Selected Research

Addressing the Syndemic of HIV, Hepatitis C, Overdose, and COVID-19 Among People Who Use Drugs: The Potential Roles for Decriminalization and Safe Supply

People who use drugs (PWUD) face concurrent public health emergencies from overdoses, HIV, hepatitis C, and COVID-19, leading to an unprecedented syndemic. Responses to PWUD that go beyond treatment—such as decriminalization and providing a safe supply of pharmaceutical-grade drugs—could reduce impacts of this syndemic. Solutions already implemented for COVID-19, such as emergency safe-supply prescribing and providing housing to people experiencing homelessness, must be sustained once COVID-19 is contained. This pandemic is not only a public health crisis but also a chance to develop and maintain equitable and sustainable solutions to the harms associated with the criminalization of drug use.

At the request of the Government of Canada, CRISM rapidly developed guidance documents to address urgent needs of people who use substances, service providers, and decision makers in relation to the COVID‑19 pandemic. All documents was created with PWUD input, including members from the National Working Group

 

This document provides specific advice to improve the safety of harm reduction workers during the pandemic. .

 

The other 5 documents are available in both English and French at the CRISM website

Changes in substance supply and use characteristics among people who use drugs (PWUD) during the COVID-19 global pandemic: A national qualitative assessment in Canada

People who use drugs (PWUD) may be at an increased risk of experiencing negative effects related to COVID-19. Border and non-essential service closures may have placed PWUD at an increased risk of experiencing unintended consequences regarding drug consumption and supply patterns, as well as related outcomes. However, the extent of these effects upon this population is unknown. The current study examined how COVID-19 has impacted substance use supply and use characteristics among a national cohort of PWUD in Canada.

People who use drugs (PWUD) face concurrent public health emergencies from overdoses, HIV, hepatitis C, and COVID-19, leading to an unprecedented syndemic. Responses to PWUD that go beyond treatment—such as decriminalization and providing a safe supply of pharmaceutical-grade drugs—could reduce impacts of this syndemic. Solutions already implemented for COVID-19, such as emergency safe-supply prescribing and providing housing to people experiencing homelessness, must be sustained once COVID-19 is contained. This pandemic is not only a public health crisis but also a chance to develop and maintain equitable and sustainable solutions to the harms associated with the criminalization of drug use.

Addressing the Syndemic of HIV, Hepatitis C, Overdose, and COVID-19 Among People Who Use Drugs: The Potential Roles for Decriminalization and Safe Supply

Changes in substance supply and use characteristics among people who use drugs (PWUD) during the COVID-19 global pandemic: A national qualitative assessment in Canada

People who use drugs (PWUD) may be at an increased risk of experiencing negative effects related to COVID-19. Border and non-essential service closures may have placed PWUD at an increased risk of experiencing unintended consequences regarding drug consumption and supply patterns, as well as related outcomes. However, the extent of these effects upon this population is unknown. The current study examined how COVID-19 has impacted substance use supply and use characteristics among a national cohort of PWUD in Canada.

Examining Substance Use Services and Treatment Barriers and Needs among People with Lived Experience (PWLE) in Ontario, Canada.

Substance use is a complex issue, with rates of illicit and licit substances varying across Canada, and in Ontario, specically. Services and treatment options for problematic substance use remain vital. Recent initiatives to increase the effectiveness of services have been implemented, however, a disconnect remains between the availability and accessibility of these programs and the real-world experiences and needs of people with lived experience (PWLE). There is a lack of knowledge regarding barriers to accessing services and service needs, yet PWLE are best suited to identify these factors. As such, this study critically examined these issues among a cohort of PWLE in Ontario, Canada.