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2.
Acta Biomed ; 93(5): e2022311, 2022 Oct 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2156029
3.
PLoS One ; 17(9): e0274401, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2154242

ABSTRACT

The microbiota gut-brain-axis is a bidirectional circuit that links the neural, endocrine, and immunological systems with gut microbial communities. The gut microbiome plays significant roles in human mind and behavior, specifically pain perception, learning capacity, memory, and temperament. Studies have shown that disruptions in the gut microbiota have been associated with substance use disorders. The interplay of gut microbiota in substance abuse disorders has not been elucidated; however, postmortem microbiome profiles may produce promising avenues for future forensic investigations. The goal of the current study was to determine gut microbiome composition in substance abuse disorder cases using transverse colon tissues of 21 drug overdose versus 19 non-overdose-related cases. We hypothesized that postmortem samples of the same cause of death will reveal similar microbial taxonomic relationships. We compared microbial diversity profiles using amplicon-based sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene V4 hypervariable region. The results demonstrated that the microbial abundance in younger-aged cases were found to have significantly more operational taxonomic units than older cases. Using weighted UniFrac analysis, the influence of substances in overdose cases was found to be a significant factor in determining microbiome similarity. The results also revealed that samples of the same cause of death cluster together, showing a high degree of similarity between samples and a low degree of similarity among samples of different causes of death. In conclusion, our examination of human transverse colon microflora in decomposing remains extends emerging literature on postmortem microbial communities, which will ultimately contribute to advanced knowledge of human putrefaction.


Subject(s)
Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Microbiota , Substance-Related Disorders , Aged , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/genetics , Humans , Microbiota/genetics , Postmortem Changes , RNA, Ribosomal, 16S/analysis , RNA, Ribosomal, 16S/genetics
4.
Harm Reduct J ; 19(1): 43, 2022 05 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2139312

ABSTRACT

Vancouver, Canada, and Lisbon, Portugal, are both celebrated for their world-leading harm reduction policies and programs and regarded as models for other cities contending with the effects of increasing levels of drug use in the context of growing urban poverty. However, we challenge the notion that internationally celebrated places like Lisbon and Vancouver are meeting the harm reduction needs of young people who use drugs (YPWUD; referring here to individuals between the ages of 14 and 29). In particular, the needs of YPWUD in the context of unstable housing, homelessness, and ongoing poverty-a context which we summarize here as "street involvement"-are not being adequately met. We are a group of community and academic researchers and activists working in Vancouver, Lisbon, and Pittsburgh. Most of us identify as YPWUD and have lived and living experience with the issues described in this comment. We make several calls to action to support the harm reduction needs of YPWUD in the context of street involvement in and beyond our settings.


Subject(s)
Homeless Persons , Substance-Related Disorders , Adolescent , Adult , Harm Reduction , Housing , Humans , Public Policy , Substance-Related Disorders/prevention & control , Young Adult
5.
Explore (NY) ; 18(6): 688-697, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2122470

ABSTRACT

CONTEXT: Whole Health is an emerging healthcare framework that emphasizes wellbeing in place of illness. Conflict Analysis (CA), an online self-guided assessment, leverages innovative diagnostic and therapeutic resources that shares Whole Health objectives, including helping users explore their identity and develop a personalized health plan and helping users develop resources to optimize their health. OBJECTIVES: Paper presents CA implementation-effectiveness study in a Veteran Affairs inpatient substance recovery care. DESIGN: Patients were randomized to CA or mindfulness control. Patients completed Whole Health outcomes measures at baseline, completion (post), and three-week follow-up. Interventions took 2.5 h. Attending psychologist assessed CA protocols and completed outcome evaluation. Due to Coronavirus, recruitment and follow-up were curtailed. SETTING: Study took place in a rural northern New England Veteran Affairs inpatient substance recovery unit. OUTCOME MEASURES: Measures include The Personal Growth Initiative Scale, The Beck Cognitive Insight Scale, Perceived Stress Scale, The Patient Health Questionnaire, Perceived Psychological Wellbeing, and Perceived Therapeutic and Diagnostic Benefit. RESULTS: 12 patients were randomized, 11 completed post measures (CA=5; Mindfulness = 6), and 7 completed follow-up measures (CA=3; Mindfulness=4). CA offered significant Whole Health benefits when compared to control. Additionally, participant and clinician evaluations indicated that CA can be personally relevant, meaningful, and motivate therapeutic growth. Implications include extending CA research and expanding Whole Health related interventions. Although initial results suggest implementation feasibility and Whole Health benefit, more research is necessary to establish CA's utility within inpatient substance recovery care in particular and psychiatric rehabilitation in general.


Subject(s)
Mindfulness , Substance-Related Disorders , Humans , Inpatients , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Self Care , Substance-Related Disorders/therapy
6.
BMC Psychiatry ; 22(1): 711, 2022 Nov 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2116827

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Suicide is one of the most important and increasing public health agenda around the world. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns have been raised about the potential adverse impacts of the pandemic on suicide-related outcomes. The main objective of this study was to examine the association of psychosocial risk factors (mental health illnesses and social isolation) and substance use behaviors (cannabis and alcohol consumption) with suicidal ideation during the COVID-19 pandemic among Canadian adults. METHODS: The study was conducted based on a total of 4005 persons 18 years of age or older, living in Canada's ten provinces. The data used in this study were collected during April 20-28, 2021, by Mental Health Research Canada. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine the association of mental health conditions (anxiety, depression, and other mood disorder) before and since COVID-19 outbreaks, social isolation and living arrangement, as well as cannabis and alcohol consumption with suicidal ideation during COVID-19. RESULTS: The results of adjusted logistic regression showed that the odds of suicidal ideation were 1.526 times higher (95% CI:1.082-2.152) among those who reported continued negative impacts of social isolation. The odds of suicidal ideation were also higher for those who were diagnosed as having depression before (OR = 3.136, 95% CI: 2.376-4.138) and since the COVID-19 pandemic (OR = 3.019, 95% CI:1.929-4.726) and 1.627 times higher (95% CI: 1.225-2.163) for those who were diagnosed as having anxiety before the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who reported having increased and those who were consuming cannabis during the pandemic were 1.970 (95% CI: 1.463-2.653) and 1.509 times (95% CI: 1.158-1.966) more likely to have thought of suicide than non-takers, respectively. CONCLUSION: Given the significant associations of psychosocial factors (mental health illnesses and social isolation) and cannabis use with suicidal ideation, more attention and support need to be given to adults who had mental health conditions before and since COVID-19, those who were negatively impacted by social isolation, and those are exposed to substance use (cannabis).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hallucinogens , Substance-Related Disorders , Adult , Humans , Adolescent , Suicidal Ideation , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Canada/epidemiology , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology
7.
J Adolesc Health ; 71(6): 655-657, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2120319
8.
PLoS One ; 17(11): e0277438, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2119313

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the mental health and substance use challenges among many people who are Two Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and intersex (2SLGBTQI+). We aimed to identify the important correlates and their effects on the predicted likelihood of wanting to seek help among 2SLGBTQI+ young adults for mental health or substance use concerns during the pandemic. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2020-2021 among 2SLGBTQI+ young adults aged 16-29 living in two Canadian provinces (Ontario and Quebec). Among 1414 participants, 77% (n = 1089) wanted to seek help for their mental health or substance use concerns during the pandemic, out of these, 69.8% (n = 760) reported delay in accessing care. We built a random forest (RF) model to predict the status of wanting to seek help, which achieved moderately high performance with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.85. The top 10 correlates of wanting to seek help were worsening mental health, age, stigma and discrimination, and adverse childhood experiences. The interactions of adequate housing with certain sexual orientations, gender identities and mental health challenges were found to increase the likelihood of wanting to seek help. We built another RF model for predicting risk of delay in accessing care among participants who wanted to seek help (n = 1089). The model identified a similar set of top 10 correlates of delay in accessing care but lacked adequate performance (AUC 0.61). These findings can direct future research and targeted prevention measures to reduce health disparities for 2SLGBTQI+ young adults.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Substance-Related Disorders , Female , Young Adult , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Machine Learning , Ontario
9.
Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy ; 17(1): 73, 2022 Nov 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2108856

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 dramatically limited the scale and scope of local health department (LHD) work, redirecting resources to the response. However, the need for essential public health services-including substance use prevention-was not reduced. METHODS: We examined six quantitative data sources, collected between 2016 and 2021, to explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on LHD substance use-related services. RESULTS: Before the pandemic, the proportion of LHDs providing some level of substance use prevention services was increasing, and many were expanding their level of provision. During the pandemic, 65% of LHDs reduced their level of substance use-related service provision, but the proportion of LHDs providing some level of services remained steady from prior to COVID-19. CONCLUSION: We discuss policy recommendations to mitigate the risk of service disruptions during future public health emergencies, including direct and flexible funding for LHDs and federal directives declaring substance use prevention services as essential.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Humans , Local Government , Public Health , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Substance-Related Disorders/prevention & control
10.
medrxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.11.29.22282907

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 impacted multiple facets of life, with implications on physical, mental, and societal health. Specifically, long COVID and related losses have exacerbated complex and prolonged grief responses and mental disorders including depression and anxiety. These mental health concerns are in turn associated with increased detrimental coping strategies including substance use disorders (SUD). The social and interpersonal implications of SUD are varied. Secondary data analyses from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) collected during the COVID-19 pandemic revealed an increase in substance use behaviors and mental health problems. Self-reported religious activities had a positive meditating effect on reducing substance use behaviors. Accordingly, we explored the importance of one's religion and faith in coping with stress, grief, and mental health challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the impact of religion and faith in bringing hope and purpose during periods of loss, grief, mental health challenges, and SUD.


Subject(s)
Mental Disorders , COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Depressive Disorder , Anxiety Disorders
11.
Health Res Policy Syst ; 20(1): 51, 2022 May 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820823

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Timely knowledge mobilization has become increasingly critical during the COVID-19 pandemic and complicated by the need to establish or maintain lines of communication between researchers and decision-makers virtually. Our recent pan-Canadian research study on the mental health and substance use health (MHSUH) workforce during the pandemic identified key policy barriers impacting this essential workforce. To bridge the evidence-policy gap in addressing these barriers, we held a facilitated virtual policy dialogue. This paper discusses the insights generated at this virtual policy dialogue and highlights how this integrated knowledge mobilization strategy can help drive evidence-based policy in an increasingly digital world. METHODS: We held a 3-hour virtual policy dialogue with 46 stakeholders and policy decision-makers as the final phase in our year-long mixed-methods research study. The event was part of our integrated knowledge mobilization strategy and was designed to generate stakeholder-driven policy implications and priority actions based on our research findings. The data collected from the virtual policy dialogue included transcripts from the small-group breakout rooms and main sessions, reflective field notes and the final report from the external facilitator. Coded data were thematically analysed to inform our understanding of the prioritization of the policy implications and action items. RESULTS: Facilitated virtual policy dialogues generate rich qualitative insights that guide community-informed knowledge mobilization strategies and promote evidence-informed policy. Our policy dialogue identified actionable policy recommendations with equity as a cross-cutting theme. Adapting policy dialogues to virtual formats and including technology-assisted facilitation can offer advantages for equitable stakeholder participation, allow for deeper analysis and help build consensus regarding evidence-based policy priorities. CONCLUSIONS: Our facilitated virtual policy dialogue was a key knowledge mobilization strategy for our research on the capacity of the Canadian MHSUH workforce to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our policy dialogue allowed us to engage a diverse group of MHSUH workforce stakeholders in a meaningful action-oriented way, provided an avenue to get feedback on our research findings, and generated prioritized action items that incorporated the knowledge and experience of these MHSUH workforce stakeholders.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Canada , Health Policy , Health Workforce , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics
12.
Curr Opin Pediatr ; 34(4): 334-340, 2022 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2097519

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Substance use is common in adolescence and has distinct developmental, cognitive, and health consequences. Over the last 2 years, the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has isolated adolescents, disrupted typical developmental milestones, and caused pervasive stress and anxiety. Healthcare providers can help by recognizing and addressing these effects on adolescent mental health and substance use. This update reviews the immediate effects of the pandemic on adolescent substance use, potential future implications, and opportunities to use new strategies to improve care for adolescents with problematic use. RECENT FINDINGS: Initial findings suggest that fewer teens started using substances during the pandemic. This was likely influenced by stay at home orders that reduced opportunities for social use. However, increased time at home was not beneficial for all adolescents. Furthermore, adolescents who used substances prepandemic, experienced material hardship, or reported higher pandemic-related stress tended to intensify substance use during this time. SUMMARY: The adverse effects of pandemic isolation, anxiety, and developmental disruption will likely have consequences for adolescent substance use for many years to come. To comprehensively address adolescent health, healthcare providers can be sensitive to these realities and use existing screening and brief intervention strategies to address use. Innovative telehealth strategies that allow for the expansion of substance use treatment offer promising opportunities to improve care for adolescents with substance use disorder.


Subject(s)
Adolescent Behavior , COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Adolescent , Adolescent Behavior/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics/prevention & control , Substance-Related Disorders/diagnosis , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Substance-Related Disorders/therapy
13.
Alcohol Clin Exp Res ; 46(8): 1539-1551, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2088105

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Research conducted during the COVID-19 Pandemic has identified two co-occurring public health concerns: loneliness and substance use. Findings from research conducted prior to the pandemic are inconclusive as to the links between loneliness and substance use. This study aimed to measure associations of loneliness with three different types of substance use during COVID-19: daily number of alcoholic drinks, cannabis use, and non-cannabis drug use. METHOD: Data were obtained between October 2020 and May 2021 from 2,648 US adults (Mage  = 38.76, 65.4% women) diverse with respect to race and ethnicity using online recruitment. Participants completed baseline surveys and daily assessments for 30 days. A daily loneliness measure was recoded into separate within- and between-person predictor variables. Daily outcome measures included the number of alcoholic drinks consumed and dichotomous cannabis and non-cannabis drug use variables. Generalized linear multilevel models (GLMLM) were used to examine within- and between-person associations between loneliness and substance use. RESULTS: The unconditional means model indicated that 59.0% of the variance in the daily number of alcoholic drinks was due to within-person variability. GLMLM analyses revealed that, overall, people drank more on days when they felt a particularly high or particularly low degree of loneliness (positive quadratic effect). There was a negative and significant within-person association between daily loneliness and the likelihood of cannabis use. There was also a positive and significant within-person association between daily loneliness and the likelihood of non-cannabis drug use. CONCLUSIONS: Associations between loneliness and substance use vary with substance type and whether within- or between-person differences are assessed. These findings are relevant to the persistence of substance use disorders and thus of potential clinical importance. Individuals who do not experience severe loneliness at intake but who show daily increases in loneliness above baseline levels are at heightened risk of alcohol and non-cannabis drug use. Future research could profitably examine just-in-time adaptive interventions that assess fluctuations in loneliness to prevent the development or exacerbation of substance use disorders.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cannabis , Substance-Related Disorders , Adult , Alcohol Drinking , Ethanol , Female , Humans , Loneliness , Male , Pandemics , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology
14.
Psychol Serv ; 19(4): 607-608, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2087140

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has brought renewed attention to the physical and mental health needs of underserved populations and the settings that assist them in receiving services. This introduction presents six articles of a special section on disease management approaches used within criminal justice settings to address such needs. Articles span a range of settings, including prisons, jails, mental health courts, forensic settings, and crisis units. Collectively, the articles in this special section discuss medical conditions, substance use, and mental health. They provide information on the diverse approaches taken across various settings in managing the physical and mental health challenges of those involved in the criminal justice system. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Disorders , Substance-Related Disorders , Humans , Criminal Law , Public Health , Mental Disorders/therapy , Substance-Related Disorders/therapy , Disease Management
15.
J Psychiatr Res ; 155: 443-450, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2086486

ABSTRACT

Although research has examined disparities in suicidal ideation across multiple groups, few investigations have analyzed such disparities in the context of COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, there is limited research on differences within and across countries, further limiting the extent to which meaningful comparisons can be made. Therefore, this study examines risk and protective factors of suicidal ideation during COVID-19 lockdown in adults across five countries. Adults (N = 2,509) from the United States, Italy, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and India completed a survey to measure suicidal ideation, recent drug use, and sociodemographic factors. Prevalence of suicidal ideation was assessed using simple and multivariable logistic regression models, and severity of suicidal ideation was analyzed via a multinomial multivariable logistic regression. Cohen's d statistics were reported for all analyses to report effect size. In the United States subsample, racial/ethnic minorities endorsed a significantly greater prevalence of suicidal ideation compared to their White peers (aOR = 2.31, 95% CI: 1.26-4.27, d = 0.46). However, no significant racial differences in suicidal ideation were found in other countries. Past 90-day illicit drug use was associated with greater prevalence (aOR = 1.38, 95% CI: 1.06-1.80, d = 0.18) and severity (aRRR = 2.17, 95% CI: 1.33-3.53, (aRRR = 0.43) of suicidal ideation during COVID-19 lockdown. This study further highlights the social disparities that exist in suicidal ideation during COVID-19 lockdown in international samples, for which greater medical and mental health interventions are critical. As such, targeted multicomponent interventions that address substance use are important for reducing the rising prevalence and severity of COVID-related suicidal ideation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Illicit Drugs , Substance-Related Disorders , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Pandemics , Risk Factors , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Substance-Related Disorders/psychology , Suicidal Ideation , United States/epidemiology
16.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(20)2022 Oct 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2082290

ABSTRACT

Farmers in Canada faced higher levels of mental distress than the general public prior to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and are generally less likely than the public to seek help. However, the mental health impacts of COVID-19 on farmers in Canada remain unexplored. Our objective was to investigate mental health outcomes among farmers in Canada by gender and within the context of COVID-19. We conducted a national, online, cross-sectional survey of farmers in Canada (February-May 2021). The survey included validated scales of anxiety, depression, perceived stress, burnout (emotional exhaustion, cynicism, professional efficacy), alcohol use, resilience, and questions regarding participants' perceived changes in these outcomes during the pandemic. Data were also collected on the impact of COVID-19 specific social and economic factors on mental health, help-seeking, and sense of community belonging through the pandemic. Descriptive statistics were summarized, and Chi-square analyses and t-tests were conducted to compare survey results between genders and to data collected in our similar 2016 survey and normative population data. A total of 1167 farmers participated in the survey. Participants scored more severely across scales than scale norms and the general Canadian population during COVID-19. Scale means were consistent between the 2016 and 2021 samples. Most participants with moderate to severe scores for any outcome reported worsening symptoms since the pandemic began. Women fared significantly worse than men across measures. Over twice as many women reported seeking mental health or substance use support during the pandemic than men. Participants rated the mental health impacts of all social and economic factors related to COVID-19 examined significantly (p < 0.05) differently than the Canadian public. The pandemic has negatively impacted the mental health of farmers in Canada and in ways that differ from the general population. National level and gender-specific mental health supports are needed to help improve the mental health of farmers in Canada.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Female , Humans , Male , COVID-19/epidemiology , Mental Health , Farmers/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Canada/epidemiology , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , Depression/epidemiology
17.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(20)2022 Oct 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2082075

ABSTRACT

The final year of high school is a challenging phase of adolescents' lives and substance use can play an important role. We examined changes in the frequency and quantity of alcohol and cannabis use, and demographic correlates among Grade 12 students of 2020. Students (N = 844) from nine schools retrospectively self-reported changes in substance use after the easing of COVID-19 lockdowns (back to school), compared to before the pandemic. Changes in use were examined with age, gender, Aboriginal or Torres Islander, parental and family characteristics, and truancy. Thirty-one percent of students reported that they used alcohol less frequently, and 24% reported that they used it more frequently compared to pre-COVID-19. Most students (46%) reported that they used cannabis less, while a subset reported using more frequently (22%). A history of truancy was associated with an increased frequency (OR = 2.13 [1.18-3.83]) of cannabis use. A substantial minority of adolescents used more alcohol and cannabis after the initial COVID-19 lockdown period. Students in their final year who reported increased use may benefit from increased support to manage their substance use.


Subject(s)
Adolescent Behavior , COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Humans , Adolescent , Self Report , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Communicable Disease Control , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Alcohol Drinking
18.
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr ; 91(3): 261-268, 2022 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2078004

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Little is known about the impact of social distancing on health-related quality of life and depressive symptoms in older people with HIV during the COVID-19 pandemic. SETTING: HIV-positive and HIV-negative AGEhIV Cohort Study participants. METHOD: In September-November 2020, participants completed questionnaires on social distancing, change in substance use, health-related quality of life (EQ-6D, including EQ-VAS), and depressive symptoms (PHQ-9). Associations between social distancing and (1) EQ-VAS or (2) PHQ-9 score ≥10 (clinically relevant depressive symptoms) were analyzed using fractional and binomial logistic regression, respectively. RESULTS: Two hundred fourteen HIV-positive and 285 HIV-negative participants were analyzed. 77.4% found social distancing important and 66.9% reported good adherence to these measures, without significant differences between HIV-positive and HIV-negative participants. In both groups, &lt;5% reported increased smoking or recreational drug use, but more HIV-positive (12.2%) than HIV-negative (4.9%) participants (P = 0.005) reported increased/more frequent alcohol use. Median EQ-VAS was slightly lower in HIV-positive (80 IQR = 73-90) than HIV-negative (84 IQR = 75-90) participants (P = 0.041). The prevalence of clinically relevant depressive symptoms was similar (HIV-positive, 8.4% and HIV-negative, 8.8%). Worrying about contracting COVID-19 and having ≥3 (vs no) comorbidities were associated with lower EQ-VAS and finding social distancing easy with higher EQ-VAS. Worrying about contracting COVID-19 and younger than 60 years (vs ≥65) were associated with higher odds of clinically relevant depressive symptoms. HIV status was associated with neither outcome. CONCLUSIONS: Initially during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Netherlands, a similar majority of HIV-positive and HIV-negative participants reported adhering to social distancing. Irrespective of HIV status, concerns about contracting COVID-19 negatively affected participants' perceived current health and increased risk of depressive symptoms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Substance-Related Disorders , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Depression/epidemiology , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , Quality of Life , Substance-Related Disorders/complications , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(19)2022 Oct 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2066062

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The measures taken to contain the COVID-19 pandemic have led to significant changes in people's daily lives. This paper examines changes in substance use during the first lockdown (March-July 2020) and investigates mental health burdens in substance users with increased consumption of alcohol, nicotine or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in Germany compared to users with unchanged or reduced consumption. METHOD: In a cross-sectional online survey, 2369 people were asked about their mental health and their substance use during the first lockdown in Germany. RESULTS: Of the participants, 28.5% increased their alcohol use, 28.8% their use of tobacco products, and 20.6% their use of THC-containing products during the pandemic. The groups with increased alcohol, nicotine, and THC use during the first lockdown reported more depressive symptoms and anxiety. Individuals who reported increased consumption of alcohol or nicotine were also more likely to experience loneliness and have suicidal thoughts and were more often stressed due to social distancing. CONCLUSION: Alcohol, nicotine and THC increased in a subgroup of consumers who reported to have more mental health problems compared to individuals who did not increase their consumption. This increased substance use could, therefore, be understood as a dysfunctional strategy to cope with negative emotions during the lockdown.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Dronabinol , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Mental Health , Nicotine , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology
20.
Int J Drug Policy ; 108: 103815, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2061065

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the uptake of virtual and remote service delivery in the substance use field, which was previously uncommon. This swift uptake of virtual services provides an opportunity to improve service design to meet the diverse needs of women and gender-diverse people. Such services have the potential to better meet the needs of women and gender-diverse people by allowing for increased choice, control, and autonomy, enabling empowerment, facilitating greater considerations of power relations, violence, childcare responsibilities, and fostering greater inclusion of trans and non-binary people. This commentary aims to identify how virtual and remote delivery of substance use treatment and harm reduction services can be gender-responsive. We highlight the role gender transformative services play in meeting the unique needs of women and gender-diverse people who use drugs both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. By using the unique window of opportunity COVID-19 has created to develop and deliver gender-transformative programs, we can help address the detrimental gaps in service accessibility and effectiveness that have persistently been experienced by women and gender-diverse people who use drugs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Female , Gender Identity , Harm Reduction , Humans , Pandemics , Substance-Related Disorders/therapy
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