Transforming Health Care Through Evidence and Collaboration
Transforming Health Care Through Evidence and Collaboration

Growing Challenges of Substance Use, Treatment & Recovery During COVID-19

May 18, 2020 | 02:00 PM
03:00 PM ET

Webinar Transcript

While opioids continue to dominate headlines about drug overdose deaths in the US, fatal overdoses from cocaine and methamphetamines are also on the rise. People with substance use disorder (SUD) are at particular risk during COVID-19 due to the effects of opioids and stimulants on respiratory health, and social distancing measures have created barriers to treatment. The agitated behavior of people using stimulants also places added burden on first responders already overwhelmed by the COVID-19 crisis.

death rate trends by substanceThis webinar highlighted efforts to address the growing rate of substance use in this country and outline strategies to mitigate the increased burden on individuals, society and the health care system in the time of COVID-19. Speakers discussed:

  • Evidence-based treatment for stimulant abuse, including access to cognitive-behavioral therapy to improve outcomes in individuals with addictive disorders
  • Emerging efforts to reduce shame and stigma and better direct individuals to appropriate care
  • Strategies to increase access to OUD and SUD treatment during COVID-19, including telehealth and virtual recovery support


Carlos Blanco
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Gary Mendell
Herbert H Price III
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Presentation Slides

"Science Saves Lives" - Carlos Blanco
"The Opioid Epidemic – The Gap in Our Nation’s Response" - Gary Mendell
"Addressing Opioid Use Disorder Treatment in Arkansas During Covid 19" - Herbert Price