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Bridging the Disparities Gap in the Opioid Crisis
The Heller School
The following is a discussion between Maria Madison and Andrew Kolodny from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management on how the prevailing narrative around the opioid epidemic fails to recognize its effects on nonwhite populations. The conversation serves as an important reminder for us, that we should always strive to make the work we do intersectional, so that our efforts can reach as many people as possible.
The San Francisco Bay Area is putting homeless people with COVID-19 in hotel rooms. Some are given alcohol to prevent withdrawal.
As communities work to prevent the spread of COVID-19, San Francisco and Contra Costa counties, among other California counties, are implementing programs to help the vulnerable. Through a program called "Project Roomkey", homeless people who have or are vulnerable to getting COVID-19 are provided with individual hotel and motel rooms. In San Francisco and Contra Costa, guests who need to manage substance use disorder are able to receive methadone, alcohol, cannabis, and cigarettes while sheltering.
"Addiction doesn't stop because there's an infectious disease pandemic," the National Health Care for the Homeless Council wrote in an April memo. "Failure to accommodate substance use disorders will likely mean increases in fatal overdoses/dangerous withdrawals, higher rates of vulnerable people leaving isolation and quarantine against medical advice, and compromised individual and public health."