Welcome

Understanding the health impacts of the COVID-19 response on people who use drugs in Scotland is a research project that aims to understand the longer-term health impacts of the social response to COVID-19 on people who use drugs. The project involves researchers from the Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh. Some of our team looked at online drug markets, and some of us spoke to people who use drugs across Scotland.

COVID has made life worse for some people who said they found it harder to get help, and that their mental health has been worse. For others, the social changes caused by COVID have given them a chance to get into services for the first time and address their drug use and recovery.

Between July and October 2020, we interviewed 29 people who use drugs and/or are in recovery. Sixteen were recruited via a homeless hostel in Edinburgh, two from a recovery community in Clackmannanshire, eight from a stabilisation service in Glasgow, and three from a Dundee support service. We interviewed 16 men (aged 28–56 years) and 13 women (33–44 years). All participants received a £10 supermarket voucher for their time. This project received ethical approval from the University of Stirling.

This site has been created to present emerging themes and findings and to invite comments from people who use drugs across Scotland on their experiences. Read what our participants told use about impacts on their drug use, availability of services, and general challenges under lockdown.

If you are someone who uses drugs, are in treatment or recovery, and living in Scotland, please feel free to share your experiences. Look for the comment box at the right hand side of each page.

All comments are anonymous. Your feedback will not be used in our research, but may be included in our report to the Drug Deaths Task Force.

Researchers are invited to send us copies of, or links to, their work in this area. We will share their work with the public via this website and also with the Drug Deaths Task Force.

This website will be actively maintained between November 2020 and the end of March 2021.