Issue brief: Reports of increases in opioid related overdose and other concerns during COVID pandemic

As the COVID-19 global pandemic continues, so does the nation’s opioid epidemic. The AMA is greatly
concerned by an increasing number of reports from national, state and local media suggesting increases in
opioid-related mortality—particularly from illicitly manufactured fentanyl and fentanyl analogs. More
than 35 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality as well as ongoing concerns for those
with a mental illness or substance use disorder in counties and other areas within the state. This also
includes new reports about the need for evidence-based harm reduction services, including sterile needle
and syringe services and naloxone.

The AMA is pleased that the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have provided increased flexibility for providing
buprenorphine and methadone to patients with opioid use disorder. The AMA is further pleased at
increased flexibility provided by the DEA to help patients with pain obtain necessary medications.

The AMA urges governors and state legislatures to take action…

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CHIME Opioid Action Center

710 Avis Drive, Suite 200
Ann Arbor, MI 48108


Phone: 1.734.665.0000


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