Policy Statements

Statements by the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry are not intended to serve as a standard of medical care or treatment, nor do they necessarily reflect the views of individual AAAP members. These statements are not intended for use in making judgments about appropriate methods of care, treatment, or procedures, medical malpractice, disability determination, competency, or any other medical or legal matters.

Medicaid Payment Policy

June 25, 2014
"On behalf of physicians and patients who participate in Medicaid, we write to request that you extend the Medicaid payment policy under Section 1902(a)(13)(C) of the Social Security Act for at least two years, and make physicians who practice psychiatry and neurology eligible for payments under this policy...." View Full Policy

HIPAA Privacy Rule

January 15, 2013
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule: health professionals may disclose necessary information about a patient to law enforcement, family members of the patient, or other persons, when you believe the patient presents a serious danger to himself or other people. View Full Policy

Funding Conflicts of Interest

October 26, 2012
A revised set of guidelines concerning financial decisions as a conflict of interest; written to the norms of the PHS and NSF. View Full Policy

Conflict of Interest Policy

September 28, 2012
Outlines procedure by which AAAP will identify and resolve financially relevant relationships that create the appearance of or an actual conflict of interest. Designed to separate educational objections from financial relationships. View Full Policy

Confidentiality of Patient Records and Protections Against Discrimination

January 1, 2012
A detailed set of guidelines regarding disclosure and privacy of addiction patients. Specific reference to the careful use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs). View Full Policy

Use of Opioids in the Treatment of Chronic, Non-malignant Pain

January 1, 2009
Specific recommendations and guidelines for responsible practice in the prescription of opioids for chronic, non- malignant pain. View Full Policy

The Ability of Physicians to Practice Medicine with a Diagnosis of an Illness and/or a Restricted License

October 1, 2008
Physicians who are able to practice medicine with requisite skill and safety to patients should not be excluded from medical activities solely because of medical licenses that have been restricted due to some aspect of physical or mental illness (including addiction disorders). Decisions as to whether such physicians should be permitted to practice specific areas of medicine should be made on a case by case basis. View Full Policy

Criminal Justice System and Substance Use Disorder Treatment Policy

December 1, 2002
Advocates for treatment of psychiatric problems (including addiction) to those patients within the criminal justice system. Seeks to provide appropriate medical treatment as a cost-effective and humane alternative to incarceration alone. View Full Policy

Treatment Parity

October 1, 2002
Presents addition disorders--and more specifically substance abuse disorders--as a top priority in health care in the nation. Calls for concentrated efforts in education, prevention, and stigma reduction. View Full Policy


October 1, 2002
Patients who share confidential substance use clinical information with health care providers must be assured that this information will be protected from unauthorized release. Patients retain the fundamental authority to decide whether or not their personal medical information is disclosed and must know to whom, for what reason and for what period of time. View Full Policy

Co-occurring Psychiatric and Substance
Use Disorder Treatment Policy

July 1, 2002
Suggests system of care for treatment of co-occurring psychiatric and SUD patients. Main principles include: welcoming, accessibility, integration, continuity, and comprehensiveness. View Full Policy

Clean Needle and Syringe

July 1, 2002
Supports the funding and development of programs that assist people, who are injecting drug users, to have increased access to clean needles and syringes in order to help them eliminate all reusing and sharing of needle syringes. View Full Policy

Medical Use of Marijuana

June 1, 2002
Promotes use of cannabinoids for medical purposes. Calls for more research on potential usefulness and requests FDA class 2 drug classifications. View Full Policy

Use of Illegal Substances by Pregnant Women

November 1, 2001
Supports the voluntary screening and testing of pregnant women for substance use disorders and mental illness for the purpose of providing prenatal care and treatment services to the mother and unborn child; opposes legislation or policies that require mandatory reporting of illegal substance use by pregnant women. View Full Policy

Organ Transplantation

November 1, 2001
Asks to remove stigma of substance abuse from eligibility of organ transplantation. The evaluation of a patient’s candidacy for organ transplantation should be made on clinical grounds alone. The choice should be based on clinical criteria with the specifics of each case taken into consideration. View Full Policy

Office Based Opioid Treatment

May 1, 1999
Suggests phased process for adopting OBOT practice as well as supplementary educational requirements for doctors using the practice. View Full Policy

Relationship Between Treatment and Self Help

December 1, 1997
Distinguishes the benefits of self-help and medical assistance; recognizes self-help methods as valuable community tools while asserting that patients with addictions or SUDs require help from qualified professionals. View Full Policy

Nicotine Dependence

October 1, 1995
Promotes the development of policies and programs which promote prevention, treatment, and research activities in the area of nicotine dependence View Full Policy

Addressing Substance

December 1, 1993
Proposes universal access to a minimum benefits health care package that will provide psychiatric treatment for alcoholism and substance-related disorders as part of the basic package. Coverage should be provided as well for additional psychiatric illness access at parity with medical and surgical illnesses. View Full Policy

NAL Minimal Benefits
Health Care Package

May 1, 1993
Calls for increased emphasis on medical education in addictions, increased funding for research in the field, and increased access to treatment. View Full Policy

Legalization of Drugs

September 1, 1990
Statement against the legalization of currently illicit drugs, though in favor of maximizing treatment and prevention efforts that do not stigmatize addicted patients, and significantly reduce crime View Full Policy