The impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on the everyday life of an open therapeutic program for drug-addicted individuals

Wednesday, 23 November, 2022 - 09:00 to 19:30
Digital kiosks

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought major challenges to healthcare systems and public health policies globally, as it requires novel prevention and treatment strategies to adapt to the impact of the pandemic. Moreover, since the beginning of 2020, humanity is witnessing the enactment of restrictive measures never seen before in past peaceful periods, such as the suspension of non-necessary services, border closures, and restrictions on people's freedom of movement and assembly. Providers of therapeutic services for drug use had to handle several new challenges to effectively maintain their operations during the pandemic period. The study presents the perceptions of the ARGO Alternative Therapeutic Program beneficiaries' regarding the therapeutic services provided during the periods of restrictive measures.

The qualitative study was contacted with an open and semi-structured questionnaire addressed to all ARGO's services beneficiaries. The thematic analysis of the questionnaires focused on the changes implemented during the restrictive measures (e.g., the use of digital tools) the beneficiaries’ adaptation to those changes and a self-assessment regarding their recovery effort.

Beneficiaries have indicated readiness and flexibility as significant elements of the everyday function of therapeutic services, that supported the adjustment in such demanding periods. The use of technology for remote access was also identified as a facilitating factor during the crisis periods. Beneficiaries have indicated readiness and flexibility as significant elements of the everyday function of therapeutic services, that supported the adjustment in such demanding periods. The use of technology for remote access was also identified as a facilitating factor during the crisis periods. Beneficiaries have indicated readiness and flexibility as significant elements of the everyday function of therapeutic services, that supported the adjustment in such demanding periods. The use of technology for remote access was also identified as a facilitating factor during the crisis periods.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance for resilient therapeutic services during crisis periods. Promoting readiness and flexibility, and investing in remote access technologies can strengthen therapeutic services improving their quality both during and outside of crisis periods.

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