Bulletin TREND | COVID-19 n°1
Drug use, drug supply and professional practices in France at the time of COVID-19: qualitative cross-observations of the TREND scheme

 

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Memo, OFDT, 4 p.
N° 1 - March-April 2020

The development of the COVID-19 epidemic and the implementation of lockdown measures by the French public authorities in mid-March 2020 changed the consumption practices of a large proportion of drug users and disrupted the activities of trafficking networks.
To better understand these developments, the OFDT has implemented a qualitative monitoring through the feedback from its TREND scheme and network (Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Metz, Paris, Rennes). This first information Bulletin (15 pages in French) was released on April 15. An English summary is now available online.

Regarding drug users, main conclusions focus on the deterioration of precarious users’ living conditions and the increase in psychotic anxieties due to lockdown and isolation. Cases of withdrawal and abstinence are mentioned while the fear of some opioid substitution treatment users of lacking of medications and the switching to alcohol consumption are also reported. As for drug services, even if the means of protection available to professionals against the virus have remained until now insufficient, they ensure a service continuity (harm reduction supplies, substitution treatments deliveries, etc.) and play a key-role in the protection of the most precarious drug users in terms of basic needs. Lastly, the Bulletin stresses on the overall rise in drug prices.

Author : Clément Gérome, Michel Gandilhon

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