Annual Meeting Blog

Get the latest updates and information on sessions, speakers and events at the 2021 Annual Meeting.


Hear from NIH Leaders on How Pandemic Is Changing Research

Most experts agree the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic has had adverse effects on the mental health of Americans. At APA’s online Annual Meeting, the directors of the National Institute of Mental Health and National Institute on Drug Abuse will discuss how the pandemic is impacting their research programs.

Nora Volkow Headshot

National Institute on Drug Abuse Director, Nora Volkow, M.D., will focus her lecture on how the pandemic has complicated efforts to contain the opioid crisis in the United States.

Following a modest but welcome drop in opioid-related deaths in 2018, opioid-related deaths spiked the following year due to a rise of fentanyl-laced products and more people using opioids in combination with other stimulants. The pandemic has made the situation worse. Data from the CDC suggest that opioid overdoses in the U.S. rose 18% between March and May of 2020, as states began implementing lockdown measures. Socioeconomic determinants of health, such as income and education also exacerbated adverse mental health outcomes, particularly hitting Black communities.

Joshua Gordon Headshot

National Institute of Mental Health Director, Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., will discuss multiple NIMH projects examining the intersection of COVID-19 and mental health.

Nearly one year into the pandemic, some of the psychiatric impacts of COVID-19 are just starting to get attention. These include psychoses associated with acute COVID-19 syndrome and the symptoms that so-called “long-haulers” are experiencing for weeks or months after the acute phase has resolved, many of which are neuropsychiatric in nature. The pandemic has also led to upticks in the number of people experiencing mood, anxiety, and substance use disorders.

Collision of the Opioid Crisis and the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Sunday, May 2, 2021
  • 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. EST
  • Nora Volkow, MD | Director of NIDA
Mental Health Research in the Era of Competing Crises
  • Saturday, May 1, 2021
  • 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST
  • Joshua Gordon, MD, PhD | Director of NIMH

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