Menu

In the News

How the Pandemic is Limiting Treatment Options for Addicts, Alcoholics

According to substance abuse experts at CA Bridge, an Oakland arm of the Public Health Institute, people who use drugs are doubly at risk during this pandemic, not only from overdose but also from increased risk of infection. Medical mobilization to address the COVID-19 coronavirus is leading to shifts in health care that may inadvertently make accessing treatment for addiction even harder.

image: group at alcoholics anonymous meeting

If you are an addict struggling with sobriety how do you reach out for help in the face of today’s virus environment of “social distancing” and “stay in place” isolation?

Welcome to the new world of telehealth and online therapy.

According to substance abuse experts at CA Bridge, an Oakland arm of the Public Health Institute, people who use drugs are doubly at risk during this pandemic, not only from overdose but also from increased risk of infection. Medical mobilization to address the COVID-19 coronavirus is leading to shifts in health care that may inadvertently make accessing treatment for addiction even harder.

“There’s no way you can sit at home and endure this. Everything about the way the human brain and body works will prioritize seeking relief, whether that means showing up in a crowded ER or finding drugs on the street,” Serena Clayton, CA Bridge program director, said.

“It’s more important than ever that people addicted to opioids or other drugs are given medication for addiction treatment. Unless treated, they may go into withdrawal or risk overdose, thereby increasing the chances of spreading the virus within their high-risk populations and to the health care workers who treat them,” says Dr. Hannah Snyder, primary care and addiction medicine specialist at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, and a principal investigator for the CA Bridge program.

Copyright BAYCN – Bay City News


California Bridge is working to ensure that people with substance use disorder receive 24/7 high-quality care in every California health system by 2025. We seek to fully integrate addiction treatment into standard medical practice—increasing access to treatment to save more lives.

Originally published by Bay City News


More Updates

Work With Us

You change the world. We do the rest. Explore fiscal sponsorship at PHI.

Bring Your Work to PHI

Support Us

Together, we can accelerate our response to public health’s most critical issues.

Donate

Find Employment

Begin your career at the Public Health Institute.

See Jobs

closeup image of coronavirus

Close

COVID-19 Resources and Updates

The Public Health Institute is working hard to focus our resources and expertise to address COVID-19 and its impacts on our communities. We are getting masks and PPE directly to frontline workers, bolstering efforts to address inequities, and coming up with solutions to support our most vulnerable communities.

See our work

Continue to PHI.org