COVID-19 and the Opioid Epidemic


In the shadow of the COVID-19 crisis, the opioid epidemic still rages across the nation. According to the American Medical Association, more than “40 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality as well as ongoing concerns for those with a mental illness or substance use disorder.” To remedy this, one of the fervent calls of AMA and other healthcare groups is to remove barriers to treatment.

Could increased access to medication for opioid use disorder be a turning point in this epidemic? How can we address disparities in treatment and get all Americans the help they need? Overall, what is the current state of the opioid epidemic and how do we move forward?

The Hill will convene health experts and policymakers for a discussion on how the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the opioid epidemic and the path to saving lives.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

1:00 PM ET / 10:00 AM PT


  • Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), Author, Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and CARA 2.0.
  • Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Author, Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and CARA 2.0.
  • H Westley Clark, MD, JD, MPH, Dean's Executive Professor of Public Health, Santa Clara University
  • Karen Freeman-Wilson, President & CEO, Chicago Urban League
  • Yngvild Olsen, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Institutes for Behavior Resources, Inc.

Sponsor Perspective:

  • Mark Crossley, Chief Executive Officer, Indivior


  • Steve Clemons, Editor-at-Large, The Hill


Questions for our speakers?
Join the conversation using @TheHillEvents and #TheHillOpioids.