For the 16 million people globally and 3 million people in the U.S. suffering from opioid use disorder (OUD), COVID-19 brings a slew of issues: lack of face-to-face counseling services, methadone clinic shutdown and increased mortality risk from coronavirus from underlying respiratory damage.
Poverty and unemployment is highly correlated with opioid use disorder, according to a 2018 US Department of Health and Human Services study; as coronavirus wracks the economy with job loss and unemployment, opioid abuse could rise as the coronavirus crisis worsens.
Due to social distancing restrictions, traditional substance abuse recovery means like face-to-face counseling and rehabilitation clinics are unavailable, which has led to a push for virtual treatment options by Hazelden Betty Ford, the largest substance abuse non-profit in the country.
Methadone clinics—which function by doling out methadone prescribed by doctors to mitigate opioid withdrawal and cravings that lead to relapse—are unable to operate normally, as doing so would violate social distancing guidelines; recognizing this, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is training patients for home methadone treatment and allowing telemedicine visits for buprenorphine users, another drug to treat OUD that previously required regular doctor visits, according to Pew. Full Article - Forbes - By Alexandra Sternlicht
The great-power competition has begun in earnest.
What started as a catastrophe for China is shaping up to be a moment of strategic opportunity, a rare turning point in the flow of history. Suddenly, the protests in Hong Kong, carrying a mortal threat to political stability in the mainland, became a physical impossibility. More important, the pandemic set in motion a global competition, to contain the virus, for which China and the Chinese Communist Party seem uniquely prepared.