The Response Winter 2020-2021 - 6

FROM THE COALITION

A New Reality
COVID-19 and Substance
Use Disorder Services:

by Coalition Co-Chairs: Kevin S. Barnhardt, Commissioner, County of Berks, and
Stanley J. Papademetriou, Executive Director, Council on Chemical Abuse

T

he COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc across the globe, and
Berks County has not been spared. Illness, hospitalizations, deaths,
school closures, employment disruptions, business bankruptcies,
confusion, conflicting information, isolation, fear. The COVID-19 pandemic
has significantly impacted how we live our lives. While we crave normalcy, it
is difficult to achieve during a pandemic. Not surprisingly, something which
has remained constant during this period has been an on-going epidemic
- the overdose crisis and substance use disorders. The epidemic within the
COVID-19 pandemic has barely skipped a beat.
Protecting our community from the ravages of substance use problems
through prevention and education services has been significantly impacted
due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools and playgrounds were closed
or unavailable, hindering services to youth. Likewise, community groups
were not meeting in-person, limiting the ability to provide substance use
related educational programming. However, almost immediately upon
the COVID-19 pandemic onset, prevention programs and lessons were
developed and offered through virtual means. Student Assistance Program
intervention continued via videoconferencing which assures that students at
risk for a substance use disorder get the necessary help they need. Substance
use related education programs have been offered to community groups
whenever and however possible. Tobacco cessation education programs
and support groups have been provided virtually, and free nicotine
replacement therapies continue to be available.

6

THE RESPONSE // WINTER 2020-2021



The Response Winter 2020-2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Response Winter 2020-2021

The Response Winter 2020-2021 - 1
The Response Winter 2020-2021 - 2
The Response Winter 2020-2021 - 3
The Response Winter 2020-2021 - 4
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The Response Winter 2020-2021 - 6
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Response/ResponseWinter2020-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Response/Response_Winter20192020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Response/TheReponseSummer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Response/TheResponseWinter2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Response/ResponseSpanish
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Response/SummerFall18
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com