The Next Wave? Mental Health Comorbidities and Patients With Substance Use Disorders in Under-Resourced and Rural Areas

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The rapid spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has impacted the lives of millions around the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused increasing concern among treatment professionals about mental health and risky substance use, especially among those who are struggling with a substance use disorder (SUD). The pandemic's impact on those with an SUD may be heightened in vulnerable communities, such as those living in under-resourced and rural areas. Despite policies loosening restrictions on treatment requirements, unintended mental health consequences may arise among this population. We discuss challenges that under-resourced areas face and propose strategies that may improve outcomes for those seeking treatment for SUDs in these areas.