Purpose of the ALSAM

    The Alabama Society of Addiction Medicine (ALSAM) is a nonprofit organization, whose purpose is to protect and enhance the public health. One of the ways that ALSAM achieves its purpose is by providing educational opportunities for the healthcare professionals and the general public, in order to relate the latest advancements in the field of addiction medicine.

    Each year, ALSAM hosts a scientific conference designed to educate addiction treatment professionals throughout the state in the latest evidence based advancements in the field of addiction medicine. Providers from various treatment approaches are able to come together and collaborate in the effort of creating an integrated-multidisciplinary approach. It is through this collaboration and integration that our members can help patients choose the correct therapies or combination of therapies to serve their unique needs.

    ALSAM recognizes that there is no “one size fits all approach” in addiction medicine.  In fact, there are many paths to recovery. It is the assignment of the addiction medicine professional to help patients navigate the evidence based treatment options in order to find the right path for each individual.

    Another way that ALSAM fulfills its purpose is through a threefold effort of fighting the disease of addiction at various stages of the problem.

    1. Prevention – In many cases, the most efficient way to fight disease is through prevention.  In the case of substance use disorders, we commonly achieve this through education. ALSAM provides education for healthcare professionals through scientific conferences.  ALSAM members speak and educate other healthcare professionals throughout the state on the risks of prescribed controlled substances and techniques to mitigate those risks.

      ALSAM provides education for the Alabama public in order to inform middle school and high school students, as well as college students and the public, on the risks associated with drugs and alcohol. ALSAM members volunteer to speak at a variety of venues throughout the state in an effort to inform the public of the risks of drugs, tobacco and alcohol.
    1. Early intervention – Historically, doctors and the healthcare industry have ignored the harmful use of drugs, tobacco and alcohol until the consequences became undeniable.  In many cases, sadly efforts arrive too late. A more modern approach involves education and help with harmful substance use early, before the devastating consequences are irreversible. ALSAM trains healthcare providers in proven approaches like “Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment” that can help patients get addiction treatment before it is too late.

    2. Chronic disease management – Science has proven that addiction is a chronic brain disease that requires lifelong vigilance and often lifelong treatment. ALSAM works with healthcare providers and the healthcare insurance industry to assure that addiction is treated like other chronic diseases. Like other chronic diseases, in patient with addiction, adherence to a treatment program is often incomplete, and long-term management is common. 

    For far too long, those with substance use disorders and the people who love them have received many differing messages on the proper solutions in the treatment of the disease. In many cases, the messages are in direct conflict with each other. ALSAM seeks to combine the current scientific evidence in the field of addiction medicine and disseminate this information throughout the community so that patients and treatment providers can have global understanding of all evidence based treatment options. The goal is not to simply offer our treatment but to help patients find the right treatments that meet their specific needs.

    There are many roads to recovery that are supported by science. ALSAM exists to make those roads available to the citizens of Alabama, and to provide a roadmap to help individual patients navigate their unique journey.

    Brent Boyett D.M.D., D.O.
    President, Alabama Society of Addiction Medicine