Use of and Retention on Video, Telephone, and In-Person Buprenorphine Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder During the COVID-19 Pandemic

A study of 17,182 patients from the Veterans Health Administration sought to determine if patient characteristics – age, race/ethnicity, comorbidities, housing status – made a difference in the effectiveness of telehealth-delivered buprenorphine for opioid use disorder (OUD).  Effectiveness was determined by 90-day retention; three different telehealth modalities were examined, with each patient receiving at least one video visit, at least one telephone visit but no video, or only in-person.
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Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Drug Overdose Deaths in the US During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Recent reports highlighted racial and ethnic differences in US drug overdose deaths from 1999 to 2020.Overdose deaths increased 37.2% from February 2020 to August 2021 and were predominantly associated with synthetic opioids other than methadone (primarily fentanyl or analogs) and methamphetamine. Yet data are lacking regarding racial and ethnic disparities in overdose death rates within specific sex-age combinations before and during the COVID-19 pandemic (since March 2020)
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One Rural State’s Experience with Harm Reduction During Pandemic

Researchers interviewed community partners, health care providers, and people who inject drugs in Maine to see how the pandemic affected programs, including syringe services, safe drug supply, low barrier treatment, and peer support. Some barriers to access were unavoidable, but they found specific policy decisions that mitigated barriers, while other policies exacerbated them. 
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Guidance on COVID-19 Booster Shots

On May 19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 who completed their primary vaccination more than five months ago. The CDC also strengthened its recommendation that those 12 and older who are immunocompromised and those 50 and older should receive a second booster dose at least four months after their first.  Visit to find nearby locations for masks, testing, vaccines, and treatment. 
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COVID-19 Vaccines Available for Children Under 5

On Saturday, June 18, the federal committee that advises on all vaccines recommended that all children 6 months and older should receive a COVID-19 vaccine.  Parents can reach out to their doctor, nurse, local pharmacy, health department, or visit to learn more about vaccine safety and to find availability nearby.  New: Research identifies the most effective messages for parents. 
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Updated Guidance on COVID-19 Booster Shots

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) anticipates continued circulation of the virus, with potential for surges over the next several months. To reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, CDC has a new online tool to help individuals and families find out when to get a booster. To find nearby locations for vaccines, masks, testing, and treatment, visit
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RSV 2022 Session 6A: Substance Use Disorder in Indian Country (Day 3)

The first part of this presentation examined and presented medical/physiological aspects of SUD and an overview of the impact of SUD on a small but vulnerable population. Dr. Parker then provided an overview of recent substance abuse prevention and intervention applications within American Indian and Alaska Native communities. She described the trends regarding opioid overdose among American Indian and Alaska Native communities during the global pandemic and discussed opportunities for addressing opioid overdose prevention in the future.
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Reaching Farm Communities for Vaccine Confidence

The AgriSafe Network is a nonprofit organization that provides information and training on injury and disease related to agriculture.  Their health professionals and educators created a social media toolkit that aims to provide clear messages about COVID-19 vaccination for agriculture, forestry, and fishing workers.
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One Stop Online for COVID Prevention and Treatment in Every County

The new website,, asks visitors to enter their county and then provides nearby locations for masks and respirators, vaccines and boosters, and all testing and treatment options. The site also maps out clinics and pharmacies with a test-to-treat option, where one can get tested and, if positive, immediately receive anti-viral pills.  According to the White House, there are now more than 2,000 test-to-treat locations; the new website, announced yesterday, makes it easier to find them. 
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Tips for Working with People Who Use Drugs- In the Pandemic Era & Beyond

COVID-19 has undoubtedly brought about great loss and tremendous societal change— and with it, perhaps, some opportunity. As healthcare systems have been pushed to the brink and supply chains upended, people found themselves unable to access essential services for prolonged periods of time. People who use drugs (PWUD) have been particularly vulnerable to these disruptions, as traditional syringe services and harm reduction programs quickly pivoted to minimize person-to-person interaction while still working to provide life-saving services. Now is the time to leverage all that we have learned during COVID-19 to effectively plan and prepare for future public health crises and continue to advocate for much needed flexibility in service delivery for PWUD.
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