Raising Awareness of Substance Use Disorder and Preventing Misuse

Health & Wellness, Innovations & Initiatives


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As the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic continue, experts anticipate increasing rates of substance use disorder (SUD) and related mental health issues. A June 2020 report indicated more than 13% of respondents started or increased substance use to cope with COVID-19-related stress. A report from the Addiction Policy Forum (PDF) outlined that substance use for those diagnosed with SUD has increased by 20% since the pandemic began.

Centene is proud to be a leader in advancing the behavioral and physical health of its members, as well as being at the forefront of the industry's efforts in addressing and preventing SUD through its OpiEnd™ program and other targeted efforts. SUD impacts individuals of all racial and ethnic groups, and those of varying socioeconomic status. Increasing awareness of SUD helps destigmatize the condition and removes barriers to treatment.

Within conversations about SUD treatment and prevention of substance misuse, Centene Advanced Behavioral Health recommends tailoring support to the unique needs of the population. By following the recommendations outlined in a recent white paper, recovery and prevention can be achieved while decreasing health disparities.

Recommendations focus on three central areas of support:

Addressing the Specific Needs of Populations

  • Highlighting the importance of easy-to-access resources for different groups, including pregnant members, families, rural populations, and racial minorities.

Prevention, Identification, and Treatment

  • Integrating evidence-based treatments and preventive efforts targeting non-medical barriers to care.

Federal and State Policy Recommendations

  • Investing in infrastructure, including telehealth services, and innovative solutions to combat SUD and substance misuse.

 Open a PDF of the full white paper, titled "Strategies for Combatting Substance Use Disorder." (PDF)

In order to support the whole health of the populations we serve, it’s critical that individuals in need of behavioral health services can access much-needed care during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Further details on Centene’s enterprise-wide COVID-19 relief efforts can be found on our online Resource Center.