Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies


2001 Colloquium at the Aspen Institute - Wye River
July 16-18, 2001

Highlights of PLNDP Policy Activities


July 8: Original meeting of PLNDP at the New York Academy of Medicine
The Physician Leadership on National Drug Policy was formed in July 1997 when thirty-seven of the nation’s leading medical and public health physicians came together to reexamine the national drug policy. This group reached a unanimous consensus that, to be effective, America’s drug policy should place more emphasis on public health, medical approaches and treatment as opposed to incarceration and punishment.

Excerpts from the Press Release PLNDP Consensus Statement

A medically-based search for major new policy alternatives to the nation's "war on drugs" was started today by the Physician Leadership on National Drug Policy, a group of 37 distinguished physicians and health policy experts in a meeting facilitated by Dr. Kenneth Shine, President of the National Academy of Science.

“Despite the best intentions of government policy makers and law enforcement officials, the current criminal justice driven approach is not reducing, let alone controlling drug abuse in America," said Lonnie Bristow, M.D., the immediate past President of the American Medical Association. 

"The safety sought by and for the American family is elusive. That tragedy, and the growth in drug abuse among our children, for the first time has brought together a remarkably diverse group of national physician leaders to seek a new consensus on major new policy directions," Dr. Bristow added.

The Consensus Statement declared PLNDP's position on national drug policy, including:

  • It is time for a new national drug policy that supports reallocating resources toward drug treatment and prevention,
  • It is important to eliminate the stigmas associated with addiction,
  • Physicians and all other health professionals have a major responsibility to train themselves and their students to be clinically competent in treating drug and alcohol addictions,
  • Community-based health partnerships are essential to solve these problems, and
  • It is important to use investments for further research and the advanced understanding of drugs and addiction.

May – December: PLNDP Meetings on Capital Hill

The PLNDP Leadership project initiated a series of meetings on Capital Hill with select members of Congress including Senators Frist, Kennedy, Rockefeller, Biden, Jeffords; Representative Greenwood; and staffers of Reps. Gingrich and Portman. PLNDP was well-received by both parties on the Hill, despite the controversial nature of the issues discussed. While inWashington, PLNDP leaders summarized the need for a group such as PLNDP, the purpose of such a group, and the ways in which future research initiatives might be of interest to policymakers. 



March 17: First Research Report Released, Addiction and Addiction Treatment

Addiction and Addiction Treatment, a research report on drug addiction treatment prepared by the PLNDP National Office, was released to a panel of the PLNDP and representatives from national professional organizations at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The report was based upon scientific information from which to base drug policy alternatives. A. Thomas McLellan, Ph.D., Henrick J. Harwood, James W. Langenbucher, Ph.D., Jeffrey C. Merrill, and Donald S. Shepard, Ph.D. acted as lead researchers on the project.

Addiction and Addiction Treatment addressed the following:

  • Myths and facts about drug use and addiction by disproving the false stereotype of drug addicts as social misfits. The report shows how stigmas associated with drug addiction act as barriers in the minds of policymakers, addicts, and doctors,
  • Prevalence and annual costs of addiction in relation to other chronic diseases. The economic costs of drug addiction are detailed in this report, in addition to the ways in which drug treatment reduces all associated costs. Drug addiction is described as a chronic health problem (i.e. hypertension, diabetes or asthma) that can be treated,
  • Cost-effectiveness of drug addiction treatment. Of a list of over 500 health and life-saving measures, treatment consistently ranks among the top 10% in cost-effectiveness;       
  • Returns on drug addiction treatment investments. Alcohol and drug addictions are a major contribution to the incidence and severity of a wide range of medical conditions (i.e. certain forms of cancer, pancreatitis, endocarditis, injury and AIDS). Addiction treatment produces marked reductions in medical care utilization and costs. Even larger savings can be made in other areas. The most dramatic return is the effectiveness of drug addiction treatment in reducing the occurrence and costs related to crime.

Press Release and Press Coverage of the First Research Report        

PLNDP held a press conference announcing "Major New Study Finds Drug Treatment as Good as Treatments for Diabetes, Asthma, etc., and Better and Cheaper than Prison”. Participants included: June Osborn, MD, Lonnie Bristow, MD, David Lewis, MD, Thomas McLellan, Ph.D., Floyd Bloom, MD, Harold Sox, MD, Philip Lee, MD, and Antonia Novello, MD, Ph.D..

The press release summarized the study, detailing: myths and facts about drug use and addiction, prevalence and costs of addiction relative to other chronic diseases, drug dependence as a treatable mental illness, cost-effectiveness of drug treatment as opposed to incarceration, and the returns on drug addiction treatment investments.

The press release triggered several hundred newspaper stories, and was covered by ABC’s Nightline, CNN, National Public Radio, and the Associated Press. 

PLNDP Publicity and Press Coverage

  • ABC’s Nightline with Ted Koppel dedicated a full program to the study, including a long segment with PLNDP Project Director David Lewis, M.D.
  • An interview with PLNDP Vice-Chair Lonnie Bristow, M.D. in a national radio broadcast by F.A.I.R. (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)
  • “Public Interest” on National Public Radio featuring Drs. David Kessler and David Lewis
  • Another NPR broadcast with NIDA Director Alan Leshner, Ph.D., William Cope Moyers (Bill Moyers’ son), a recovering addict and Director of Policy at the Hazelden Treatment Center in Minnesota, and Dr. Lewis
  • A report by the Washington bureau of Knight-Ridder Newspaper saying, “the nation’s current emphasis on punishment rather than treatment is fundamentally flawed and a costly mistake.”  They also quoted PLNDP Chair, June Osborn, M.D., who said, “We’re hoping we can rebalance the way we approach this enormous problem.”
  • The policy section of Bill Moyers’ series on addiction on PBS, “Close to Home,” which ran at the end of March, included a long interview segment with Drs. Osborn, Bristow, and Lewis.  In addition, Mr. Moyers has thoughtfully referenced the PLNDP project in many interviews he has done about the series.

Note: As a result of this report, a publication entitled Drug Dependence, A Chronic Medical Illness: Implications for Treatment, Insurance, and Outcomes Evaluation by A. Thomas McLellan, David C. Lewis, Charles P. O’Brien, and Herbert D. Kleber was published in JAMA on October 4 2000 (Vol. 284, No. 13).

February: Survey of Medical Students, Medical Student Attitudes Toward Drug Policy

PLNDP sent surveys assessing the views of medical students on drug policy and addiction treatment to 16 medical schools. 1200 surveys were completed, a 40% return. The results of this study show strong support among medical students for effective treatment of drug addiction. Most of the students were in favor of both treatment and punishment for illicit drug users and dealers. Over 80% of the students surveyed supported an increase in funding for treatment services. The survey results were published in an article by Norman G. Hoffman PhD, Albert J. Chang BS, and David C. Lewis, entitled Medical Student Attitudes Toward Drug Addiction Policy, which was published in the Journal of Addictive Diseases, and official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (Volume 19, Number 3, 2000).

July 28: Congressional Testimony

Dr. David Lewis testified before the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee on the topic of insurance parity for substance abuse treatment. The committee, chaired by Senator Jim Jeffords (R-VT) examined elements of current national drug policy, and addressed several questions including:

  • Are Drug Addiction and abuse medically treatable conditions?
  • Can treatment be cost-effective?
  • Will insurance company parity for substance abuse treatment reduce drug abuse in the United States?

March: First Video Released, Drug Addiction – The Promise of Treatment

In March, the first video Drug Addiction - The Promise of Treatment was released. The video, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, runs 18 minutes and makes a powerful medically-oriented statement about the nature of addiction and the effectiveness of treatment. The video is available free for any educational purpose to facilitate discussion by healthcare physicians, judges, policymakers, community organizations, professional organizations and medical societies. Drug Addiction – The Promise of Treatment encourages insurance coverage for drug addiction treatment similar to coverage afforded to other chronic diseases. It also emphasizes possible benefits of a national drug policy that would focus on medical and public health approaches to addiction treatment, as opposed to a criminal justice approach.

November 9: Second Research Report Released, Health, Addiction Treatment, and the Criminal Justice System  

PLNDP held the Health, Addiction Treatment, and the Criminal Justice System conference in Washington,DC to examine data on the flow of drug-addicted individuals through the criminal justice system, and the estimated percentage of drug-involved individuals. Drug Courts were also discussed, with special emphasis placed upon a statistic reporting that in 1997 drug offenses (trafficking and possession) represented 31.9% of all state and federal felony convictions. Representatives from PLNDP Physician Leadership and other participants represented medicine, legal, and justice-related organizations including the American Bar Association, the National Institute of Justice, the LegalActionCenter, and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

Lead researchers at the conference were: M. Douglas Anglin, Ph.D; Steven Belenko, Ph.D.; David Farabee, Ph.D.; Douglas Lipton, Ph.D.; Peter Manning, Ph.D.; Dwayne Simpson, Ph.D.; Kevin Knight, Ph.D.; and Ken Winters, Ph.D. 

Respondents at the conference were: Professor Norval Morris of the LawSchool of the University of Chicago, Carol Shapiro of La Bodega in New York, Constance Weisner of the Alcohol Research Group in Berkeley, and Donald Shepard of the Institute for Health Policy at BrandeisUniversity. 

A press release was issued covering the PLNDP-sponsored study evaluating the Drug Courts and Drug Treatment of Prisoners, Parolees and Teenagers. The press release summarized the study's evaluations of the ongoing evolution of drug courts; outcomes from a range of treatment provided to prisoners parolees, and drug abusing teenagers; and the impact and efficacy of community drug treatment related to these programs.

September: Second Video Released, Trial, Treatment, and Transformation

Following the second research report, Health, Addiction Treatment, and the Criminal Justice System, PLNDP also released a new video. Based upon the research findings regarding alternatives to incarceration, the video, Trial, Treatment, and Transformation, presents evidence on the effectiveness of treatment programs and includes comments from a number of experts in the field. Also featured are the personal success stories of two individuals who graduated from a drug court program in Virginia. 

PLNDP has distributed almost 6,000 videos to judges, physicians, policymakers, community groups, and professional organizations for educational purposes. In addition to the medical professions Trial, Treatment, and Transformation has been most widely used by judges – every judge in Michigan has received a copy.



May: PLNDP Action Kit Released

In order to better facilitate increased awareness of addiction treatment and possibilities for reforming national drug policy, the PLNDP Action Kit was devised. The Kit contains:

  • Copies of major editorials written and published by PLNDP members to raise public awareness about the group’s activities,
  • Annotated graphics from both PLNDP research reports, and
  • A set of teaching slides offering an overview of PLNDP, and primary findings of both research reports.

The PLNDP Action Kit is an educational tool, useful in teaching colleagues, students, medical and professional societies, politicians, and the general public. Annotated slides and hard copies of the material are available on the PLNDP website.

June 13-15: 1999 Colloquium at the Aspen Institute – Meadows in Aspen, Colorado

PLNDP held its first colloquium at the Aspen Institute in Aspen,Colorado. Eighteen of the thirty-seven PLNDP leaders and a number of invited guests attended the meeting. These guests included leaders representing law and criminal justice, addiction medicine, corporations, healthcare policy, community coalitions, and treatment. At this meeting PLNDP constructed a draft of what eventually became the PLNDP Position Paper on National Drug Policy.  

One important goal of meeting in Aspen was to facilitate dialogue among various disciplines affected by national drug policies. Other topics discussed included:

  • Whether PLNDP should expand its focus to include "legal" drugs (i.e. alcohol and tobacco),
  • Physician involvement with community-based organizations and coalitions, including physician relationships with the community and the obstacles and opportunities that physicians confront,
  • The role of medicine in the criminal justice system,
  • Initiatives towards closing the gap between the need for and availability of treatment, including issues of insurance benefits (i.e. parity, drug maintenance treatment in primary care settings, and expanding primary care addiction treatment),
  • Barriers confronted by physicians and medical education,
  • Setting priorities for medical and public health professionals, incorporating the perspectives of  professionals outside the field,
  • Medicinal marijuana initiatives,
  • Needle exchange programs,
  • Mandatory-minimum sentencing for individuals convicted of possession,
  • Discrepancies associated with cocaine/ crack conviction sentences,
  • Initiatives towards decriminalizing illegal drugs,
  • Methods of influencing drug policy and public opinion, and
  • Recommendations for future projects or cooperative links with PLNDP.

October: Cable Network Video Released, From Hopelessness to Healing

From Hopelessness to Healing, a twenty-one minute video, combining footage from both of the previous videos was released. PLNDP Physician Associates were recruited to help facilitate airing on cable access stations. As a result of these efforts, From Hopelessness to Healing has been aired in many U.S. cities, including LaJollaCA,San AntonioTX,New Haven CT, ToledoOH, and Grand RapidsMI.



February 17: Strategic Planning Committee Meeting

In October of 1999, with renewed funding from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, PLNDP entered a new phase of their mission. A Strategic Planning Committee was developed. At the first committee meeting, a new two-year plan was devised, focusing on:

  • Educating the public, healthcare professionals, and policy makers about treating addiction as a chronic disease,
  • Prompting parity in insurance benefits for substance abuse treatment,
  • Researching prevention and early intervention, particularly for adolescents, and
  • Improving medical school curriculum by incorporating substance abuse education at all levels of training.

PLNDP held its first meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee on February 17, 2000. The committee was formed to plan for the decentralization of outreach efforts, by involving all 37 PLNDP core members, 6,000 physician associates, over 200 medical students, medical professors, policymakers and the community. The Strategic Planning Committee includes representatives from the thirty-seven PLNDP Physician Leaders, in addition to nine Outreach Partners (Join Together, American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), American Medical Student Association (AMSA), American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM), Society for Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP), and National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD). Representatives from consulting firm Porter-Novelli are also involved in the areas of policy and public relations. 

PLNDP has joined forces with these Outreach Partners in order to:

  • Help facilitate the decentralization of PLNDP operations,
  • Coordinate physician activities,
  • Link medical societies with PLNDP Associates,
  • Develop and disseminate educational materials for physicians and medical students, and
  • Promote PLNDP policy initiatives.

April 6: Physician Leadership on National Drug Policy Position Paper on Drug Policy

Released on April 6, 2000, the PLNDP Position Paper on Drug Policy is a combination of evidence-based data in the first two research reports. (An earlier draft of this paper was distributed to participants at the Aspen Colloquium in 1999 and discussed in detail).

The Position Paper is a report designed to promote the PLNDP consensus statement and recommendations for change. The report emphasizes scientific evidence and the nonpartisan/ non-ideological foundation of PLNDP.

In just one month, every member of congress received the paper with a cover letter signed by PLNDP members Drs. Edward Brandt, Jr. and Philip R. Lee, principle health officials of the Reagan and Clinton administrations respectively. In January of the following year, Governor Rowland of Connecticut distributed the paper to every governor in the United States. Governor Rowland noted that, “while expanding drug addiction treatment and prevention will result in some modest increases in health care costs, PLNDP research demonstrates that these costs will be more than offset by reductions in the number of drug abusers and the resulting social and economic costs.”

October: WWW.PLNDP Streamlined and PLNDP Direct Electronic Newsletter Established

In the fall of 2000, PLNDP streamlined and restructured the website. The newly enhanced website is more efficient, comprehensive and user-friendly, offering interested viewers easy access to news and information. Additionally, in alliance with Join Together, PLNDP established an electronic newsletter entitled PLNDP Direct. The newsletter is free of charge, and delivers the latest news related to substance abuse and updates on current PLNDP activities weekly by email. Currently, PLNDP Direct has 461 subscribers.

October – November: Briefing Sessions on Capitol Hill

PLNDP representatives Dr. June E. Osborn, Tom McLellan PhD, Dr. Floyd E. Bloom, Dr. Edward N. Brandt Jr., and Judge Peggy Hora held several briefings on Capital Hill to discuss addiction treatment and to outline recommendations of the PLNDP Position Paper on Drug Policy. Capital Hill staff, as well as representatives from several national organizations, attended the briefing. Topics addressed at the briefing included:

  • The number of state and federal prison inmates who need substance abuse treatment as opposed to the number of those who actually receive treatment,
  • Statistics on incarceration or drug violations,
  • Costs associated with addiction treatment,
  • The cost of healthcare for individuals who are treated for substance abuse as opposed to those who go untreated, and
  • Annual expenditures associated with major chronic behavioral health problems.

November 6: Effective Medical Treatment of Heroin Addiction in Office-Based Practices With a Focus on Methadone Maintenancemeeting at the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM)

PLNDP held the Effective Medical Treatment of Heroin Addiction in Office-Based Practices With a Focus on Methadone Maintenance meeting at the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) in order to discuss improving the treatment of heroin-addicted individuals. The meeting was facilitated by PLNDP Chair, Dr. June Osborn, co-sponsored by PLNDP member Dr. Spencer Foreman, and Dr. Robert Newman, and held through the cooperation of PLNDP member Dr.Jeremiah Barondess, president of NYAM. Meeting attendants included clinicians, researchers, and regulators presenting their perspectives on the current status office-based opioid treatment in the United States. This meeting appropriately coincided with the eminent introduction of buprenorphine as an opioid maintenance drug. At the meeting five different treatment programs were outlined and discussed. The meeting discussions were summarized in a working-report entitled Effective Medical Treatment Of Heroin Addiction In Office-Based Practices With A Focus On Methadone Maintenance. This report is available on the PLNDP website (



February: Meeting at the Hall of States with State Policymakers and Their Staff

PLNDP member Dr. Edward Brandt, Jr., former Assistant Secretary for Health under the Reagan Administration led a panel discussion at the Hall of States, cosponsored by the National Governors Association and the National Conference on State Legislatures.

Speakers included: Dr. Hoover Adger, President of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics and former Senior Deputy Directory of the Office of National Drug Control Policy; the Honorable Bill Schma, Circuit Court Judge, 9th Judicial Circuit, State of Michigan; and Dr. Thomas McLellan, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania.

In a session well attended by governors’ state representatives, panelists stressed the need to treat drug addiction as a disease, and discussed the cost-effectiveness of substance abuse treatment as compared to incarceration.

At the conclusion of the meeting, PLNDP was asked to provide more information about the area of substance abuse and the uninsured. These areas are of particular interest to the states. PLNDP is currently working on a project focused on researching and describing the best practices, including clinical approaches, for providing access to substance abuse treatment for low-income populations, as well as to examine model programs designed to serve these populations. PLNDP is planning to convene a group of 40 to 50 leading researchers, key political leaders, and representatives of model state programs September 20, to discuss these issues, and to develop a course for future collaborative work involving practitioners, researchers, and policy makers.

March: An Epidemiological Perspective on Addiction Meeting

PLNDP is planning a meeting to discuss the environmental factors associated with drug use, harmful drug use, and addiction. A conference call was held in March to discuss preliminary ideas for holding a one-day meeting. PLNDP Physician Leader Dr. Jeremiah Barondess has been instrumental in conceptualizing the project. Recently, Brown faculty member Grace Macalino has joined efforts with PLNDP Core Leadership to help coordinate a meeting of epidemiologists at the New York Academy of Medicine with Drs. Jeremiah Barondess and his colleague David Vlahov to discuss the need for research in the area of environmental issues.

July 16-18: 2001 Colloquium at the Aspen Institute – WyeRiver in Queenstown Maryland

PLNDP is holding the second bi-annual meeting at The Aspen Institute Wye River Conference Center in Queenstown,Maryland. Forty-eight participants are expected, including thirteen on the 37 PLNDP Core Physician Leaders. Primary topics of discussion are:

  • Screening and Intervention in Primary Care Settings: Making it a Vital Sign,
  • Substance Abuse Clinical and Policy Advances: What is Needed for Welfare and Medicaid,
  • Adolescents and Substance Abuse: Risks, Treatment and the Juvenile Justice System, and
  • Policies, Strategies and Priorities.

September 20: Best Practices Initiatives: State-Level Issues for Welfare and Medicaid Meeting

PLNDP has scheduled a meeting for September 20th, chaired by Dr. Edward Brandt, Jr., to facilitate discussion on the topics of Medicaid and Welfare Programs. Meeting participants represent a wide range of researchers, policymakers, and representatives from model state programs. Denise Bury-Maynard, Brown postdoctoral fellow, has joined efforts with PLNDP on this project. A report summarizing the meeting will include information about issues of access to and quality of substance abuse treatment for those involved with Welfare and Medicaid programs, as well as those who are ineligible.

A recent grant provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provides additional funding to extend PLNDP work with the states. 

November 29: Adolescents: Prevention and Early Intervention Research Conference

Currently, PLNDP has contracted researchers to investigate the adolescent population in relation to substance abuse and the juvenile justice system. A meeting has been scheduled for November 29, 2001 at the National Press Club in Washington,DC. During this meeting, researchers will present their findings to a panel of PLNDP members, and an audience of press, policymakers and leaders from national professional organizations. PLNDP plans to produce a working report of the research findings, in addition to another educational video to be produced with the assistance of Porter-Novelli. Dr. Suzanne Colby, BrownUniversityCenter for Alcohol and Addiction Studies faculty member is working with PLNDP in the development of the research report.

Presenters and topics for this meeting are:

  • Hoover Adger: the real-world impacts of the epidemiological data on practice,
  • Steve Buka: prevalence and epidemiological data, emphasis on dispelling stereotypes,
  • Jean Callahan: the justice system, alternative programs, and treatment in incarceration,
  • Michael L. Dennis: treatment – needs and availability, and what works,
  • Michael French: cost-benefit economic analysis of treatment,
  • David Hawkins: risk and substance use problems, with an emphasis on prevention,
  • Laura Burney-Nissen: the overlap between substance abuse and the criminal justice systems,
  • Peter Monti: brief interventions and opportunistic settings,
  • Harvey Skinner: technology as a way to reach adolescents,
  • Eric Wagner: Student Assistance Programs, and
  • Ken Winters: assessment, emphasis on special considerations for adolescents

December: Project Vital Sign Meeting

In May, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awarded a planning grant to the development of this project. The proposed objective of Project Vital Sign is to fundamentally alter the nature of primary medical care providers to regularly screen for problems associated with substance use and to address those problems with their patients. The role of PLNDP in this project is to establish concrete, measurable outcome goals that health care providers and state health agencies will be responsible for reaching. The HMOs and other health care practitioners will design methods and seek funding to reach the defined goals.

Currently, PLNDP has undertaken a key informant study to gauge the most effective methods for launching this project and a review of the current research, literature, and programs. An annotated review will be developed to summarize these findings. In December 2001 a meeting will be held to review the key informant surveys, the annotated literature review, and other background material.

Upcoming endeavor Juvenile Justice System Research Project

Dr. Howard Hiatt, PLNDP member and Chair of Children Initiatives for the AmericanAcademy of Arts and Sciences with Chief Justice Martha Grace have been instrumental in the development of this project.

The goal of this project is to evaluate the relationship between juvenile offenders and the court system. The first phase of the study is based out of the Fall River Juvenile Court House inMassachusetts. It will include an ethnographic analysis of ten to twelve children who have had some involvement (ranging from probation to prison sentences) with the justice system.  

The second component of this project will include a longitudinal study of juvenile offenders and will likely expand into other Massachusetts courts. Researchers will address factors including:

Relations between the court system and juvenile offenders and families,

Difficulties in adequately addressing privacy issues for this demographic, and

Levels of coordination between participating agencies (i.e. Department of Youth Services, Department of Social Services, and the Department of Mental Health).

This project is undertaken in conjunction with the AmericanAcademy of Arts and Sciences; researchers from HarvardUniversity's School of Public Health and the BrownUniversityCenter for Alcohol and Addiction Studies; and assistance from Massachusetts Chief Justice of the Juvenile Court Department Martha Grace. Ultimately, this study will examine the prevalence of addiction, as is the concern of researchers, practitioners and families in handling the overwhelming complexities associated with the juvenile justice system.

Currently, we have plans to prepare a grant proposal this summer in hopes of obtaining financial support for the development of these project activities. Brown University Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies postdoctoral fellow Dr. Johanna Esquerre will work with the PLNDP core group in the development of this proposal and project activities.

Update: PLNDP Outreach Partners

American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (Representative: Stephen Dilts)

AAAP has been participating in various PLNDP activities including the Strategic Planning Committee the November meeting on methadone maintenance, and the parity discussions of the Coalition on Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment.

American Academy of Pediatrics (Representative: George C. Comerci)

AAP has endorsed the PLNDP consensus statement and has also agreed to work closely with PLNDP in the development of the upcoming meeting and report on adolescents and substance abuse. Dr. Comerci, PLNDP member and representative for AAP is also on the Adolescent Research Report Advisory Committee.

American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Representative: formerly Ron Chez, new rep. TBA)

ACOG also produced a CME Learning Module on Substance Abuse: Illegal Drug Dependence and Abuse in Women, which is under final review. The target audience is the 40,000 plus fellows and junior fellows at ACOG. The module is expected to be released in summer, 2001 on CD-Rom and on the PLNDP and ACOG websites.

American Medical Student Association (Representative: Michael Mendoza)

AMSA is looking for ways in which to improve the state of medical education and activism concerning the problems of addiction. PLNDP hopes to continue surveying medical students with regards to their perceptions of addiction treatment and the role of addiction in medical education in hopes of developing and recommending reform in the medical education system.

The latest survey, launched at the April 2001 AMSA national conference in California, assesses medical student perceptions of how their mentors deal with drug abuse and alcohol problems in clinical settings. The survey was developed by AMSA leadership, researchers at BrownUniversityCenter for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, and PLNDP Physician Leaders including Dr. P. Preston Reynolds. PLNDP is currently in the process of reviewing survey results. The goal is to use this information as pilot material, in hopes of developing a more comprehensive survey to be distributed to a larger audience and potentially considered for publication.

American Society of Addiction Medicine (Representative: James Callahan)

PLNDP Outreach Partners, in collaboration with PLNDP, have launched a variety of projects. American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and Join Together (JT) have agreed to work nationally to promote insurance parity in every state. ASAM and JT met in Washington,DC and formed a coalition with national organizations whose state chapters operate in situations where insurance parity is most feasible.  A major strength of this plan is that the coalition would have members from professional, social, and governmental sectors of the community. The coalition is bipartisan and has a common goal of increasing access to treatment, and improving the quality and effectiveness of addiction treatment. 

This particular group named the Coalition on Alcohol and Drug Treatment has decided to focus on achieving parity by educating policymakers of the seven target states: Arizona,California,New York,Hawaii,Florida,Iowa, and Wisconsin.

Join Together (Representatives: David Rosenbloom and Barbara Hildt)

PLNDP and Join Together recently released a guide entitled A Physician’s Guide on How to Advocate for More Effective National and State Drug Policy. This guide, which is available on both PLNDP and Join Together websites, encourages concerned physicians and individuals to work with the media and policymakers on educating the public about the effectiveness of rehabilitative treatment. The guide offers instructions and examples of methods to influence policy, including a sample letter to the Editor.

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (Representative: Stacia Murphy)

As of July 2001, NCADD has joined with PLNDP as an Outreach Partner. NCADD will be responsible for facilitating PLNDP goals of spreading education through their state chapters and working collaboratively with PLNDP Outreach Partners ASAM and Join Together.

Society of General Internal Medicine (Representative: P. Preston Reynolds)

Dr. P. Preston Reynolds has been working to obtain SGIM’s endorsement the PLNDP Consensus Statement, which was achieved this year. SGIM is developing a supplement to theJournal of General Internal Medicine on substance abuse and current health policy issues related to substance abuse, expected to be released this year.

Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (Representative: Richard Brown)

The STFM Executive Board recently endorsed the PLNDP Consensus Statement. STFM Executive Director has agreed to offer an information session on the consensus statement and supporting materials at the 2001 STFM National Meeting. Dr. Brown presented at this May STFM meeting in Colorado on the need for physicians to become more involved in advocacy.

Update: PLNDP as a Facilitator of Scientific Information

To date, PLNDP has distributed 1,000 PLNDP Position Paper on Drug Policy reports, and 6,000 videos. The group has also established liaison with 6,000 Physician Associates, and 200 Medical Student Associates. These associates support the PLNDP Consensus Statement, and act as facilitators of information and outreach to the public. PLNDP has also received endorsements from 22 state medical associations, and 11 national professional organizations, including the American Medical Association. These groups endorse the PLNDP Consensus Statement and support the PLNDP mission. These endorsements are listed below:

State Medical Associations

  • Arizona – Arizona Medical Association
  • California – California Medical Association
  • Colorado – Colorado Medical Society
  • Connecticut – ConnecticutState Medical Society
  • DC – Medical Society of the District of Columbia
  • Georgia – Medical Association of Georgia
  • Iowa – Iowa Medical Society
  • Kentucky – Kentucky Medical Association
  • Maine – Maine Medical Association
  • Maryland – MedChi, The MarylandState Medical Society
  • Minnesota – Minnesota Medical Association
  • Nebraska – Nebraska Medical Association
  • New Hampshire – New Hampshire Medical Society
  • New Jersey – Medical Society of New Jersey
  • North Carolina – North Carolina Medical Society
  • Ohio  - OhioState Medical Association
  • Oklahoma – OklahomaState Medical Association
  • Oregon – Oregon Medical Association
  • Rhode Island – Rhode Island Medical Society
  • South Dakota – South DakotaState Medical Association
  • Tennessee – Tennessee Medical Association
  • Wisconsin – State Medical Society of Wisconsin

National Professional Organizations

  • AmericanAcademy of Addiction Psychiatry
  • AmericanAcademy of Pediatrics
  • American Association of Community Psychiatrists
  • AmericanCollege of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • AmericanCollege of Surgeons
  • American Medical Association
  • American Medical Student Association
  • American Psychiatric Association
  • American Society of Addiction Medicine
  • Society of General Internal Medicine
  • Society of Teachers of Family Medicine

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