The effect of COVID-19 on Service User Experience within a Community Substance Misuse Service

Abigail Reay, Katherine Swainston

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Individuals with substance misuse disorders are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 as they are more likely to have comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease and supressed immune systems (Jemberie et al, 2020). Public health mitigation measures such as social distancing and isolation may exacerbate loneliness, withdrawal symptoms and psychological distress, resulting in increased substance use and misuse (Chiappini et al, 2020). This qualitative study 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. Thematic analysis was conducted and three core themes identified: Mutual Aid, Impact on Recovery and Service provision. This presentation will discuss how service users presented 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 reported to have had a detrimental effect on their recovery and mental health particularly given the loss of mutual aid groups. The nature of the impact appears to depend on the service user needs from a recovery service, their perceptions of COVID-19 and its associated risks to their health and wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021
EventSubstance Use & Associated Behaviours Symposium 2021 - Manchester
Duration: 21 Apr 202121 Apr 2021


ConferenceSubstance Use & Associated Behaviours Symposium 2021


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