A tale of two epidemics: When COVID-19 and opioid addiction collide

POSTED APRIL 20, 2020, 2:30 PM
Peter Grinspoon, MDPeter Grinspoon, MD, Contributor
I am a primary care doctor who has recovered from — and who treats — opiate addiction. I work in an inner-city primary care clinic in Chelsea, Massachusetts, which currently has the highest rate of COVID-19 in the state, due, in part, to poverty. These two experiences offer me a clear view of how these two epidemics — COVID-19 and opioid addiction — can impact and worsen each other. Two great epidemics of our generation are intersecting in ways that are additively deadly, and which highlight the urgent ways we must respond to some of the underlying fault lines in our society that are worsening both crises. Learn more »


You're invited to Be Well Indiana!

The Be Well Indiana initiative is currently focused primarily on resources to help Hoosiers manage their mental health throughout the COVID-19 crisis, including links to trusted news sources, tips for staying healthy and safe at home, access to addiction recovery support and more. As the pandemic situation changes, Be Well Indiana will adapt and shift focus to address the most compelling mental health issues at the time. Learn more »


Copays no longer required for tobacco cessation drugs

Effective retroactively for dates of services (DOS) on or after February 1, 2020, the Indiana Health Coverage Programs (IHCP) no longer requires copayments for tobacco cessation drugs. Providers should not collect copayments for these drugs. For copayments already collected for DOS on or after February 1, 2020, the member can pursue a refund from the pharmacy provider. Learn more »


ONDCP Reaffirms Treatment of SUD is an Essential Medical Service

The treatment of SUD is an essential medical service, and PPE ordered and requested by facilities treating SUD is for a legitimate need and purpose. Learn more »


Thousands of Hoosiers struggle with addiction during pandemic, but there's hope

Since Indiana is under a statewide stay-at-home order, George says, some 500 in-person 12-step meetings a week have stopped in greater Indianapolis. Now, many faith-based groups and independent organizations serving people in addiction recovery have to depend on virtual help. There are now daily virtual recovery gatherings for Hoosiers in need. Learn more »


REQUEST FOR FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENT FOR Disbursement of State Opioid Response Grant Funding

Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) is granting funds to provide Motivational Interviewing trainings across the state of Indiana. Learn more »


Treatment, Recovery, and Workforce Support Grant

Application Due Date: Monday, June 1, 2020
SAMHSA is accepting applications for Treatment, Recovery, and Workforce Support grants (Workforce Support). The purpose of this program is to implement evidence-based programs to support individuals in substance use disorder treatment and recovery to live independently and participate in the workforce. To achieve this objective, recipients must coordinate, as applicable, with Indian tribes or tribal organizations, state and local workforce development boards, lead state agencies responsible for a workforce investment activity, and state agencies responsible for carrying out substance use disorder prevention and treatment programs. Learn more »


Emergency Grants to Address Mental and Substance Use Disorders During COVID-19

Application Due Date: Friday, April 10, 2020
SAMHSA is accepting applications for Emergency Grants to Address Mental and Substance Use Disorders During COVID-19 (Emergency COVID-19). SAMHSA recognizes there are currently 57.8 million Americans living with mental and/or substance use disorders (National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2018). The current national crisis of COVID-19 will certainly contribute to growth in these numbers. Americans across the country will struggle with increases in depression, anxiety, trauma, and grief. There is also an anticipated increase in substance misuse as the lives of individuals and families are impacted. The purpose of this program is to provide crisis intervention services, mental and substance use disorder treatment, crisis counseling, and other related supports for children and adults impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding will be provided for states, territories, and tribes to develop comprehensive systems to address these needs. The purpose of this program is specifically to address the needs of individuals with serious mental illness, individuals with substance use disorders, and/or individuals with co-occurring serious mental illness and substance use disorders. Learn more »


National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week®

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® links students with scientists and other experts to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol that teens get from the internet, social media, TV, movies, music, or from friends. It was launched in 2010 by scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to stimulate educational events in communities so teens can learn what science has taught us about drug use and addiction Learn more »


Protecting the Vulnerable Substance Use Disorder Population During COVID-19

By Brandon George and Nicolas P. Terry
Earlier this month, Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse identified those with substance use disorder (SUD) as a particularly vulnerable population during the COVID-19 pandemic. She highlighted the negative effects of opioid or methamphetamine use on respiratory and pulmonary health in addition to the disproportionate number of those with SUD who are homeless or incarcerated.

We detail the additional challenges faced by the SUD population and, specifically, the opioid use disorder (OUD) sub-group at this time, identify positive ameliorative steps taken by federal, state, and local governments, and recommend additional steps. Learn more »


IAPRSS: Valuable Resource for Peer Recovery Supports

IAPRSS provides access and structure to the ever-growing continuing education of peer recovery support professionals. These benefits are open to all peer recovery supports. More »