Rapid review of the impacts of “Big Events” on people who use drugs and delivery of harm reduction and drug treatment services: Implications for strengthening systems in response to COVID-19
“Big Events” are significant disruptions (e.g. natural disasters) that create social instability and increase vulnerability to drug-related harms. The COVID‑19 pandemic has the potential for significant short- and long-term impacts on risks and harms for people who use drugs, and harm reduction and drug treatment providers will need to be equipped to respond appropriately. This project is a rapid review of the impact of Big Events on drug-related risk and harms, and delivery of harm reduction and drug treatment services. We will identify previous research on the impacts of Big Events, and identify strategies and opportunities for harm reduction and drug treatment services to respond to the COVID‑19 pandemic. We will use a variety of activities to disseminate findings and encourage rapid uptake into policy and practice, including an infographic, webinar, press release, and articles for the relevant workforce and people who use drugs. As well as informing the COVID‑19 response, findings will provide insights to support strengthening health services and systems to respond to future disruptions.