The United States currently faces two nationwide public health emergencies: the opioid crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the opioid crisis because individuals with an opioid use disorder may be at a higher risk for COVID-19 infection and serious consequences from that disease. In response to the pandemic, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) granted opioid treatment programs (OTPs) and States increased flexibilities to ensure the delivery of OTP services and to protect patients and staff from COVID-19 to the greatest extent possible. To obtain information on the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on OTPs, we conducted interviews with 142 OTPs. Our objectives were to identify: (1) challenges that OTPs have encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic and (2) actions that OTPs have taken to address those challenges while ensuring the continuity of needed services and protecting the health and safety of their patients and staff.
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
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