Addressing the syndemic of HIV, Hepatitis C, Overdose, and COVID-19 Among People Who Use Drugs

(First published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs)

Addressing the syndemic addressing the syndemic

By Matt Bonn, Adam Palayew , Sofia Bartlett , Thomas D. Brothers, Natasha Touesnard

People who use drugs (PWUD) face concurrent public health emergencies from overdoses, HIV, hepatitis C, and COVID-19, leading to an unprecedented syndemic. Responses to PWUD that go beyond treatment—such as decriminalization and providing a safe supply of pharmaceutical-grade drugs—could reduce impacts of this syndemic. Solutions already implemented for COVID-19, such as emergency safe-supply prescribing and providing housing to people experiencing homelessness, must be sustained once COVID-19 is contained. This pandemic is not only a public health crisis but also a chance to develop and maintain equitable and sustainable solutions to the harms associated with the criminalization of drug use. [Continue reading]

About peterkimcdpc

Strategic Communications Manager, Canadian Drug Policy Coalition