The following research projects were rapidly established to explore the ways in which COVID-19 impacts people who use drugs (PWUD). The findings will help inform future research and guidance for healthcare professionals, service providers, and policymakers.

You can find additional resources specifically for clinical and operational settings here

Rapid Assessment: Impact of COVID-19 on PWUD in Canada

CRISM is conducting two studies on COVID-19’s impact on people who use drugs (PWUD) to identify areas of most urgent need, make recommendations for improvements to services, and inform strategies for future pandemics. The studies will deliver a rapid assessment report for decision makers and service providers, and will be followed by development of peer-reviewed publications and evaluation activities.

Quantitative Evaluation Using Ongoing Prospective Cohort Studies (300-500 interviews)

A nationally developed COVID-19 survey will be administered to PWUD already enrolled in four ongoing Canadian cohort studies; HepCo, OiSIS-Toronto, VIDUS, ACCESS and ARYS. These quantitative studies will help to identify and assess the impacts of local harm reduction or health service interventions that are available to PWUD, as the government’s response to the CoVID-19 pandemic evolves over time.

In-Depth Qualitative Interviews

Semi-structured interviews with PWUD across the country have documented a myriad of serious impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on their health and well-being. This national qualitative research study identified issues PWUD are experiencing during the COVID crisis and have made recommendations to change services to respond to the most urgent needs.

From May to July, 2020, we conducted 200 interviews with people who live in BC, the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic provinces. The final report can be found here

An article documenting the impacts of COVID-19 on substance use and supply, titled 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 can be found here 

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