Individuals with substance misuse disorders are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 given an increased likelihood of comorbidities and supressed immune systems. Public health mitigation measures may exacerbate psychological distress, loneliness, and withdrawal symptoms. A qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews explored experiences of those accessing a community substance misuse service in the North East of England and the impacts and effects of Covid-19 on therapeutic progress. The data was analysed using thematic analysis and three core themes were developed: Mutual Aid, Impact on Recovery and Service Provision. Service users reported a range of views with some stating that COVID-19 and the restriction measures had aided their recovery from substance abuse. However, for others, COVID-19 was described as having a detrimental effect on recovery and mental health. Service user needs, social factors and perceptions of COVID-19 and its associated risks to health and wellbeing were reported to influence progress and recovery.
|Journal||BPS North of England Bulletin|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 1 Sep 2021|