Bipartisan Opioid Task Force hosts virtual discussion on COVID-19 and the opioid epidemic

Task force members, including Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, heard from substance use disorder experts about the challenges associated with COVID-19 that can lead to an increase in substance misuse

The Bipartisan Opioid Task Force, led by U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, Annie Kuster and Donald Norcross, hosted a virtual discussion on addressing the dual crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and the opioid epidemic.

The task force members heard from substance use disorder experts about the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic that can lead to an increase in substance misuse as Americans struggle with the current public health crisis and economic downturn.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic has turned many of our lives upside down, one of the groups that has largely been overlooked throughout this ordeal has been those suffering from opioid addiction. Just because the COVID-19 pandemic started did not mean that the opioid public health crisis ended,” Fitzpatrick said. “In fact, social distancing measures and concerns over the virus are adversely affecting how many people can be treated for substance use disorder. Not only have treatment facilities and capabilities been challenged during this time, but those suffering from SUDs have faced many other difficulties. We must continue to work to help those in need during this difficult time.”