225735 Emergency preparedness and drug abuse treatment programs: An overlooked population

Monday, November 8, 2010

Deborah Podus, PhD , NPI-Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, Los Angeles, CA
Jane C. Maxwell, PhD , Center for Social Work Research, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
M. Douglas Anglin, PhD , NPI-Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, Los Angeles, CA
The issue of disaster planning as related to relevant substance abuse issues is not a topic that has heretofore received much policy, practice, or research attention. This presentation will provide an overview of the substance abuse treatment system and discuss the types of vulnerabilities different types of treatment programs face. A primary focus will be on methadone maintenance treatment programs (MMTPs), which are the most vulnerable to disaster-related disruptions in continuity of care. The presentation will present qualitative data from a survey of 90 (of 141) MMTPs in the Gulf Coast states and qualitative data from interviews with 12 administrators, 37 staff, and 27 patients from a subset of programs that participated in the survey. Data were collected in 2008 and 2009 and cover programs in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Findings to be presented include the characteristics of MMTPs, the types of direct and indirect disaster-related problems that programs have experienced, the relationships programs have with local agencies involved in disaster response, and possible strategies to improve emergency response policies with respect to MMTPs. Notable findings indicating the general lack of integration of MMTPs in local emergency response policies are that only 39.2% of MMTPs surveyed thought it likely they would get help from local disaster response agencies in an emergency and that over 30% of programs were not aware or only know a little about what emergency responders (e.g., police, mental health, emergency management, and the American Red Cross) would do in a disaster.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Learn about the types of vulnerabilities substance abuse treatment providers face in a disaster Learn about the specific disaster-related problems experienced by methadone treatment providers List possible strategies to increase participation by substance abuse treatment programs in the development of state and local emergency preparedness policies

Keywords: Disasters, Drug Abuse Treatment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an author on the content because I am the principal investigator of the research study that obtained the data to be presented. I am an Associate Research Sociologist at the UCLA Substance Abuse Treatment Programs.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.