An Epidemic within a Pandemic: Opioid Use Disorder and COVID-19

Presented by

Aaron Marks, Brian Bailys, Daniel Lettenberger-Klein, Joan Papp, M.D., David Streem, M.D.

About this talk

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unparalleled challenges for healthcare in the United States. In Northeast Ohio, many are working tirelessly to coordinate care for patients struggling with Opioid Used Disorder (OUD), while navigating disruptions in the continuum of care from the COVID-19 pandemic. These unique challenges have created precarious scenarios for providers and patients, who have had to adopt new strategies to deal with the uncertainty of the pandemic. After a one-year drop in 2018, U.S. opioid overdose deaths increased again in 2019, topping 50,000 for the first time. While national data isn’t yet available for most of 2020, Ohio is on track to have one of its deadliest years of opioid drug overdoses. More residents died of overdoses in May than in any month in at least 14 years. The Northeast Ohio Hospital Opioid Consortium, a hospital system-based and physician-led collaboration housed at The Center for Health Affairs, is giving attention to this issue by hosting a virtual town hall with experts in various ends of the continuum of care model. These thought leaders will discuss the path forward, how the pandemic has reshaped care and provide tips and resources for members of the community who are struggling with OUD or have people close to them who are struggling with the disease.
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