COVID-19 and Mental Health (CMH) Initiative: Research

Evaluation of innovative risk mitigation services in the context of dual crises of COVID-19 and overdose among people who use opioids in Vancouver, BC

Key Messages

  • COVID-19 and associated public health measures have provided significant challenges to addressing the opioid-involved overdose crisis in the province.
  • Proposed research seeks to evaluate two innovative emergency measures that were introduced in March to address the dual crisis of COVID-19 and overdose in BC: expanded opioid agonist therapy (OAT) prescription services and pandemic prescribing.
  • The project aims to characterize uptake and barriers to accessing these two interventions, as well as provide a preliminary evaluation of health and social impacts of the interventions among people who use opioids.

Lay Summary

  • We engaged key stakeholders in the community to develop our questionnaire.
  • In addition to the existing knowledge users in our team, we formed partnerships with the BC Ministry of Mental Health and Addiction to work collaboratively on our project.
  • We began to administer the questionnaire in December 2020 as planned and we have so far completed 300 interviews.
  • The parent cohort studies (which our project is building on) have completed over 1200 phone interviews since July 2020 and will provide preliminary data.
  • We plan to conduct preliminary data analysis in February and publish a periodical report starting in March 2021.


  • Nominated Principal Applicant: Kanna Hayashi, Simon Fraser University


(External links)

Full PDF


People Who Use Drugs (PWUD) and Substance Use


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