ASAM is offering a free industry series on clinical guidelines for patient implementation
By Jason LangendorfAugust 21, 2020
The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) is hosting a series of free webinars through November to aid clinicians in their implementation of the organization’s new clinical practice guidelines for alcohol withdrawal management.
ASAM released its updated guidelines for alcohol withdrawal management June 3, after receiving approval from its board of directors in January—its first such update since 2004. A draft version of the guidelines was released this spring on the ASAM website, in response to state mandates of liquor store closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The current guideline on alcohol withdrawal management is intended to level the playing field for clinicians of diverse training and practice backgrounds by providing them with evidence-based and best-practice consensus of experts from similarly diverse training and practice backgrounds.”—Lewis S. Nelson, M.D., chair of the guideline committee of the ASAM clinical practice guideline on alcohol withdrawal management
“ASAM leadership wanted to ensure the medical community had the most recent information on how to manage alcohol withdrawal in light of the store closures,” said Lewis S. Nelson, M.D., chair of the department of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and chair of the guideline committee of the ASAM clinical practice guideline on alcohol withdrawal management.
The ASAM Quality Improvement Council (QIC) agreed to conduct the update based on strong interest indicated in an educational needs assessment, as well as new QIC policies recommending that all ASAM guidelines be updated every five years. Nelson says current management of alcohol withdrawal symptoms (AWS) patients is inconsistent and lacking under updated best practices.
“ASAM alcohol Withdrawal management guideline is intended to aid clinicians in their clinical decision-making and management of patients experiencing alcohol withdrawal,” Nelson said. “The guideline strives to identify and define clinical decision-making junctures and implement treatment strategies that meet the needs of most patients in most circumstances. The guideline directly addresses important clinical concerns such as suboptimal clinical outcomes, excessive costs, and low overall quality and consistency of care.
“The current guideline on alcohol withdrawal management is intended to level the playing field for clinicians of diverse training and practice backgrounds by providing them with evidence-based and best-practice consensus of experts from similarly diverse training and practice backgrounds.”
The first installment of the alcohol withdrawal management webinar series aired live on July 29, with Nelson serving as guest speaker (topic: “Fundamentals”). Four more webinars are scheduled as part of the series over the next several months: “Identification, Diagnosis & Initial Assessment” (August 24); “Monitoring, Levels of Care & Inpatient/Ambulatory Treatment” (September 15); “Pharmacotherapy” (October 20); and “Complicated Withdrawal and Special Populations” (November 17).
The webinars are free for anyone to watch live and available on demand for all ASAM members thereafter. Non-ASAM members can view each session on demand within 90 days of the live webinar date. After 90 days, non-members can purchase individual webinars for $29 each or at a discounted price for the series.
ASAM also provides free access to a quick-reference pocket guide for its alcohol withdrawal management guidelines, plus options for bulk orders, print subscriptions and digital/mobile downloads and updates. Additionally, sample language for emails and social-media posting, as well as banner images, can be found in ASAM’s promotional toolkit.
Photo: Hayes Potter