ASAM COVID-19 TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS
TREATING UNHOUSED PEOPLE WITH ADDICTION DURING COVID-19
A guide for addiction treatment clinicians and programs working to treat patients with substance use disorders safely and effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic1.
For additional recommendations for the Ongoing Management of the Continuum of Addiction Care during COVID-19, please click here.
Purpose of the document
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is presenting significant challenges for continuing to provide quality addiction treatment while minimizing patient, staff, and community risk for COVID-19. These challenges are even greater for clinicians and programs and organizations that serve patients who are experiencing homelessness. This resource provides guidance for how safety net systems may need to adapt to support individuals struggling with unstable housing and substance use disorders during the COVID-19 crisis.
Treating Unhoused People With Addiction During Covid-19
1 This resource was developed by a Task Force appointed by ASAM’s Executive Council. To enable more rapid development and dissem-ination it was not developed through ASAM’s normal process for clinical guidance development that is overseen by the ASAM Quality Improvement Council.
This Clinical Guidance (“Guidance”) is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is intended to provide practical clinical guidance to ad- diction medicine physicians and others caring for individuals with substance use disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic as it unfolds. Adherence to any recommendations included in this Guidance will not ensure successful treatment in every situation. Furthermore, the recommendations contained in this Guidance should not be interpreted as setting a standard of care or be deemed inclusive of all proper methods of care nor exclusive of other methods of care reasonably directed to obtaining the same results.
The ultimate judgment regarding the propriety of any specific therapy must be made by the physician and the patient in light of all the circumstances pre- sented by the individual patient, and the known variability and biological behavior of the medical condition.
This Guidance and its conclusions and recommendations reflect the best available information at the time the Guidance was prepared. The results of future studies may require revisions to the recommendations in this Guidance to reflect new data. ASAM does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the Guidance and assumes no responsibility for any injury or damage to persons or property arising out of or related to any use of this Guidance or for any errors or omissions.
If you are a patient or family member or friend in need of immediate assistance:
- Disaster Distress Helpline
Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 800-273-8255 or Chat with Lifeline
About COVID-19 Taskforce Members
If you have questions related to the guidance in this document or suggestions for additional topics, please email COVID@asam.org