Triple Threat: Response to the Crises of COVID-19, Homelessness, and Opioid Use Disorder With a Novel Approach to Buprenorphine Delivery: A Case Series

J Addict Med. 2022 Nov-Dec;16(6):733-735. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000989.


Objectives: In the setting of a 50% increase in opioid overdose deaths, the coronavirus disease 2019 crisis opened housing opportunities in the form of Shelter in Place (SIP) hotels to homeless San Francisco residents. Many who entered SIP hotels had opioid use disorder. In fall 2020, Community Behavioral Health Services Pharmacy partnered with SIP hotel medical staff to launch a pilot project, where on-site SIP medical providers prescribed buprenor-phine (BUP) and clinical pharmacists hand-delivered BUP to SIP residents to increase BUP initiation and engagement.

Methods: A retrospective chart review of 3 patients living in SIP hotels starting BUP to demonstrate the feasibility of a SIP hotel BUP delivery program.

Results: In all 3 cases, patients were able to start and continue BUP with on-site medical staff visits and delivery of medications by pharmacists. Each case highlights different barriers that were overcome by this system.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that this system of onsite medical care with pharmacist delivery is possible and has the potential to allow for greater outreach and increased ease of obtaining medications for patients.

MeSH terms

  • Buprenorphine* / therapeutic use
  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Ill-Housed Persons*
  • Narcotic Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Opioid-Related Disorders* / drug therapy
  • Pilot Projects
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Buprenorphine
  • Narcotic Antagonists