COVID-19 | Opioid Epidemic

Battling the Opioid Crisis During COVID-19

Conversation with Colleen Barry, PhD, MPP, Zachary Meisel, MD, MPH, Yngvild Olsen, MD, MPH, and Joshua Sharfstein, MD

12:00p.m. – 1:00p.m. ET May 8, 2020 Virtual Event

Read event recap here.

Prior to COVID-19, the U.S. was in the midst of a different epidemic, with nearly 130 people a day dying of an opioid overdose. Individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs) are particularly vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the systems of care upon which they rely have been severely constrained. In response, some regulatory policies have been eased and treatment programs have adapted. Experts explored the policy and public health implications of the twin epidemics of COVID-19 and opioids, and examined questions such as: In what ways do the populations most affected by COVID-19 and the opioid crisis overlap? How have social distancing and shelter-in-place policies affected access to care for SUD patients? What challenges does COVID-19 pose to SUD treatment and recovery more generally, and what policy levers can we use to address them? 


Colleen Barry, PhD, MPP

Chair and Fred and Julie Soper Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Zachary Meisel, MD, MPH, MSHP

Director, Center for Emergency Care Policy Research; Associate Professor, Emergency Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine

Yngvild Olsen, MD, MPH, DFASAM

Medical Director, Institutes for Behavior Resources Inc/REACH Health Services; Vice President, American Society of Addiction Medicine

Joshua Sharfstein, MD

Vice Dean, Public Health Practice and Community Engagement and Professor of the Practice, Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Jeanmarie Perrone, MD (moderator)

Director, Division of Medical Toxicology and Professor, Emergency Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine

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