An Epidemic in the Midst of a Pandemic

Opioid Use Disorder and COVID-19

Published in: Annals of Internal Medicine (April 2020). doi: 10.7326/M20-1141

Posted on RAND.org on April 29, 2020

by G. Caleb Alexander, Kenneth B. Stoller, Rebecca Lee Haffajee, Brendan Saloner

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The COVID-19 pandemic strikes at a moment when our national response to the opioid crisis was beginning to coalesce, with more persons gaining access to treatment and more patients receiving effective medications. COVID-19 threatens to dramatically overshadow and reverse this progress. Some disruptions in the care of patients with opioid use disorder are inevitable during the weeks and months to come. However, extraordinary planning and support can limit excessive disruption and its dire consequences.

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