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Prof Case Manag ; 26(4): 175-176, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238283


Although accurate secondary statistics may never be known, the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly been a major contributor to several health care issues: social isolation/loneliness, behavioral sequelae (anxiety, drug overdoses, and suicide), delays in treating preventive care that lead to late-stage diagnoses, and even a resurgence of drug-resistant infections.

Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Drug Overdose/psychology , Loneliness/psychology , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Social Isolation/psychology , Suicide/psychology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Drug Overdose/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
Int J Drug Policy ; 88: 103015, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-917281


BACKGROUND: The province of British Columbia (BC), Canada is amid dual public health emergencies in which the overdose epidemic declared in 2016 has been exacerbated by restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Experiential workers, commonly known as 'peers' (workers with past or present drug use experience) are at the forefront of overdose response initiatives and are essential in creating safe spaces for people who use drugs (PWUD) in harm reduction. Working in overdose response environments can be stressful, with lasting emotional and mental health effects. There is limited knowledge about the personal meaning that experiential workers derive from their work, which serve as motivators for them to take on these often-stressful roles. METHODS: This project used a community-based qualitative research design. The research was based at two organizations in BC. Eight experiential worker-led focus groups were conducted (n = 31) where participants spoke about their roles, positive aspects of their jobs, challenges they face, and support needs in harm reduction work. Transcripts were coded and analyzed using interpretative description to uncover the meaning derived from experiential work. RESULTS: Three themes emerged from focus group data that describe the meanings which serve as motivators for experiential workers to continue working in overdose response environments: (1) A sense of purpose from helping others; (2) Being an inspiration for others, and; (3) A sense of belonging. CONCLUSION: Despite the frequent hardships and loss that accompany overdose response work, experiential workers identified important aspects that give their work meaning. These aspects of their work may help to protect workers from the emotional harms associated with stressful work as well as the stigma of substance use. Recognizing the importance of experiential work and its role in the lives of PWUD can help inform and strengthen organizational supports.

COVID-19 , Drug Overdose/prevention & control , Drug Users/psychology , Emotions , Motivation , Peer Influence , Preventive Health Services , Substance-Related Disorders/rehabilitation , Adult , Aged , British Columbia , Career Choice , Drug Overdose/psychology , Female , Focus Groups , Harm Reduction , Humans , Job Satisfaction , Male , Middle Aged , Qualitative Research , Substance-Related Disorders/psychology , Young Adult
Psychol Trauma ; 12(S1): S111-S112, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-607254


The United States is facing both the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and an ongoing epidemic of opioid overdose. Opioid use disorder is associated with other mental health problems, trauma, and social and health disparities. While the United States has acted to improve access to treatment for mental health and opioid use, research will be needed to understand the effectiveness of new policies in the context of COVID-19. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Drug Overdose/psychology , Opioid Epidemic , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/psychology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Social Isolation , Adult , COVID-19 , Humans , Opiate Substitution Treatment , United States , United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration