The aim of the webinar is to discuss the impact of the current Covid-19 crisis on the operational capacity of DCR’s. Professionals and experts in the field will share experiences, challenges, good practice examples and lessons learnt. The exchange is supposed to provide insights and will inform the development of practice and policy recommendations to ensure a sustainable provision of DCR services during and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.
Manager and professionals operating DCR’s, interested researchers, drug user representatives
People Who Use Drugs (PWUDs) have to be considered as a risk group in the COVID-19 pandemic. They often live in the margins of society with low or no access to housing, employment, financial resources, social and health care, and face marinalisation in many countries. Many of them have multiple health problems, which can increase the risk of a (fatal) COVID-19 infection (including long-term diseases such as COPD, HIV, TB, hepatitis, and other conditions which reduce the immune system). Harm reduction services are often the one and only contact point for PWUDs to access the health service.
DCR’s are an important element within the cascade of care and the delivery of harm reduction services. The main aim of DCRs is to reduce the transmission of diseases through unhygienic injecting or using, the prevention of drug-related overdose deaths and the linkage to other health and social care services for PWUDs. Furthermore, DCRs are seen as an effective response to tackle public order problems in cities.
The webinar will address the challenges and the impact of Covid-19 on the operational capacity of DCRs and facilitate the discussion between experts and professionals. More specifically the following questions will be discussed:
The webinar will include a selected number of short presentations and shared experiences by representatives of DCR’s from all over Europe, followed by a moderated discussion.
The webinar will be recorded and a meeting report will be published afterwards, including practice and policy recommendations.