Making Space for Social Distance: Adapting Opioid Treatment Programs to COVID-19
A New Challenge
COVID-19 is having an immense impact on Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs)—leading them to transform established procedures to protect the health of patients and staff.
Implementing social distancing to defend against coronavirus is a daunting task for OTPs. To continue meeting with patients and providing medication-assisted treatment (MAT), they have a number of issues to tackle:
- Preventing spread of infection at facilities
- Maintaining lines of communication with patients
- Patients’ stress and isolation
- Dispensing medication while reducing traffic
- Assessing patients for medication safety
- Ensuring adequate stock of medications, PPE, and other supplies
- Adapting to federal and state guidelines
- Managing staff during a public health crisis
- Addressing staff anxiety
In this webinar, presenters from Strong Recovery discuss the steps they are taking to adapt substance use disorder (SUD) programs as quickly as possible in response to the COVID-19 crisis. They give an overview of new federal and state regulations and discuss changes they are implementing—social distancing, telehealth, expanded use of take-home medication, curbside dispensing, and more—in order to keep OTPs safe for patients and staff. The Q&A period is an opportunity to share experiences and delve into the challenges that OTPs in rural communities are facing.