People being treated for opioid use disorder with methadone or Suboxone are being sent home with more medication, in an attempt to reduce crowds in treatment centers amidst the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Washington Post.
Treatment providers have made changes to medication dispensing in order to reduce visits and protect both patients and staff. Some treatment providers say they are concerned the change will increase the risk that people will misuse the medication or sell it.
The Rev. Milton Emanuel Williams Jr., who runs Turning Point Clinic, the biggest treatment center in Baltimore, said his facility usually dispenses medication daily to more than 2,000 people. Now he’s sending people home with up to 28 days worth of medication. “We’re putting a lot of methadone and Suboxone on the street right now, which is a huge concern to me,” he said. “There are folks who can’t handle all this medication.”
COVID-19: Accessing Critical Medications for Your Loved One
For those using or considering pharmacotherapy, also known as medication-assisted treatment, to treat opioid use disorder, we have guidance to help ensure there is no lapse in care due to COVID-19 circumstances.