The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Castile and Leon Addiction Treatment Network: A Real-Word Experience

Front Psychiatry. 2020 Nov 25;11:575755. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2020.575755. eCollection 2020.


Background: Patients suffering from addiction are a vulnerable group in the midst of COVID-19, so their healthcare is considered essential. In this paper, the measures and responses of the Drug Addiction Assistance Network of Castile and Leon (DAACYL) in Spain during the first 6 weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic are explained. The aim is that this experience could be useful in places where this problem will continue and could help future interventions. Methods: A telephone survey was carried out as the main methodology, to collect information for the subsequent organization and repercussion on professionals and patients. This was carried out by the heads of the 18 DAACYL units. Among the interventions applied, the following stand out: implantation of telemedicine techniques, restriction of daily methadone dispensing, suspension of urine controls and initiation of care programs for the homeless. Results: As a result of these interventions, the professionals observed that patients are less demanding and mostly stable, with a low percentage of relapses. An increase in the consumption of alcohol and benzodiazepines have been reported as more common among people who relapse. Furthermore, the prevalence of COVID-19 infection in the sample is minimal; therefore, different hypotheses should be considered as an explanation (infra-diagnosis, immune system used to aggression, possible anti-inflammatory effect of some psychotropic drugs and a greater perception of danger against infection than the general population). Conclusions: The rapid adaptation and successful implementation of DAACYL have had satisfactory results. On the other hand, the prevention of the possible increase in the development of behavioral addictions and the use of homemade drugs should be considered.

PMID:33324254 | PMC:PMC7723843 | DOI:10.3389/fpsyt.2020.575755