The COVID19 pandemic affected drug and alcohol providers across Wales, forcing them to completely re-design service provision in a relatively short timescale. The implications of this were vast. Clinical interventions such as BBV testing, urine testing and sexual health screening ceased. Starting people on prescriptions became challenging, and service users who were self-isolating depended on community staff delivering their prescriptions to them at home. Psycho-social interventions had to be quickly re designed.

Online interventions like Breaking Free were offered. Phone check-ups replaced face to face meetings, and recovery activities including art groups, gym sessions and mutual aid groups were abandoned. Recovery Hubs and drop-ins closed their doors. Community Providers did exceptionally well in the circumstances. Assertive outreach teams continued to walk the streets as they tried to assist the Welsh Government achieve their ‘Everyone in’ campaign and support homeless individuals into temporary accommodation. Staff took turns to ensure critical bases stayed open. Many worked tirelessly from home, attending endless Zoom and team meetings to maintain their
support for drug and alcohol users, their families and carers. PPE was purchased at inflated costs to ensure that staff and service users were protected.

But what was the impact on the people we help…


Read all about it here FINAL. Peer-led COVID19 Impact Survey 2020. (2)