Maintaining treatment and prevention programs for opioid use disorders during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic

Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2021 Apr 14. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000708. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The current article reviews the impact of the biggest health crisis for many decades, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), on opioid treatment programs and the strategies adopted for maintaining opioid treatment programs during the pandemic.

RECENT FINDINGS: The difficulty of access to opioid treatment services and the mental health problems accompanying opioid use disorders are the two main challenges to maintaining accessible and effective opioid treatment. Many countries and institutions issued guidance and recommendations to address these challenges. General coping strategies, loosening of policies, telemedicine, and depot buprenorphine are four main strategies to cope with the challenges posed by the pandemic.

SUMMARY: There were considerable obstacles to maintaining opioid intervention programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Strategies addressing the obstacles are identified. Research in this area needs to be strengthened.

PMID:33859127 | DOI:10.1097/YCO.0000000000000708