Picture of Monte StatonMonte Staton, PhD and colleagues explored the need for complementary qualitative research aimed at identifying how people with opioid use disorder (OUD) are understanding, experiencing, and navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. This study looked at semi-structured qualitative interviews with 25 individuals in Chicago, the majority of which had received methadone treatment during the pandemic. Thematic inductive analysis was guided by primary interview questions. Themes demonstrate how individuals are keeping safe despite limited knowledge of COVID-19, how the pandemic has increased treatment motivation for some, how adaptations impacted treatment and recovery supports, how the availability social support had been reduced, and difficulties individuals had keeping or obtaining financial support. The findings can be useful for informing future public health response to ensure appropriate treatment access and supports are available.

Watson DP, Staton MD, Grella CE, Scott CK, Dennis ML. Navigating intersecting public health crises: a qualitative study of people with opioid use disorders’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2022 Mar 18;17(1):22. doi: 10.1186/s13011-022-00449-3. PMID: 35303913; PMCID: PMC8931576.