Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute

‘There Was Nothing to Help Me’: How the Pandemic Has Worsened Opioid Addiction (The Guardian)


Many addiction treatment centers around the U.S. have shut down or turned away patients because of the pandemic, as they struggle with financial losses and challenging safety protocols.

At the same time, rising job losses, isolation, and cuts to resources for people in recovery have been cited as contributing factors to reported rises in opioid use and overdose during the pandemic.

In this new article in The Guardian, Dr. Caleb Banta-Green, Principal Research Scientist at ADAI, reports that some programs have struggled to adapt to loosening regulations on opioid use disorder medications in terms of ensuring easier access, which has been a constant struggle for opioid use disorder advocates even before the pandemic.

“Just like we’re trying to radically scale up a Covid-19 vaccine and get them to everybody, we should be radically scaling up access to treatment medications and getting them to everybody,” he said. “We have a health system with all sorts of rules and a mindset, a big misunderstanding, that people have to hit rock bottom or prove they are worthy and willing to receive treatment medications, which is absurd and dangerous.”

Read the article here (October 5, 2020, Michael Sainato, The Guardian).