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Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems ; 24(3):41-45, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1955735


The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic poses new challenges and requires new solutions for problems previously not faced by our generation. This particularly applies to the field of opioid dependence therapy due to the physical and psychological vulnerability of patients and the treatment model that often requires daily attendance. An overview is given of the responses of the physicians and the recommendations of medical societies in Germany during the year 2020 with a special focus on the lockdown periods and the challenges and guidelines for the patients, patient organizations and physicians, both outpatient and in prison. Reduced travel and empty inner cities led to reduced patient income combined with closed patient organizations during lockdown, leading to a temporary increase of patients in opioid dependence therapy. New hygiene procedures had to be implemented. A temporary change in the German Narcotics Prescription Ordinance, including longer periods for take-home prescriptions, allowed for ongoing supply with improved social distancing. Depot buprenorphine significantly reduces the risk of infection by avoiding the daily commute and presence at the practice with many other patients. This is even more favourable in prison settings by greatly reducing the movement of prisoners and diversion of drugs.