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AMERSA People & Passion, Episode 6: Leveraging Media and Medicine to Reduce Stigma and Improve Access to Addiction Treatment

The COVID-19 pandemic is distinct from other catastrophic events because of massive population exposure to ongoing trauma. Illness, death, loss, grief, job- and food-insecurity have led to increased substance use, return to use/relapse, overdose and death. In the face of widespread misinformation, accurate and engaging health messaging matters NOW more than ever. Health messaging should target stigma of SUD, myths about MAT/MOUD and stress reduction (without using alcohol/drugs) and other pandemic-related health issues. We also know that physician and other healthcare professionals' voices matter: amid the coronavirus pandemic, Americans have a high level of trust in their doctors. Media - traditional and social - are effective ways to educate and empower the public about key issues about SUD/addiction.

 

Dr Stefan G. Kertesz is a physician in internal medicine and addiction medicine with a long-term commitment to fostering better care for populations whose clinical care is affected by social challenges such as homelessness, and clinical concerns like chronic pain. He is currently a researcher and clinician at the Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has engaged in national advocacy on how changes in national policies on opioid prescribing affected the care of patients with long-term pain, recently winning the David Calkins award in Health Policy Advocacy from the Society of General Internal Medicine. He also is cohost of the podcast "On Becoming a Healer" with Dr. Saul Weiner.

Dr. Lipi Roy is an internal medicine and addiction medicine physician, keynote speaker and sought-after media medical commentator who has appeared on MSNBC, NBC News and CNN. A Forbes Contributor, she has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Boston Globe, and her articles have been published in STAT, Psychology Today and The Huffington Post. Dr. Roy currently serves as the Medical Director of COVID Isolation and Quarantine Sites at Housing Works in New York City. She also serves as clinical assistant professor at NYU Langone Health. Dr. Roy’s work spans academia, clinical medicine, media, homeless health, social and criminal justice and public speaking. As the former Chief of Addiction Medicine at Rikers Island, Dr. Roy oversaw substance use treatment and recovery services at the nation’s 2nd-largest jail complex. Dr. Roy completed her medical and master’s in public health degrees at Tulane University, followed by residency training in internal medicine at Duke University Medical Center. Follow Dr. Roy on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Published:
10/07/2021
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The opinions expressed herein are the views of the authors and do not reflect the official position of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), SAMHSA, CSAT or the ATTC Network. No official support or endorsement of DHHS, SAMHSA, or CSAT for the opinions of authors presented in this e-publication is intended or should be inferred.

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