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Opportunities for Research on the Treatment of Substance Use Disorders in the Context of COVID-19

Educational Objective
To understand how COVID-19 has affected the research and treatment of substance use disorders
1 Credit CME

Requirements for minimizing physical contact to reduce transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 have led to shifts in treatment and research on psychiatric disorders,1,2 including substance use disorders (SUDs). Notable have been increases in use of telehealth, changes to reimbursement for remote services, shifts in rules and regulations, impacts on vulnerable populations, and difficulties with data collection. These shifts provide an opportunity to evaluate which changes should remain after coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which should be reserved for crises, and which ones are deleterious.

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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.

Article Information

Corresponding Author: Carlos Blanco, MD, PhD, Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse, 6001 Executive Blvd, Bethesda, MD 20852 (carlos.blanco2@nih.gov).

Published Online: September 1, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.3177

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Compton reports long-term stock holdings from General Electric, 3M Company, and Pfizer outside the submitted work. No other disclosures were reported.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the authors and should not be construed to represent the views of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institutes of Health, or any US government agency.

References
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Amsalem  D , Dixon  LB , Neria  Y .  The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak and mental health: current risks and recommended actions.   JAMA Psychiatry. Published online June 24, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.1730PubMedGoogle Scholar
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Federation of State Medical Boards. COVID-19. Accessed June 14, 2020. https://www.fsmb.org/advocacy/covid-19
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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) Guidance. Updated March 19, 2020. Accessed June 14, 2020. http://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/otp-guidance-20200316.pdf
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Grimm  CA . Geographic disparities affect access to buprenorphine services for opioid use disorder. US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. Published January 2020. Accessed June 14, 2020. https://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-12-17-00240.pdf
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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid. List of telehealth services. Updated March 30, 2020. Accessed June 14, 2020. https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-General-Information/Telehealth/Telehealth-Codes
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National Institutes of Health. Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network. Updated August 4, 2020. Accessed June 14, 2020.https://heal.nih.gov/research/research-to-practice/jcoin
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Powell  BJ , Beidas  RS .  Advancing implementation research and practice in behavioral health systems.   Adm Policy Ment Health. 2016;43(6):825-833. doi:10.1007/s10488-016-0762-1PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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Kirchner  JE , Smith  JL , Powell  BJ , Waltz  TJ , Proctor  EK .  Getting a clinical innovation into practice: an introduction to implementation strategies.   Psychiatry Res. 2020;283:112467. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2019.06.042PubMedGoogle Scholar
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