The double effect of COVID-19 confinement measures and economic recession on high-risk drug users and drug services

Summary 

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have a profound impact on the lives of high-risk drug users and on the services responding to their needs in at least two important ways: first, through the restrictive measures introduced to mitigate the spread of the virus and, second, as a result of extensive economic downturn. Currently there is great uncertainty as to the future intensity and duration of the pandemic. In addition, the lessons we have been able to learn from previous economic downturns may be of limited applicability to the current situation, which differs in a number of significant respects. Experience nevertheless suggests that the potential consequences for drug users' health and well-being may be severe. The ongoing uncertainty serves to underline the importance of close monitoring of the drug situation and preparing flexible and innovative solutions to be able to meet new challenges which may arise.

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Abstract

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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have a profound impact on the lives of high-risk drug users and on the services responding to their needs in at least two important ways: first, through the restrictive measures introduced to mitigate the spread of the virus and, second, as a result of extensive economic downturn. Currently there is great uncertainty as to the future intensity and duration of the pandemic. In addition, the lessons we have been able to learn from previous economic downturns may be of limited applicability to the current situation, which differs in a number of significant respects. Experience nevertheless suggests that the potential consequences for drug users' health and well-being may be severe. The ongoing uncertainty serves to underline the importance of close monitoring of the drug situation and preparing flexible and innovative solutions to be able to meet new challenges which may arise.

Category: 
Scientific article
Date: 
21 January 2021
Access: 
Open access
Publisher: 
Karger
Geographical scope: 
EU/Europe
Journal: 
European Addiction Research
21 January 2021 - DOI: 10.1159/000513883
Authors: 
Costa Storti, C, Bretteville-Jensen, A L, De Grauwe, P, Moeller, K, Mounteney, J, Stevens, A
Publisher's DOI: 
10.1159/000513883
Document language: 
English
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