Coronavirus Crisis Disrupts Treatment For Another Epidemic: Addiction
Shawn Hayes was thankful to be holed up at a city-run hotel for people with COVID-19.
The 20-year-old wasn't in jail. He wasn't on the streets chasing drugs. Methadone to treat his opioid addiction was delivered to his door.
Hayes was staying at the hotel because of a coronavirus outbreak at the 270-bed Kirkbride Center addiction treatment center in Philadelphia, where he hadbeen seeking help.
From early April to early May, 46 patients at Kirkbride tested positive for the virus and were isolated. The facility is now operating at about half-capacity because of the pandemic.
Drug rehabs around the country -- including in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Florida -- have experienced flare-ups of the coronavirus or COVID-related financial difficulties that have forced them to close or limit operations. Centers that serve the poor have been hit particularly hard.
And that has left people who have another potentially deadly disease -- addiction -- with fewer opportunities for treatment, while threatening to reverse their recovery gains.