“Addiction is a global health emergency. Policy makers, and mental health ministers can work with third sector recovery communities in changing the addiction healthcare narrative from “what to do?” …to actualising implementing addiction healthcare clinics: 24/7 A&E-NHS hospitals settings within the United Kingdom” Elizabeth Hearn. Addiction Clinician. Therapist. Educator. Addiction Healthcare Influencer.

I founded Universal Addiction Healthcare in response to the consistently increasing number of drug and alcohol related deaths in the UK but particularly in Scotland.

The aim is to provide comprehensive addiction training for all healthcare medical professionals, so that they can work along side third sector, recoverists , to provide a compassionate and holistic treatment in response to people in need of mental and addiction healthcare, in crisis at Accident and Emergency Departments.

Addiction is not a criminal justice issue but a public health issue which requires specialist training and insight into the medical and psychosocial nature of the illness.

I believe in the benefits of accessible and available addiction healthcare and of an individual’s right to expect effective, inclusive and compassionate treatment from NHS Services without fear of judgement or negative consequences

I am an addiction clinician and therapist, with 28 years of addiction healthcare treatment programmes experience, and 30 years of longterm addiction recovery to support fulfilling my professional and personal recovery obligation: continuing to provide addiction and mental healthcare to individuals and families in need of help.

In January 2019 I initiated a partnership with the American Society Addiction Medicine to provide evidence-based/fundamentals in addiction trainings and resources to augment healthcare providers in the United Kingdom of the skills and knowledge they need to treat addicted patients.

I am proposing implementing 24/7 addiction emergency treatment clinics within A&E-NHS settings. facilitated by trained in the ASAM “Fundamentals of Addiction” medicine healthcare professionals, in addition to the Scottish Recovery Consortium lived experience – third sector support volunteers for people in need to access 24/7 addiction and mental health primary care integrated treatment programmes. Easy access to the most effective approach for supporting person-centred addiction and mental healthcare.

The following links reveal the backbone of the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s evidence-based research and teachings:

The ASAM definition of addiction:

“We know it’s possible to make inroads and see real progress in preventing addiction and advancing its treatment,” concluded Dr. Earley. “And while the cost of addressing every facet of the addiction crisis is substantial, the cost of doing less than what is absolutely necessary is far more.

We need the political will of lawmakers to pursue bold, systemic solutions. There is no time left for incremental policy changes – we need to come together as a nation to both implement and fund the programs that will comprehensively address the complex, chronic disease of addiction.”

ASAM advocates urged Congress to support the following legislation to address America’s addiction crisis.

The Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act (H.R. 2569/S.1365). This legislation will provide critical funding and resources now and over the next decade to strengthen our nation’s addiction prevention and treatment infrastructure and expand access to evidence-based care.

The bill allocates billions of dollars in funding to train health professionals in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of substance use disorder (SUD) and helps standardize addiction treatment by directing the Department of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), to develop model standards for the regulation of SUD treatment services based on Levels of Care standards set forth by ASAM in 2013 or an equally strong set of standards.

It also allocates funding to states, local governments, and other institutions to support SUD treatment programs and expanded access to evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery support services.

The Opioid Workforce Act of 2019 (H.R. 3431). This legislation will increase the number of residency positions eligible for graduate medical education payments under Medicare for hospitals that have, or are in the process of establishing, approved residency programs in addiction psychiatry, addiction medicine or pain medicine, with an aggregate increase of 1,000 positions over a five-year period.

The Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act is legislation designed to ensure all DEA controlled substance prescribers have a baseline knowledge of how to prevent, identify, treat, and manage patients with SUD. The MATE Act will require that all DEA controlled substance prescribers receive one-time training on treating and managing patients with SUD, unless such a prescriber is otherwise qualified.

It will also allow accredited medical schools and residency programs, physician assistant schools, and schools of advanced practice nursing to fulfill the training requirement through a comprehensive curriculum that meets the standards laid out in statute, without having to coordinate the development of such education with an outside medical society or state licensing body. Importantly, the legislation’s required education also satisfies the DATA 2000 X-waiver training requirement to prescribe certain medications for addiction treatment, as long as a separate DATA 2000 X-waiver is required by law.

This legislation is expected to be filed soon.
The Humane Correctional Health Care Act (H.R. 4141 / S. 2305). This legislation will allow states to use federal Medicaid matching funds to cover healthcare services provided to inmates of public institutions under Medicaid.

The Community Re-entry through Addiction Treatment to Enhance (CREATE) Opportunities Act (H.R. 3496 / S. 1983). This legislation will create a new grant program within the Department of Justice for state and local governments to cover and provide evidence-based opioid use disorder (OUD) treatments, including medications for addiction treatment, in their correctional facilities and connect individuals to continued OUD treatment upon release into the community.

Additionally, ASAM advocates are asking Congress to make strategic investments to incentivize and train clinicians to specialize in the prevention and treatment of SUD by fully funding previously authorized programs. This includes allocating $25 million in the fiscal year 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill for the Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Treatment Workforce Loan Repayment Program and $10 million for the Mental and Substance Use Disorders Workforce Training Demonstration Program.

About ASAM

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), founded in 1954, is a professional medical society representing over 6,000 physicians, clinicians and associated professionals in the field of addiction medicine.

ASAM is dedicated to increasing access and improving the quality of addiction treatment, educating physicians and the public, supporting research and prevention, and promoting the appropriate role of physicians in the care of patients with addiction. For more information, visit: