Psychiatrist Scott Teitelbaum, chief of the Division of Addiction Medicine at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine, wrote the lead editorial in the ASAM Weekly January 14, 2020. His earnest call to action belies his what-me-worry look:
“Congressional members from both sides of the aisle recently introduced a bipartisan bill to strengthen the addiction-treatment workforce.
“If passed, the Opioid Workforce Act (HR 3414/S 2892) would provide an additional 1,000 graduate medical education slots over current levels to qualifying hospitals with approved residency programs in addiction medicine, addiction psychiatry, pain medicine, and corresponding prerequisite programs.
“This critical funding will enable more programs around the country to follow UF’s lead and train the next generation of addiction medicine specialists.
“To ensure the Sunshine State continues to be a leader in addiction medicine, I call on Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, as well as Florida’s entire congressional delegation, to support the Opioid Workforce Act.
“We have a moral imperative to act and implement smart, comprehensive policy to address this crisis and help prevent future ones.”
Yes, doctor, just what our nation needs! And a thousand more grief counselors, please… Will Big PhRMA fund the lobbying effort? The addiction specialists are the essential upholders of neo-prohibition when it comes to marijuana. The rest of organized medicine defers to them. Not just the Treatment Racket but the massive law enforcement effort rests like an upside down pyramid on the psychiatrists’ assertion of harm to the developing brain and addictiveness.
SCC founder Tod Mikuriya, MD, was a member of ASAM and CSAM (the California Society of Addiction Medicine) throughout most of his career. This is his letter of resignation: