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Minerva Medicolegale 2020 June-September;140(2-3):48-51

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4849.20.01794-0

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Drug market and drug addiction treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic

M. Rosaria VARÌ , Paolo BERRETTA, Ilaria PALMI, Silvia GRAZIANO

National Center on Addiction and Doping, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy



Almost every country in the world is either experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic or being plagued by its repercussions. Times of crisis and national emergency situation can cause anxiety and stress in the general population. Such feelings can be aggravated in people suffering from addiction. Surface web and darknet markets, social media and secure encrypted communication applications now appear to play a more prominent role in the sourcing of drugs at a user level. The research community should be aware of the possibility that this virus may affect more severely particular populations, such as people with substance abuse disorders. It is reasonable to assume that lung function impairment can put people with drug addiction at risk of serious health complications. Moreover, the impacts of the current pandemic for people with drug use disorders can be indirect. They include reduced access to health care, putting thousands of lives at risk. Countless clinics providing syringe exchange services or daily addiction medication have closed or reduced their working hours. The absence of medical staff able to administer naloxone (life-saving drug) may increase the likelihood of opioid overdoses, with a potentially fatal outcome. To address this need, addiction treatment has become more flexible. These measures are important to make sure that the addiction treatment is conducted in a completely safe environment.


KEY WORDS: Substance-related disorders; COVID-19; Pandemics

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