The coronavirus is rapidly spreading across the world and one particularly group of people who are at high risk are those that suffer from opioid use disorder (OUD). This group of people are highly likely to contract the virus because they are likely to be homeless, incarcerated, or suffer from other medical conditions. And for those who are looking to start recovery, it is challenging because of the new barriers these people face due to the coronavirus. Access to counseling, medications, and peer support programs that are used for OUD treatment are considered important recovery tools, but the pandemic has made it nearly impossible or increasingly challenging to utilize these resources.
Federal and state governments have recognized these challenges and are trying to take steps to mitigate the impact on the coronavirus on people with OUD. Steps include making it easier for people with OUD to obtain OUD medications and to shift OUD treatments to virtual settings.
While federal and state governments have recognized that this group of people are at high risk and need immediate support, are they doing enough and are they moving fast enough to provide these services? Could these services potentially prove to be successful and continue to be used when this pandemic is over? What else can be done by the federal and state governments and other organizations to support this group of people?