time at ASAM, Brad assisted the Director of Advocacy and Government Relations with tracking and responding to federal legislative and regulatory activity regarding the opioid epidemic, particularly the passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and the lifting of the buprenorphine patient limit to 275. Since the beginning of this year, he has taken over the expanded advocacy focus of ASAM to include legislative and regulatory responses to the epidemic at the state level. Working in tandem with ASAM state chapters, state medical associations, and other stakeholders, he is helping to ensure that any state law or regulation affecting the practice of addiction medicine or access to addiction treatment is guided by evidence and science. Brad received his bachelor degree in history and political science at The Colorado College.

Cara A. Poland


Cara Poland, MD, M.Ed, FACP, FASAM was trained in internal medicine at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan and in addiction medicine at Boston Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. She has an interest in educating physicians and physicians-in-training to improve care for patients with substance use disorders and alcohol use disorders. She is interested in medical student curriculum development and assessment, student well-being and identifying ways to improve the process of medical training. She is professionally active in multiple societies including acting as the current President of the Michigan Society of Addiction Medicine. She is currently the medical director of a program for treatment of pregnant women with substance use disorders, has a general addiction practice. She is an assistant professor at Michigan State University where she acts as a Learning Society Chief.

Michael Bierer


Michael F. Bierer MD MPH has been at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) for 30+ years. He holds the ranks of Physician there and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He completed his MD at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx NY in 1985 and his MPH at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston MA in 1989. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency at MGH in 1988 and participated in the Addiction Medicine Fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston University Medical Center in 2001. He ran the component of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program based at MGH from 1989-2001, has been providing integrated care for addictions in a hospital-based primary care practice since 2002, and has been a leader in the education of medical housestaff at MGH about drug and alcohol problems. He is part of the new Substance Use Disorders Iinitiative at the hospital. He is former Secretary of MASAM and serves currently as President. He is one of the podcast voices for the New England Journal of Medicine.

Mark Jorrisch


Dr. Jorrisch earned an undergraduate degree in Biology from Union College, Schenectady, New York in 1973.  He went on to finish Medical School at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia in 1977 and completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Virginia in 1980.  Dr. Jorrisch has had a private practice in internal medicine since 1980 in Louisville, Kentucky and currently has an Addiction Medicine practice with specialization in OAT, including methadone and buprenorphine. 

ACCME Accredited with Commendation

ACCME Accreditation Statement

The American Society of Addiction Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AMA Credit Designation Statement

The American Society of Addiction Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s).  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

ABPM Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

The American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) has approved this activity for a maximum of 1.5 LLSA credits towards ABPM MOC Part II requirements.

ABAM Transitional Maintenance of Certification (tMOC)

This course has been approved by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM). Physicians enrolled in the ABAM Transitional Maintenance of Certification Program (tMOC) can apply a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ for completing this course.


Session Recording
Open to view video.
Open to view video. Watch the video.
CME Quiz
3 Questions  |  1 attempt  |  0/3 points to pass
3 Questions  |  1 attempt  |  0/3 points to pass Quiz contains 3 questions and requires 2 correct answers to pass.
CME Evaluation
15 Questions
CME Credit and Certificate
Up to 1.50 medical credits available  |  Certificate available
Up to 1.50 medical credits available  |  Certificate available Claim your CME!