Some changes to helping people with opioid use disorder during Covid will become permanent, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Reducing barriers to treatment of opioid use disorder was just one initiative undertaken by the federal government as the Covid-19 pandemic began that aimed to protect the health and lives of many. Eric Strain, a substance use disorders expert at Johns Hopkins, says now many of those changes are poised to stay.

Strain: The federal agency in charge of regulating the opioid treatment programs or the methadone clinics is going to make permanent changes which they enacted during Covid. So that treatment for people with opiate use disorder will get more flexible for those programs. Generally I think the field sees this as a good thing. Because it appears that there haven’t been major problems with these temporary changes that occurred during Covid.  :27

Strain calls to mind the dismal figures relative to deaths due to opioids in the United States, which are higher than ever in the last twelve months, and says strategies to combat this must include improved and eased access to treatment for opioid use disorder. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.