COVID-19

UPDATED September 24, 2020: 

The COVID-19 public health emergency is particularly challenging for people in treatment for substance use disorder, people in recovery, and people who use drugs. This collection features educational resources that can be adapted for local settings, specific guidance on harm reduction, recovery housing and providing peer support services during the pandemic, and links to websites that provide high-quality information, data, and/or examples for local communities to adopt.

This collection includes:

  • NEW! A guide designed for local policymakers and civic institutions on improving mental health and well-being during COVID-19, including recommendations and strategies for the immediate crisis and the recovery phase based on the Well Being Trust’s framework.
  • A link to the response page of the National Academies that includes resources for supporting individuals with substance use disorder and those who experience pain
  • A 2-page guide details harm reduction and syringe exchange programs during the COVID-19 pandemic from Higher Ground Harm Reduction, Reynolds Health Strategies, Harm Reduction Coalition, & Vital Strategies
  • A 10-page guide for operations of treatment courts during the COVID-19 pandemic from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals
  • A report describing disparities in the impact of COVID-19 on communities of color and the lack of access to services for these populations from the Office of Behavioral Health Equity in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  •  A guide to operating pre-arrest diversion programs during the COVID-19 pandemic from the Police, Treatment, and Community Collaborative.
  • A guide for providing addiction treatment services for people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic from the American Society for Addiction Medicine.
  • A report summarizing research into how trauma and racism lead to chronic stress and affect the health of black Americans from the Office of Behavioral Health Equity at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  • A toolkit from Montefiore Health System for maintaining patient access to treatment for opioid use disorder during the COVID-19 national emergency
  • A link to the COVID-19 Health Literacy Project at Harvard Medical School, which has published COVID-19 fact sheets in over 30 languages
  • Seven publications from the Yale Program in Addiction Medicine that provide guidance on maintaining substance use disorder treatment during the COVID-19 public health emergency for the following audiences:
  • A guide to harm reduction strategies during this crisis and a link to the Harm Reduction Coalition’s COVID-19 website
  • A guide to providing peer recovery supports through digital technology from Unity Recovery in Philadelphia, PA
  • A guide for recovery housing from the National Association of Recovery Residences
  • A link to the COVID-19 response from Oregon Recovers, which may serve as an example for other state recovery organizations
  • A link to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s COVID-19 resources page, which includes data and information on federal and state responses to the public health emergency

For updated information on federal COVID-19 response, please see the website www.coronavirus.gov. We also encourage readers to visit the websites of their state agencies for information about local responses and resources.

If you have educational materials, implementation guides, or toolkits that would help policy makers, health and treatment providers, or patients and caregivers address substance-related issues during this public health emergency, please consider submitting them to us through our call for submissions page.

Policymakers & Community Leaders
Payers & Providers
Patients & Caregivers

Covid-19 Health Literacy Project

Source: Harvard Medical School, Harvard Health Publishing

The Covid-19 Health Literacy Project of Harvard Medical School published Covid-19 fact sheets in 30+ languages.

External Website
Payers & Providers

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidance for Clinicians

Source: Yale Program in Addiction Medicine

This 5 page guide from the Yale Program in Addiction Medicine for clinicians provides strategies for working with patients with addictions during the Covid-19 public health emergency.

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Patients & Caregivers

Guidance for People Who Use Substances on COVID-19

Source: Yale Program in Addiction Medicine

This 3 page document from the Yale Program in Addiction Medicine provides guidance in managing the Covid-19 public health crisis for people who use drugs.

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Patients & Caregivers

Safer Drug Use During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Source: Harm Reduction Coalition

This 2 page guide for patients and caregivers provides harm reduction strategies for people who use drugs during the Covid-19 public health emergency.

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Policymakers & Community Leaders
Patients & Caregivers

COVID-19 Guidance for People Who Use Drugs and Harm Reduction Programs

Source: Harm Reduction Coalition

This Harm Reduction Coalition web page provides guidance for people who use drugs for coping during the Covid-19 public health emergency. It includes Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic language versions of the information.

External Website
Payers & Providers
Patients & Caregivers

Telerecovery Guide and SOP

Source: Unity Recovery

This guide from the Unity Recovery organization in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania provides detailed information on engaging in peer recovery supports through digital technology.

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Payers & Providers
Patients & Caregivers

COVID-19 Resources for Recovery Residences, Residents and Staff Members

Source: National Alliance for Recovery Residences

This document provides guidance for recovery housing during the COVID-19 pandemic from the National Alliance for Recovery Residences. This 4 page document includes information about the coronavirus, recommendations for residents, staff members and operators of recovery residences with links to relevant resources. Updated information can be found on their website: https://narronline.org/about-us/.

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Patients & Caregivers

Oregon Recovery Network

Source: Oregon Recovery Network

This website is the home of the Oregon Recovery Network’s Covid-19 response page. Oregon Recovers has created a centralized source of information on Covid-19 for the Oregon recovery community including

External Website
Policymakers & Community Leaders
Payers & Providers

State Data and Policy Actions to Address Coronavirus

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Covid-19 resources page  includes data and information on federal and state responses to the public health emergency. The site has data and charts summarizing the following:

External Website
Policymakers & Community Leaders

Treatment Courts and COVID-19: What to Consider During a Pandemic

Source: National Association of Drug Court Professionals, National Center for State Courts, State Justice Insitute

This 10-page document is a guide for operations of treatment courts during the COVID-19 pandemic. The resource provides guidance for treatment court staff on the following topics:

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Policymakers & Community Leaders
Payers & Providers

Double Jeopardy: COVID-19 and Behavioral Health Disparities for Black and Latino Communities in the U.S.

Source: Office of Behavioral Health Equity - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

This report describes disparities in the impact of COVID-19 on Black and Latino communities and the lack of access to services for these populations. The report describes strategies policymakers, community leaders and health care providers can adopt to address these disparities with links to further information.

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Policymakers & Community Leaders

10 Steps Deflection and Pre-Arrest Diversion Sites can Take During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

Source: Police, Treatment, and Community Collaborative

This resource serves as a guide to operating pre-arrest diversion programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. This guide provides 10 steps pre-arrest diversion programs can adopt during the pandemic to keep team members and clients healthy and maintain access to needed services, and 10 steps to take after the national emergency has ended to maintain or expand pre-arrest diversion programs.

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Policymakers & Community Leaders

Trauma, Racism, Chronic Stress and the Health of Black Americans

Source: Office of Behavioral Health Equity, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

This report summarizes research into how trauma and racism lead to chronic stress and affect the health of Black Americans. The report describes research findings and provides information about evidence-based interventions designed to address trauma and racism and improve health in affected communities.

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