A Word From Our Founder and CMO
The impact of the new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, is being felt around the world. We believe we are better when we work together. It’s important for us all to take the necessary steps to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our local and global communities safe and supported. If you would like to share accurate information and spread messages of support to your community, below are some resources we consider helpful during this tough time. Stay safe and healthy!
— Dr. Ernie Fletcher, Fletcher Group Founder and Chief Medical Officer
General Public Help
How To Stop The Spread
To download and share valuable information about how to “flatten the curve,” click Stop The Spread.
CDC Travel Guidelines
International travelers can find the answers to frequently asked questions as well as travel health notices for each country by clicking Travel Guidelines.
Mental Health Concerns?
Social distancing and self-quarantining can create despair and anxiety. Click NAMI Advice to access an abundance of resources that can help alleviate feelings of apprehension and loneliness. Click Balance to read an article in Psychology Today magazine that we think is especially insightful.
How To Manage Stress
Social Distancing can be stressful. Here are some great tips in the form of an attractive, colorful Infographic that you can download and share with others. Click Tips On Looking After Yourself.
How To Talk To Children
Your kids have likely heard about the virus or seen people wearing masks. Don’t be afraid to talk with them. If you’re unsure how to broach the subject, what to say, or what tone to set, there’s great advice in this colorful Infographic titled, How To Talk With Your Kids About The Coronavirus.
Our Own Policies and Guidelines
Curious about the policies and guidelines we’ve put in place within our own organization? If so, click on Fletcher Group Policies and Guidelines.
SUD and Tele-Medicine Help
How About Those With SUDs?
Because it attacks the lungs, the Coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can pose a serious threat to those who smoke tobacco or marijuana or who vape. People with an Opioid Use Disorder or Methamphetamine Use Disorder may also be vulnerable due to the effect of those drugs on respiratory and pulmonary health. Learn more by clicking SUD Vulnerabilities.
How About The Homeless?
At any given moment over half a million Americans are homeless. The latest data indicates they are now suffering high COVID-19 infection rates and increased risk of severe complications or death. Learn what to do and how to help at Homelessness During the Pandemic.
The Challenges Of Staying Sober
As Alcoholics Anonymous meetings go online because of coronavirus fears, some in the recovery community worry that it won’t be enough. This Rolling Stone magazine article on The Challenges Of Staying Sober is excellent.
A Handy, Easy-To-Share Infographic
Many of the warnings appearing in the two articles are highlighted in a colorful Fletcher Group Infographic conceived by Director of Employment Services Lori Baier. It can be read, downloaded, and easily shared by clicking SUD-COVID Infographic.
Online Meetings and Platforms For Those In Recovery
For a handy list of free online meetings as well as virtual platforms where individuals in recovery can interact with each other, click Online Meetings and Platforms.
The High Cost Of Isolation
According to this University of West Virginia Study those with SUDs need to reach out more than ever now precisely because they are vulnerable to feelings of isolation and loneliness even in the best of times.
Treatment Guidance and Resources from NARR
The National Alliance for Recovery Residences is a close partner of the Fletcher Group that works to expand the availability of well-operated, ethical, and supportive recovery housing. Those providing treatment and shelter will find an abundance of valuable information by clicking NARR Covid-19 Resources.
Guidance for Residential Facilities from the National Council for Behavioral Health
This 18-page booklet in pdf form was released March 25 and covers everything from guidance on accepting new clients to strategies for mitigating staffing shortages. Click here.
Additional Resources For Homeless Shelters
The homeless may run a higher risk for infection during a pandemic like COVID-19. Click Shelter Guide for a variety of information that can be helpful to homeless service providers, including overnight emergency shelters, day shelters, and meal service providers.
Harm Reduction and Safe Drug Use
Vital Strategies, a leading global public health organization dedicated to helping governments strengthen public health systems, has released two articles of particular value to those with SUDs. They are titled “Practicing Harm Reduction in the COVID-19 Outbreak” and “Syringe Services and Harm Reduction Provider Operations During the COVID-19 Outbreak.” You can read and download them in both English and Spanish at the Vital Strategies Website.
Need Tele-Medicine, Including MAT?
Fresh Start, a member of the Kentucky Primary Care Association, has informed us that their services may be particularly helpful during this time of social distancing. Of particular note is the fact that their TeleMedicine, TeleHealth, and Virtual Visit services can include access to opioid addiction treatment (MAT) as well as therapy, case management, peer support and individual and group counseling. You can make contact with Fresh Start by phoning (606) 225-8200 or by visiting the Fresh Start Website.
Telehealth Pharmacy Serves Kentucky, West Virginia, Vermont, and Connecticut
PursueCare is a telemedicine healthcare provider that makes it easier to access stigma-free addiction treatment for people with opioid use disorder. Using a mobile phone app, virtual doctors can consult with patients and provide prescriptions over the phone for medications such as Suboxone that might otherwise not be available due to social distancing. Contact the company at the PursueCare Website or call 866-744-1930. Plans are in the works for PursueCare to extend its reach to other states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Massachusetts, Main and New Hampshire.
Telehealth Guidelines In Kentucky
Governments are quickly amending regulations so that people can get the medical help they need while observing social distancing protocols. Those practicing Telehealth in Kentucky will want to check out the Commonwealth’s Latest Guidelines issued on March 31.