The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on substance use: Implications for prevention and treatment

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought major challenges to healthcare systems and public health policies globally, as it requires novel treatment and prevention strategies to adapt for the impact of the pandemic. Individuals with substance use disorders (SUD) are at risk population for contamination due to multiple factors—attributable to their clinical, psychological and psychosocial conditions.

Moreover, social and economic changes caused by the pandemic, along with the traditional difficulties regarding treatment access and adherence—will certainly worsen during this period, therefore aggravate their condition. In addition, this population are potential vectors of transmission.

In that sense, specific strategies for prevention and treatment must be discussed. health care professionals dealing with SUD must be aware of the risks and challenges they will meet during and after the COVID-19 outbreak. Addiction care must be reinforced, instead of postponed, in order to avoid complications of both SUD and COVID-19 and to prevent the transmission of coronavirus.

Citation
Ornell, F., Moura, H. F., Scherer, J. N., Pechansky, F., Kessler, F., & von Diemen, L. (2020). The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on substance use: implications for prevention and treatment. Psychiatry research, 113096. Chicago
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