This information is valuable for staff, students and parents.
Betty Mitchell,
Kingsway Regional School District,
Woolwich Township, NJ
Medication Misuse: What You Need to Know to Help Protect Children, Teens and Young Adults
~ Partnership staff
Special Considerations When Seeking Substance Use Treatment During COVID-19
~ Partnership to End Addiction Staff
In a Time of Disruption, Protecting Your Child from the Risks of Substance Use
~ Partnership for Drug Free Kids
COVID-19: Accessing Critical Medications for Your Loved One
~ Partnership for Drug Free Kids
Alcohol Prevention at a Time of Furlough and Layoffs
~ Jason Kilmer, Jennifer Jacobsen, David Arnol,d Leah Kareti
What is Vivitrol? Answers for Parents
~ Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
What to Know about Drugs Laced with Fentanyl & Other Substances
~ Partnership for Drug Free Kids
Carfentanil: A Dangerous New Factor in the U.S. Opioid Crisis
DEA Drug Information
Addiction and Sleep
How to Know if Your Kid is Vaping Marijuana - and What to Do About It
~ Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Juul, the vape device teens are getting hooked on, explained
~ Julia Belluz, Vox Media
What Parents Should Know About Kids Using CBD
~ Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Pediatricians warn against marijuana use: Not your parents' pot
~ By LINDSEY TANNER, AP Medical Writer
The Teen Years: How Parents Can Grant Their Teenager Privacy While Overseeing Their Well-Being at Home
Am I Enabling My Child by Helping Them?
~ Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, Master Addictions Counselor Mary Ann Badenoch, LPC
Not Getting Anywhere Talking to Your Child About Their Drug Use? Try Changing Your Tone of Voice.
~ Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Your Child's Treatment & Recovery Roadmap: A Guide to Navigating the Addiction Treatment System
~ Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Covering the Costs of Addiction Treatment, Whether Insured or Not
~ Partnership to End Addiction Staff
No Beds Available: What To Do When You're on a Waitlist for Addiction Treatment
~ Partnership for Drug Free Kids
What is Family Therapy for Addiction and How Can It Help MY Family
~ Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, Molly Bobek, LCSW, and Aaron Hogue, PhD, of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Use
I Was Blindsided By How Insurance Treated My Son's Substance Use Claim
~ Virginia Holleman, Parent & Advocate
Your First Call with Your Insurance Provider: What to Ask about Substance Use Coverage
~ by Lindsey Vuolo, JD, MPH, Associate Director of Health Law and Policy at the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
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  Special Considerations When Seeking Substance Use Treatment During COVID-19  
  ~ Partnership to End Addiction Staff  

While we hear daily reports on business closures and the importance of social distancing, many treatment programs are still open and accepting patients. If your child is currently out of school or work, or is in unexpected withdrawal (especially due to alcohol or benzodiazepines which can be life-threatening), it may be an ideal time to encourage them to attend a program. If they agree, prepare to ask some important questions of potential treatment providers.

Questions to Ask Providers in Light of COVID-19

Phone intake questionsHow are you pre-screening potential patients? Does your process include questions about recent travel, having flu-like symptoms or contact with others who have the virus?

Many places do a phone intake, but if there is a waiting room, be sure social distancing policies are in place.

How are you preventing the spread of COVID-19? What procedures are in place for sanitizing facilities?

Hopefully, staff has been trained and there is frequent disinfection of surfaces such as doorknobs, desks, kitchen tables, stairwell handles, elevator buttons, etc. Everyone should wash hands with soap and water often, and facilities need to make hand sanitizer widely available. (Note: Hand sanitizers contain alcohol so many facilities haven't allowed it in the past, but under these circumstances, it should be made available).

Wear a maskWhat measures are being taken to remind staff and patients about ways to prevent the spread of germs, including avoiding holding hands and hugging during 12-step meetings or other fellowship?

Training, signage and reminders of these safety precautions should be in place. Use of telehealth (long-distance patient and clinician care) for one-on-one and group counseling and online meetings may be used instead of in-person meetings. Some places are reducing the number of people in group counseling, or moving to more individual counseling, so that social distancing can be maintained.

How is the program managing evaluations and on-going monitoring of patients who are on prescription medications? Is this done using telehealth (over the phone or video conferencing) or in person?

Knowing the availability of the provider for usual care and emergencies is important, as well as where medications can be obtained. For instance, some programs offering methadone treatment are using lockboxes for medication pick up while others are allowing take-home doses.

What are your visitation policies? Are any visitors allowed on campus? If so, for what reasons?

This can include medical personnel such as a visiting psychiatrist, 12-step guest speakers, clergy, family members, etc. Many places are limiting visitors unless they are absolutely required for treatment.

Keep it cleanWhat steps are being taken to regularly sanitize housing and transportation (if the treatment program your child needs includes housing that is separate from the program itself)?

Halfway houses, supervised apartments and motels are often used for housing in conjunction with Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) and Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs), so be sure to ask what's being done if your child is not going to be living on the campus where treatment is provided.

Are patients taken off campus?

Many residential treatment programs take patients out to fellowship meetings or to activities like the beach or bowling. Assuming these outings have been curtailed because of the virus, what are they doing instead?

What will happen if my child, a staff member or someone else gets sick, or if there is an outbreak of COVID-19 on the property?

Be sure to ask about staff's medical credentials and training as many people with substance use disorders may be at greater risk of getting COVID-19 due to other underlying problems. Some facilities are checking for symptoms and fevers by taking temperatures daily. People who are symptomatic should be isolated, tested and given the necessary level of care either at the residential facility or in a hospital. In some programs, tablets are provided to anyone in isolation so that they continue working on their treatment despite being symptomatic. Staff members should be asked to stay at home if they have any symptoms.

Who does the residential facility refer to for COVID-19 testing or if critical care is needed?

You may wish to have your child transported to a place of your choosing if you are not comfortable with the program's selection or if there are insurance concerns.

Learn more about finding quality, affordable treatment programs or connect with our free, confidential helpline for guidance.

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