Screening and brief intervention for substance use disorders in times of COVID-19: potential opportunities, adaptations, and challenges

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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2021 Jan 22:1-6. doi: 10.1080/00952990.2020.1865996. Online ahead of print.


The ongoing pandemic has led to a sudden disruption of routine treatment services. Consequently, the already existing treatment gap for substance use disorders is likely to widen. There is an opportunity to expand the scope of Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI) to meet this unprecedented challenge. Its brevity, flexibility, and generalizability have positioned SBI to deal with additional systemic, structural, and attitudinal barriers that pertain to the pandemic. The standard content of SBI could be modified to adapt to the current context. SBI could also be used as a vehicle to render strategies for infection risk minimization. In this Perspective, we anticipate the challenges of expanding and implementing SBI in the present circumstances and present potential solutions. SBI, with adaptations, could bridge the augmented treatment gap for substance use disorders during COVID-19.

PMID:33481639 | DOI:10.1080/00952990.2020.1865996

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