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  • Substance Use and Overdose Prevention

     

    The COVID-19 pandemic has caused increased stress for many. The worries of possibly getting ill, financial pressures, grief over loss of loved ones, and the isolation resulting from the measures necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 are all risk factors for problematic substance use, increased use, or even relapse in persons with sustained periods of abstinence.

    If you know someone who may need assistance, the following resources can support you in locating treatment services: 

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) operates a helpline:

    • SAMHSA’s National Helpline to Assist in Locating Treatment for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders
      • SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
      • Many treatment providers have adapted to allow for social distancing and preventing COVID-19 infections and/or offering services through telehealth.
    • Accreditation is an important tool in assessing quality of services. CARF is a leading accreditor of behavioral health services.
    • Shatterproof has also implemented the ATLAS tool to support individuals in locating the treatment that is appropriate for them and identifying quality providers.

    In addition to the increased dangers of substance use is the increased risk of overdose. Using substances alone or relapsing after a period of abstinence can increase the risk of overdose. Opioid overdose medications save lives and should be a part of every organization’s first aid kit. To learn more, you can access the following resources:

    • Information on opioid overdose prevention medications provided by SAMHSA
      • Naloxone information
      • Naloxone is frequently found in local pharmacies or local prevention coalitions; use and training may vary by state.
    • The Harm Reduction Coalition also provides resources and trainings

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