The COVID-19 pandemic is making it more difficult for some people seeking treatment for addiction to find help, experts tell the Cincinnati Enquirer.
People who depend on libraries for Internet access are not able to take advantage of telehealth counseling and online sober meetings. In the Cincinnati area, Quick Response Teams (QRT), which go to homes of people who have survived overdoses to link them with treatment, have suspended their work. “The biggest part of QRT is that rapport … when you knock on the door. We’ve lost that relationship,” said Tom Fallon, investigative commander of the Hamilton County Heroin Task Force.
The Hamilton County Public Health Department now requires appointments for its syringe exchange program. The department hopes to reopen next week with outdoor services. Some people who routinely used syringe exchanges before the pandemic have stopped going, the article notes.
Dr. Mina “Mike” Kalfas, an addiction specialist with St. Elizabeth Physicians Journey Recovery Center in Northern Kentucky said some patients are missing their video therapy visits. “I’m starting to see substances creeping in,” she said. “I’m starting to see meth and even some of the older stuff: A little more heroin. A little more cocaine.”