Posts Tagged ‘American Society of Addiction Medicine’

American Society of Addiction Medicine: Two Conferences

Over the last month, I went to North Carolina’s Society of Addiction Medicine’s yearly conference, in Asheville, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s annual Medical-Scientific conference, in Atlanta. Both were great. Big chunks of both conferences were about aspects of opioid addiction and treatment, so I’ll have some great, brand new material for my blog over the next few weeks.

It was fun being around a group of like-minded people. The doctors and others at the conference were there because we all want to learn more about how to do a better job of treating people with addiction. I basked in the positive energy circulating at both conferences.

During one of the conferences, I heard about a new statement being issued by a committee made up of physician members of both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. This statement, issued May of 2012, contained the committee opinion regarding opioid abuse, dependence, and addiction in pregnancy.

The seven-page report contained many good points, and the bottom line recommendations were much as I expected. Opioid use, abuse, and addiction are not uncommon in pregnant women, and are associated with worse outcomes than women not addicted to opioids. The current recommended standard of care for an opioid-dependent pregnant woman is methadone maintenance for the duration of the pregnancy. However, buprenorphine should also be considered, because of encouraging data, recently published, that shows milder neonatal withdrawal symptoms in babies born to moms on buprenorphine than on methadone.

The opinion paper does not recommend discontinuation of opioids during pregnancy due to the increased complications often seen during withdrawal: preterm labor, fetal distress and fetal death.

Did you ask if I sent a copy of this committee opinion to Angry Doctor, the subject of my April 15th blog? Oh, you know I did. With important parts highlighted with yellow marker.