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Center for Opioid Epidemiology & Policy Center for Opioid Epidemiology & Policy News

Center for Opioid Epidemiology & Policy News

Stay up to date on COVID-19 related guidance and resources relevant to medications for opioid use disorder and opioid treatment programs, and explore recent developments in opioid epidemiology and policy. Please join our mailing list.

COVID-19 Resources Related to Opioid Epidemiology and Policy

Following the development of the COVID-19 pandemic, various organizations and government agencies have issued guidance documents and resources relevant to substance use disorder treatment and medication. NYU Langone’s Center for Opioid Epidemiology and Policy has compiled a list of these prescribing updates, guidance, and resources for patients and providers relevant to medications for opioid use disorder and opioid treatment programs.

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Potential Implications of COVID-19 for People With Substance Use Disorders

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Read more: Potential Implications of COVID-19 for People With Substance Use Disorders

SAMHSA Resources and Information

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has created a list of resources and guidance to aid individuals, providers, communities, and states during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit their resource page.

DEA COVID-19 Resources

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has provided resources on medication and treatment for substance use disorders in the context of COVID-19. Visit their resource page.

ASAM COVID-19 Resources

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)’s Caring for Patients During COVID-19 (CPDC) Task Force has produced a resource list pertaining to tailored addiction medicine treatment. Visit their resource page.

NIDA COVID-19 Resources

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has compiled a list of resources for people with substance use disorder and who are in recovery to help cope with the unique challenges presented by COVID-19. Visit their resource page.

Vital Strategies Resources for Drug Use and COVID-19 Risk Reduction

Vital Strategies, Inc., has created a resource list for people who use drugs and stakeholders likely to engage with people who use drugs. Visit their resource page.

Recent Opioid Epidemiology and Policy Developments

Stay up to date with recent news in opioid epidemiology and policy.

HHS Eliminates X-Waiver Requirement for DEA-Registered Physicians

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) eliminated the X-waiver requirement for physicians. The X-waiver requirement was the certification required for physicians to prescribe buprenorphine to patients with opioid use disorder (OUD). With the publication of the Practice Guidelines for the Administration of Buprenorphine for Treating Opioid Use Disorder, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)-registered physicians are now exempt from the X-waiver certification requirements needed to prescribe buprenorphine for OUD treatment. Many questions remain on how this will be implemented and the impact this will have on OUD treatment availability and access in the United States. Read the full article.

The Future of Recreational Marijuana Use in New Jersey Voters and its Health Implications

In this discussion on the future of marijuana regulation, Magdalena Cerdá, DrPH, MPH, examines the need to legalize marijuana production, distribution, and use in a manner that would mitigate public health harms. Read the full article (subscription required).

Ways That the COVID-19 Epidemic Exacerbated the Opioid Pandemic

Dr. Cerdá discusses the ways in which people who use drugs are particularly vulnerable to the public health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. She also discusses steps that could be taken to mitigate these harmful effects. Read the full article.

The Fight to Build an Opioid Treatment Center in a Native American Community

Noa Krawczyk, PhD, argues for the importance of tailoring substance use care when it comes to treating indigenous communities. Read the full article.

Risk of Post-Treatment Overdose for Opioid Use Disorder Medication Patients

Dr. Krawczyk and a team of researchers found that the time after leaving medication treatment for opioid use disorder carries a great risk of mortality for people with substance use problems. They stress the need to improve retention in treatment through maintenance therapy and by reducing barriers to medication treatments. Read the full report.

How Isolation Can Affect Substance Users

In a BronxNet segment, Samuel Friedman, PhD, discusses the harmful impact that isolation due to COVID-19 may potentially have on people who use substances. Watch the full video report.

How Clinicians Organize Methadone Maintenance Treatment in Regard to Patient Use of Non-Opioid Drugs

Research by David Frank, PhD, shows that many methadone maintenance treatment providers increasingly disallow and punish patients for non-opioid substance use, potentially leading to patient frustration and dropout. Read the full journal article.

New Evidence Map Tool to Help Conceptualize All Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Studies

The Evidence Map of Opioid Use Disorder Treatments (EvMap) aims to visualize all available opioid use disorder treatment studies using a visual and text-based schematic. Created by Joshua D. Lee, MD, MSc, and his research team, EvMap highlights the density of studies in a given cross-section of treatment approaches and outcomes, as well as interventions and outcomes lacking research. For more information, visit the OUD Treatment Evidence Map.

Racial Disparities in Relation to the Good Samaritan Laws

At the 2020 Symposium on Substance Use Research, Tarlise Townsend, PhD, presented new findings on Black and white racial disparities in the effects of Good Samaritan Laws on overdose mortality.

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Marijuana Legalization May Lead to More Problematic Use Among Adults

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Read more: Marijuana Legalization May Lead to More Problematic Use Among Adults
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Despite Cost-Effectiveness of Naloxone, Barriers to Access Persist

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Read more: Despite Cost-Effectiveness of Naloxone, Barriers to Access Persist