An information flyer has been designed which contains advice for people who inject drugs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
COVID-19 is new strain of coronavirus, which is a type of virus that often causes flu like symptoms. It can can affect the lungs and impact on a person’s ability to breathe.
There are particular challenges in relation to Scotland’s population of people who have a drug problem. Over half of the 60,000 people with drug problems are aged over 35 and have multiple morbidities, often including COPD – a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties. People can also have a temporarily lowered immune system due to use of different drugs even where they do not have significant underlying conditions. As a a result, they are a very vulnerable and high risk group in relation to COVID-19.
The information flyer, created by SDF in consultation with colleagues in NHS Scotland and public health, has been designed to inform people who inject drugs how they can reduce their risk of infection and advice regarding the acquiral and use of injecting equipment provision during the outbreak.
The flyer also describes potential scenarios that may occur during the outbreak which will impact specifically on people who inject drugs, such as:
- A potential reduction in needle exchange service hours
- What to do if you cannot get new injecting equipment
- What may happen to the drug supply
- Advice on what may happen in case of withdrawal symptoms
- Advice on other ‘downer’s like benzodiazepines
- Where to access services details and further information on the COVID-19 outbreak
SDF can facilitate bulk printing at cost price if required.
A page of information resources in relation to people who use drugs and COVID-19 can be viewed here.
Guidance has been produced by Scottish Drug Forum and partners to support local areas and services in their contingency planning for COVID-19 in relation to people who use drugs and particularly the provision of opiate substitution treatment and injecting equipment provision. More info on this Guidance can be found here.