Perceptions of individuals in treatment for substance use disorder during COVID-19: insight on mental health, sobriety, access to treatment, and telehealth

J Addict Dis. 2022 Jan-Mar;40(1):111-113. doi: 10.1080/10550887.2021.1948292. Epub 2021 Jul 23.


During the pandemic, the US has seen increases in substance use and the number of deaths by overdose. This study aimed to identify specific impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those with SUD. Specifically, we catalogued the perceptions and impact of the pandemic on mental health, sobriety, access to medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD), and utility of telehealth in the treatment of SUD. Findings showed important perceptions patients had lower agreement on the difficulty of staying sober compared to COVID-19's effects on mental health and high agreement on openness to telehealth as treatment. Researchers and clinicians must continue efforts to understand and ameliorate the disproportionate burden in morbidity and mortality in individuals with SUD.

Keywords: COVID-19; Substance use disorder; telehealth; treatment.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Opioid-Related Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Opioid-Related Disorders* / therapy
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Telemedicine*