SAMHSA COVID-19 Guidance for Opioid Treatment Programs

Guidance on pharmacotherapy for opioid use disorder (OUD) availability in circumstances in which patients may be exposed to highly contagious infectious agents (such as COVID-19)

Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) should work with their State Opioid Treatment Authority (SOTA) to develop a disaster plan to address COVID–19.

For additional guidance on developing and implementing disaster plans, please refer to TAP 34: Disaster Planning Handbook for Behavioral Health Treatment Programs: https://store.samhsa.gov/product/TAP-34-Disaster-Planning-Handbook-for-Behavioral-Health-Treatment-Programs/SMA13-4779

Disaster plans shall not include any blanket exceptions for clinic closure and/or take-home medication for all patients to include patients who do not qualify for take-home/unsupervised use of opioid pharmacotherapies. Appropriate alternatives compliant with state and federal guidelines for dosing should be arranged for patients who are not eligible for take-home medication.

OTPs should direct specific questions about operations under the circumstances related to COVID-19 or other such pathogens in the future to their state agencies. SAMHSA provides general guidance regarding OTP regulation and operation, but specific questions must be addressed by the SOTA in the specific jurisdiction in which the program is located.