Public Health

An Epidemic Within a Pandemic

April 28, 2021  • Health, Medicine & Society Program

The response to the U.S. opioid crisis has been fractured, making it hard for experts to collaborate and share best practices. This approach has led to an abundance of policies and solutions, many of which target small portions of the crisis rather than taking a holistic view. To bring together experts from across industries, organizations, and specialties, the Aspen Institute and National Academy of Medicine launched the Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. Through convenings, publications, strategic partnerships, webinars, this podcast, and other outlets the experts who comprise the Action Collaborative aim to uplift established evidence, promote best practices, identify research gaps, and identify collaborative approaches to countering the opioid crisis.

In each episode of Countering the Opioid Crisis: Time to Act,  Ruth Katz, Vice President and the Executive Director of the Health, Medicine and Society Program at the Aspen Institute and co-chair of the NAM’s Action Collaborative, will host experts who will discuss various aspects of the opioid crisis, the response, and research that is being conducted to better understand the disease of addiction and the management of chronic pain.

Episode 1: An Epidemic within a Pandemic

Guests: Kelly Clark, American Society for Addiction Medicine; Daniel Sledge, Williamson County Mobile Outreach Team

The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded and intensified the barriers many people experience when trying to access treatment and harm reduction services for substance use disorders due to physical distancing protocols and fear of infection. However, the pandemic has also created an environment in which clinicians have been given more flexibility in providing care to patients. During this episode, Kelly Clark, an addiction medicine expert, and Daniel Sledge, a first responder, will discuss how providing care to patients, access to treatment, and caring for those in urgent need of assistance has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. View the full transcript.

Written by:
Produced and edited by Shanna Lewis

Theme Song by Benjamin Lerner & Joshua Sherman, Recorded at Old Mill Road Recording, East Arlington, Vermont

(C) 2020 by Joshua Sherman Productions, L.L.C., All Rights Reserved.