October 8, 2020

Substance abuse during COVID-19

Paul Hilliard, M.D., talked with Michigan Medicine's The Wrap podcast last week about the pandemic's impact on the national opioid crisis.

Paul Hilliard, MD, discusses the opioid crisis during COVID on The Wrap

Hilliard, clinical associate professor, is part of Rewrite the Script, a multidisciplinary Michigan Medicine team working to combat the opioid crisis.

“Unfortunately, the pandemic has had a significant national impact and we’re feeling this in Michigan as well,” he said, explaining that emergency medical services and hospital emergency departments in Michigan have seen increases in opioid overdoses. 

Hilliard discussed some of the reasons we may be seeing an uptick, including a lack of community resources available during this time and increased isolation, before providing an overview of the ways in which Rewrite the Script is working throughout the organization to help those struggling with opioid addiction. 

"We've taken a systemwide approach to this problem ... I think the most visible thing that people are going to see in their day-to-day operations is education," he said. "We are doing a lot to increase training to enhance our knowledge around treating substance use disorder in both the current and future workforce [of Michigan Medicine]."

Listen to Hilliard’s full conversation above or on The Wrap’s webpage.