Barak Shapira. B.Sc.Pharm, M.A., Ph.D.

Barak Shapira

Barak is a pharmacist, researcher, and policy coordinator at the Israel Ministry of Health pharmaceutical crime unit. His work involves research of trends in falsified, substandard, fake, and counterfeit medicine use and trafficking. Additionally, he helps produce and edit risk assessment reports on novel psychoactive substances and health systems’ assessment reports for policy use.

Between 2016 and 2020, Barak was a Ph.D. candidate at the Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His doctoral research used a mixed-methods approach to identify prevalent drug switching patterns among patients with substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders. Barak’s current research agenda involves using electronic health records and causal inference methods to identify people at-risk for opioid use disorder.


Transformation of SUD treatment services during COVID-19 - A lasting change?

Introduction: We describe trends in the application of restrictions to face-to-face appointments and group meetings, and the adoption of telemedicine and take-home medication schemes within Medication-Assisted Treatment and inpatient services in Israel during the first 18 months of the pandemic (March 2020-August 2021). Moreover, we present trends in quarantine, and COVID-19 confirmed cases among enrolled patients.

Methods: A mail-based survey of 13 Medication-Assisted Treatment and 11 inpatient state-supervised centres. Data on COVID-19 cases and quarantines were gleaned from routine reports. 

Results: While quarantines in Medication-Assisted Treatment centers increased in each COVID-19 wave, those in inpatient centres declined by 63% from December 2020 to April 2021. Restriction of services, use of telemedicine, and take-home schemes decreased between 2020 and 2021. Inpatient services were significantly disrupted during 2020, and ten of them (91%) reported limiting new patient admissions.

Conclusions: Although most centres in 2020 adopted telemedicine and take-home schemes, less than half of centres continued employing them in 2021. A decrease in the number of quarantined patients, and the low number (<1 patient per month) of confirmed COVID-19 patients reported in inpatient services, suggests a positive effect of on-site vaccination, and of conditioning admittance of patients with a confirmed, fully vaccinated status.


Technology, Day 2, Track 1, 14:00-15:30

Presented as part of the Uniting the global community to face the challenge of addiction event, in-person on 13th May, 2022 Presentations: Remote implementation of Lions Quest Family Connection during the COVID-19 pandemic - Azucena Avalos...