Expert M.D. addresses how COVID-19 affects patients with SUD on new ‘Top Docs’

The latest edition of the Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) ‘Top Docs’ show addresses how COVID-19 affects patients who suffer from substance use disorders (SUD) – as well as the physicians and allied professionals and staff who care for them. It features Susan Blank, M.D., MRO, FAPA, FABAM, FBAARM, FACFE – the founder and chief medical officer of the Atlanta Healing Center in Norcross and the co-chair of the MAG Foundation’s ‘Think About It’ initiative to reduce opioid misuse.

Dr. Blank discusses…

– How COVID-19 affects patients who suffer from SUD
– Whether stress can increase the risk for relapse or new cases of SUD
– If there are enough physicians to treat patients who suffer from SUD
– Whether these patients are at a higher risk of becoming infected with COVID-19
– If people who are addicted to nicotine are at higher risk 
– Whether there have there been any disruptions in care as a result of COVID-19
– The role of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
– To what extent payers like Medicare have embraced telemedicine
– If physicians and allied staff are at greater risk of becoming addicted during a crisis
– How to recognize the signs of impairment

Dr. Blank is one of just 26 physicians in Georgia that is board-certified in addiction medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine. She is a graduate of the Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Blank completed her residency in psychiatry and neurology at Sheppard Pratt Hospital in Baltimore, and she received her training in forensics at the University of Virginia. In addition to her role with the ‘Think About It’ initiative, Dr. Blank is the immediate past-president of the Georgia Society of Addiction Medicine, she serves on the Advisory Board of the Georgia Physician’s Health Program and the Georgia Council on Alcohol and Drugs’ Board of Directors, and she is a member of the Georgia Commission on Narcotics Treatment Center.

Between downloads and live listeners, ‘Top Docs’ has now reached more than one million listeners and viewers – which includes people in all 50 states and more than 80 countries. MAG has won two awards for the show, including an American Association of Medical Society Executives Profiles of Excellence Award and a Health Information Resource Center Digital Health Award.

‘Top Docs’ is supported with a grant from Alliant Health Solutions in memory of Tom Williams, its former CEO.

In addition to the video recordings that are available on Facebook, ‘Top Docs’ is available as a podcast on Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, and iHeart Radio. 

Resources 

National Suicide Prevention Life Line: 1-800-273-8255

Georgia Professional Health Program

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

National Institute of Drug Abuse

Recognizing substance use disorder, impairment and drug diversion

An epidemic in the midst of a pandemic: Opioid use disorder and COVID-19

NIDA Director: Vaping, opioid addiction accelerate coronavirus risks

Once the coronavirus pandemic subsides, the opioid epidemic will rage