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AOD Service Users’ needs and experiences during the covid-19 crisis

Jul 24, 2020

The Association of Participating Service Users (APSU), and the Self Help Addiction Resource CEntre (SHARC) have published a consultation report titled “Victorian AOD Service Users’ needs and experiences during the covid-19 crisis.”  The report provides insight into the experiences of 32 people who were clients of 17 AOD treatment services in Victoria, prior to the most recent lockdown. The report asked the participants about changes to their treatment during covid-19.  Experiences included changing from in-person counselling to telephone or online counselling, residential services reducing the number of participants and modifying group programs, increases in pharmacotherapy take-away doses, and other activities like art therapy being put on hold. The service users described a range of experiences, and while generally expressing gratitude for the flexibility that was provided by the services they engaged with, there were challenges. Around 90% of those consulted reported that telephone support was a poor substitute for “the real thing.”  As one client put it “It’s a lot better than not having anything. It’s good to know that they’re there for you, rather than being completely on your own. But by the same token, it’s nowhere near as good as a face-to-face meeting.”

Download “Victorian AOD Service Users’ needs and experiences during the covid-19 crisis.” (300KB PDF)