Live Online Policy Forum

Don’t Forget People Living in Pain: War on Opioids and Chronic Pain Patients during COVID-19

May 20, 2020 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM EDT

Live Online

Featuring Andrea Trescot, MD, Anesthesiologist, Pain Specialist, and former Director of Pain Fellowship, University of Florida, Gainesville, and University of Washington, Seattle; Kate Nicholson, JD, Civil Rights Attorney and Pain Patient Advocate; Richard Lawhern, PhD, Cofounder and Director of Research, Alliance for the Treatment of Intractable Pain; moderated by Jeffrey A. Singer, MD, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute.

Join the conversation on Twitter using #CatoCOVID. Follow @CatoEvents on Twitter to get future event updates, live streams, and videos from the Cato Institute. If you have questions or need assistance registering for the event, please email our staff at events@​cato.​org.

Governments are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by temporarily suspending or relaxing regulations that block access to health care. State and federal officials should also suspend regulations that restrict access to opioids for as many as 50 million adults living with chronic pain.

Social‐​distancing measures exist to protect health by stopping the spread of COVID-19. But shelter‐​in‐​place orders, lockdowns of nonessential businesses, and prohibitions on elective medical procedures can threaten the health of patients suffering from chronic illnesses, immobilizing disorders, substance use disorders, and mental health problems. The combination of preexisting regulatory barriers and social distancing is causing increased suffering, isolation, and despair among these Americans.

Please join us for this event, where chronic pain patients, those who advocate for them, and those who treat them will discuss how current opioid policy is making the public health emergency doubly dangerous.