Saginaw Valley State University is taking the lead providing solutions to support people recovering from substance use disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative, bi-weekely Project ECHO, involves health care workers who treat substance use disorder. It has seen attendance more than double since March as social distancing measures and rising anxieties intensify challenges faced by people recovering from substance abuse.

Officials call isolation the enemy of a person with substance use disorder, making it much easier for an individual to relapse or overdose. Health care workers are turning to Project ECHO and will discuss how telehealth can help treat those with a substance use disorder.

Health care professionals interested in participating in Project ECHO sessions can register for free at The next session is Wednesday, April 15. The teleconferences are broadcast at noon on the first and third Wednesdays of each month via Zoom, an online program that connects users in a multi-screen platform for group meetings. Sessions typically last 90 minutes.