Understanding the impacts of novel coronavirus outbreaks on people who use drugs: a systematic review to inform practice and drug policy responses to COVID-19

Alison Munro (Lead / Corresponding author), Hazel Booth, Nicola M . Gray, Joan Love, Andrea Mohan, Jason Tang, Stephen MacGillivray

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

People who use drugs (PWUD) experience many social and health harms and are considered at greater risk of acquiring COVID-19. Little research has examined the impact of coronaviruses either on PWUD, or on services targeted to PWUD. We report the findings of a systematic review of empirical evidence from studies which have examined the impact of coronaviruses (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV-1) and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and COVID-19) on PWUD or on service responses to them. Five databases were searched (MEDLINE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, ASSIA and EMBASE) as well as COVID-19 specific databases. Inclusion criteria were studies reporting any impact of SARS, MERS or COVID-19 or any service responses to those, published between January 2000 and October 2020. Weight of Evidence judgements and quality assessment were undertaken. In total, 27 primary studies were included and grouped by seven main themes: treatment/recovery services; emergency medical settings; low-threshold services; prison setting, PWUD/substance use disorder (SUD) diagnosis; people with SUD and HIV; ‘Sexual minority’ men. Overall, research in the area was scant, and of average/poor quality. More robust research is required to inform on-going and future responses to coronavirus epidemics for PWUD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8470
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19;
  • coronavirus
  • SARS
  • MERS
  • people who use drugs
  • problem drug users
  • service responses
  • systematic review
  • Problem drug users
  • Systematic review
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • Service responses
  • People who use drugs

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding the impacts of novel coronavirus outbreaks on people who use drugs: a systematic review to inform practice and drug policy responses to COVID-19'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this