COVID 19—impact on substance use treatment utilization and provision in South Africa

dc.contributor.authorHarker, Nadine
dc.contributor.authorJohnson, Kim
dc.contributor.authorErasmus, Jodilee
dc.contributor.authorMyers, Bronwyn
dc.date.accessioned2022-04-11T21:25:24Z
dc.date.available2022-04-11T21:25:24Z
dc.date.issued2022-03-03
dc.date.updated2022-03-06T04:09:33Z
dc.description.abstractBackground The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted people with substance use disorders (SUDs) worldwide. The aim of this study was to explore, changes in the number of SUD treatment episodes provided during the height of the pandemic and, SUD treatment providers’ perceptions of the impact of COVID-19-related restrictions on people with SUDs and the delivery of SUD treatment services in South Africa. Methods We used administrative data collected as part of the South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (SACENDU) project to assess whether the number of treatment episodes changed during the height of COVID-19 restrictions. We used data from an online survey of SUD treatment providers to assess providers’ perceptions of the impact of COVID-19 on SUD treatment delivery. Eight seven SUD facilities were recruited to participate in the online survey. Results Sixty-three organisations (out of a total of 86) participated in the survey, yielding a 73.2% response rate. About half (n = 30; 47.6%) of the sample thought the need for SUD treatment had remained the same or had increased during the COVID-19 lockdown. Half the sample (n = 32; 50.7%) reported decreased availability of SUD services during COVID-19 lockdowns. Participants believed that the lack of services during COVID-19 lockdown impacted negatively on patients that were enrolled in their programmes and on individuals who wished to access the service. Furthermore, changes in service provision seemed to increase patients’ anxiety, exacerbate pre-existing mental health problems and in some cases were thought to precipitate relapse. In addition, patient disengagement and attrition from treatment were thought to have increased during this period. Whilst 47.6% (n = 30) of providers agreed with the value of the alcohol ban, 23.8% (n = 15) of providers thought it had unintended negative consequences. Conclusion Based on the findings it is evident that SUD treatment services in South Africa have been significantly affected during the COVID-19 pandemic and more severely during the onset of the pandemic. Together with service providers, more effective ways should be sought on how to feasibly expand access to SUD treatment for all South Africans and enhance the country’s preparedness for future health emergencies.en_US
dc.identifier.apacitationHarker, N., Johnson, K., Erasmus, J., & Myers, B. (2022). COVID 19—impact on substance use treatment utilization and provision in South Africa. <i>Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy</i>, 17(1), 15. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/36339en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitationHarker, Nadine, Kim Johnson, Jodilee Erasmus, and Bronwyn Myers "COVID 19—impact on substance use treatment utilization and provision in South Africa." <i>Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy</i> 17, 1. (2022): 15. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/36339en_ZA
dc.identifier.citationHarker, N., Johnson, K., Erasmus, J. & Myers, B. 2022. COVID 19—impact on substance use treatment utilization and provision in South Africa. <i>Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy.</i> 17(1):15. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/36339en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Journal Article AU - Harker, Nadine AU - Johnson, Kim AU - Erasmus, Jodilee AU - Myers, Bronwyn AB - Background The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted people with substance use disorders (SUDs) worldwide. The aim of this study was to explore, changes in the number of SUD treatment episodes provided during the height of the pandemic and, SUD treatment providers’ perceptions of the impact of COVID-19-related restrictions on people with SUDs and the delivery of SUD treatment services in South Africa. Methods We used administrative data collected as part of the South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (SACENDU) project to assess whether the number of treatment episodes changed during the height of COVID-19 restrictions. We used data from an online survey of SUD treatment providers to assess providers’ perceptions of the impact of COVID-19 on SUD treatment delivery. Eight seven SUD facilities were recruited to participate in the online survey. Results Sixty-three organisations (out of a total of 86) participated in the survey, yielding a 73.2% response rate. About half (n = 30; 47.6%) of the sample thought the need for SUD treatment had remained the same or had increased during the COVID-19 lockdown. Half the sample (n = 32; 50.7%) reported decreased availability of SUD services during COVID-19 lockdowns. Participants believed that the lack of services during COVID-19 lockdown impacted negatively on patients that were enrolled in their programmes and on individuals who wished to access the service. Furthermore, changes in service provision seemed to increase patients’ anxiety, exacerbate pre-existing mental health problems and in some cases were thought to precipitate relapse. In addition, patient disengagement and attrition from treatment were thought to have increased during this period. Whilst 47.6% (n = 30) of providers agreed with the value of the alcohol ban, 23.8% (n = 15) of providers thought it had unintended negative consequences. Conclusion Based on the findings it is evident that SUD treatment services in South Africa have been significantly affected during the COVID-19 pandemic and more severely during the onset of the pandemic. Together with service providers, more effective ways should be sought on how to feasibly expand access to SUD treatment for all South Africans and enhance the country’s preparedness for future health emergencies. DA - 2022-03-03 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town IS - 1 J1 - Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy KW - COVID-19 KW - Treatment utilisation KW - South Africa KW - Substance use disorders LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PY - 2022 T1 - COVID 19—impact on substance use treatment utilization and provision in South Africa TI - COVID 19—impact on substance use treatment utilization and provision in South Africa UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/36339 ER - en_ZA
dc.identifier.urihttps://doi.org/10.1186/s13011-022-00446-6
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11427/36339
dc.identifier.vancouvercitationHarker N, Johnson K, Erasmus J, Myers B. COVID 19—impact on substance use treatment utilization and provision in South Africa. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy. 2022;17(1):15. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/36339.en_ZA
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.language.rfc3066en
dc.publisher.departmentDepartment of Medicineen_US
dc.publisher.facultyFaculty of Health Sciencesen_US
dc.rights.holderThe Author(s)
dc.rights.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/en_US
dc.sourceSubstance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policyen_US
dc.source.journalissue1en_US
dc.source.journalvolume17en_US
dc.source.pagination15en_US
dc.source.urihttps://substanceabusepolicy.biomedcentral.com/
dc.subjectCOVID-19en_US
dc.subjectTreatment utilisationen_US
dc.subjectSouth Africaen_US
dc.subjectSubstance use disordersen_US
dc.titleCOVID 19—impact on substance use treatment utilization and provision in South Africaen_US
dc.typeJournal Articleen_US
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