The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) conducted extensive review on the use of telehealth services. Based upon the findings, TDMHSAS believes telehealth is a viable option for access to behavioral health services and enhancing the efficiency of the crisis service delivery system.

OTP Guidance for Patients Quarantined at Home with the Coronavirus

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Division of Pharmacologic Therapies (DPT) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) I. OTP Guidance for Patients Quarantined at Home with the Coronavirus

Social Media and Substance Use: What Should We Be Recommending to Teens and Their Parents?

Editorial Social Media and Substance Use: What Should We Be Recommending to Teens and Their Parents? With social media increasingly integrated into the lives of today’s teenagers, there are two urgent needs: for further research on online exposure to substance use and for clear recommendations to mental health practitioners, adolescents, and parents about the need to assess and monitor teens’ online exposure to substance use.

Considerations for Outpatient Mental and Substance Use Disorder Treatment Settings

Persons with Serious Mental Illness that are served in outpatient treatment settings may be at elevated risk for acquiring Covid-19 and may have a more complicated course. This is because of increased comorbidity of chronic medical conditions as well as limitations in accessing preventive and ongoing primary care. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gives some specific guidance for outpatient facilities during the Covid19 emergency1:

Considerations for the Care and Treatment of Mental and Substance Use Disorders in the COVID-19

Overview: COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus spread by the respiratory route and contact with contaminated surfaces. It appears to be highly contagious and has a significant morbidity and mortality rate. Because these attributes are known and because this agent has been identified as responsible for a global pandemic, it is essential that behavioral healthcare facilities implement plans to protect patients and staff from infection to the greatest extent possible. The following are offered as considerations aimed at decreasing the likelihood of infection and viral transmission and providing for the behavioral health needs of patients.

Using Telehealth to Identify and Manage Health and Substance Use Disorder Conditions in Rural Areas

Access to services, particularly behavioral health and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services, is challenging in rural and other underserved areas. Some of the reasons for these challenges include lack of specialty providers and local primary care providers (PCPs) without experience in behavioral health treatment, as well as concerns over stigma and lack of privacy for individuals from smaller communities.

Covid-19 and the Changes to Policies and Guidelines for Treating Substance Use Disorders

On January 31, 2020, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared a nationwide public health emergency due to the emergence of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). COVID-19 has affected almost every aspect of daily life in the United States, and in attempt to “flatten the curve,” the government is urging all Americans to practice social distancing and remain at home as much as possible. Individuals who have contracted COVID-19 are asked to remain in isolation until they are no longer contagious, and people who have been in contact with a COVID-19-positive individual are asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days. While these methods are needed to stop the spread of COVID-19 across the country, they have also brought life to a halt. To ensure the safety of the community, restaurants, businesses, and schools have been closed, and many individuals are now unemployed or forced to work from home while simultaneously overseeing their children’s “distance learning.”

COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on Patients, Families and Individuals in Recovery from Substance Use Disorders

The Addiction Policy Forum conducted a pilot study to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs) and to inform subsequent studies. A web-based survey was administered to our network of patients, families and survivors between April 27 and May 8, 2020. The webbased survey was completed by 1,079 SUD patients and impacted individuals whose responses were included in the analyses for this report. An additional 533 individuals partially completed the survey. The research provides insight into the experiences of patients, those in recovery and family members on the emotional and health consequences of COVID-19, including overdose rates and barriers in safely accessing care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

TAP 34: Disaster Planning Handbook for Behavioral Health Treatment Programs

Offers guidance in creating a disaster preparedness and recovery plan for programs that provide treatment for mental illness and substance use disorders. Covers the planning process, preparing for disaster, roles and responsibilities, training, and testing.

COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI has over 600 state organizations and affiliates across the nation.

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