Support for COVID-19-Related Substance Use Services Policy Changes: a New York State-Wide Survey

J Behav Health Serv Res. 2022 Jul;49(3):262-281. doi: 10.1007/s11414-021-09784-y. Epub 2022 Feb 2.


This study aims to describe which substance use service (SUS) organizations and who within these organizations support the maintenance of policies targeted at improving substance use treatment services. An online survey assessing respondent, organizational and program demographics, and knowledge and support regarding policy changes was distributed to all certified SUS and harm reduction programs in NYS. Bivariate and latent class analyses were used to identify patterns and associations to policy choices. Across the 227 respondents, there was a support for maintaining expansion of insurance coverage, virtual behavioral health/counseling and medication initiation/maintenance visits, reductions in prior authorizations, and access to prevention/harm reduction services. Three classes of support for policies were derived: (1) high-supporters (n = 49; 21%), (2) low-supporters (n = 66; 29%), and (3) selective-supporters. Having knowledge of policy changes was associated with membership in the high-supporters class. Implications regarding the role of knowledge in behavioral health policies dissemination structures, decision-making, and long-term expansion of SUS are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Insurance Coverage
  • New York
  • Substance-Related Disorders* / therapy