ijerph-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders during the COVID-19 Pandemic"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Mental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 September 2022 | Viewed by 1199

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Cristina Crocamo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano Bicocca, via Cadore 48, 20900 Monza, Italy
Interests: public mental health; public health; digital health; psychiatric epidemiology; addiction; young people
Dr. Ashley Elizabeth Muller
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Norwegian Institute of Public Health, PO Box 222 Skøyen, 0213 Oslo, Norway
Interests: evidence synthesis; opioid dependence; machine learning; substance use disorders
Dr. Ilaria Riboldi
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano-Bicocca, via Cadore 48, 20900 Monza, Italy
Interests: social psychiatry; youth mental health; eating disorders; psychiatric epidemiology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures adopted to tackle it may be risk factors for the development, exacerbation, and relapse of a range of mental disorders, especially among the most vulnerable groups. Worldwide, healthcare systems and public health policies have been challenged to develop and scale up novel treatment and prevention strategies. Numerous cross-sectional studies have pointed to healthcare professionals, who have been committed to treating COVID-19 patients during the different stages of the pandemic, as likely at risk of developing psychological distress and mental health problems, including acute traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, problematic alcohol use, and insomnia. Concurrently, a significant detrimental impact to those suffering from ongoing mental health conditions is likely due to decreased access to support and resources. Furthermore, this public health emergency had a key role also considering unhealthy behaviors such as alcohol and substance misuse. Those with substance use disorders are more likely to report COVID-19 and experience worse COVID-19-related outcomes, including higher risk of hospitalization and mortality. On the other hand, although there is limited scientific evidence, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic might lead to substantial modifications in substance use patterns and settings.

In addition to changing mental health burdens, substance use patterns, and access to and provision of care, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly influenced traditional mental health and substance use research settings, timelines, and resources. What are the innovations, methodological lessons, and pitfalls experienced that we could use to improve mental health management and research during the post-pandemic period?

We invite qualitative, quantitative, and theoretical submissions related to the impact of the pandemic on mental health and substance use disorder treatment and research:

  • Implications of COVID-19 for the present and the future of mental health care and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, considering also special populations and vulnerable groups;
  • Promising and transformative approaches to mental health service delivery;
  • Changes in mental health research methodologies during the pandemic, from statistical and machine-learning-related to qualitative and participatory approaches;
  • Innovative digital resources development, such as large mental health and SUD administrative data sets, digital health and machine learning algorithms, and national symptom registries.

Dr. Cristina Crocamo
Dr. Ashley Elizabeth Muller
Dr. Ilaria Riboldi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

COVID-19;

mental health;

substance use disorders;

healthcare workers;

research;

public health;

novel strategies;

digital resources

Published Papers (2 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Other

Article
A COVID-19 Survey among People Who Use Drugs in Norway
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(12), 7002; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127002 - 08 Jun 2022
Viewed by 370
Abstract
Background: to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, adherence to COVID-19 recommendations and vaccination against COVID-19 have been important. Among people who use drugs (PWUD), little is known regarding compliance towards COVID-19 recommendations, COVID-19 testing, or attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccination. We aimed to examine these [...] Read more.
Background: to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, adherence to COVID-19 recommendations and vaccination against COVID-19 have been important. Among people who use drugs (PWUD), little is known regarding compliance towards COVID-19 recommendations, COVID-19 testing, or attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccination. We aimed to examine these issues in a sample of PWUD. Methods: a cross-sectional study was conducted between January and March 2021. Through users’ organizations and different low-threshold services for substance users, we recruited former drug users and professionals to include participants and perform the interviews. Participants completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Any person above 16 years of age who used substances were recruited. Results: 477 Norwegian PWUD participated in the study. The mean age was 43.8 (SD 12.8) years and 77% were males. Thirty-four percent had injected drugs the past four weeks. Alcohol (41%) and cannabis (41%) were the most common drugs used the past four weeks, followed by tranquilizers (37%), central stimulants (35%) and opioids (30%). The majority (90%) had washed their hands frequently, used alcohol sanitizer during the past two weeks, had used face masks, kept one-meter distance to other people and stayed at home if feeling unwell. Fifty-four percent had been COVID-19 tested. More than half the sample (58%) had positive attitudes to COVID-19 vaccination, while 26% were fairly or very unlikely to accept vaccination. Those older (OR = 0.96, 95% CI 0.94; 0.98) and using face masks (OR = 0.49, 95% CI 0.30; 0.79) were more likely to have positive attitudes towards vaccination, while those reporting low life-satisfaction (OR = 3.86, 95% CI 1.43; 10.40), using opioids (OR = 2.97, 95% CI 1.43; 6.18) or almost never staying at home when feeling unwell (OR = 2.76, 95% 1.39; 5.45) expressed more negative attitudes towards vaccination. Conclusion: there was generally a high compliance towards COVID-19 recommendations, but one quarter of the sample was sceptical towards COVID-19 vaccination. This indicates a need for targeted and tailored information and well-designed vaccination roll-out programs to reach all PWUD. Full article

Other

Jump to: Research

Case Report
Trazodone Prolonged-Release Monotherapy in Cannabis Dependent Patients during Lockdown Due to COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case Series
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(12), 7397; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127397 - 16 Jun 2022
Viewed by 341
Abstract
(1) Background: During the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic, cannabis use increased relative to pre-pandemic levels, while forced home confinement frequently caused sleep/wake cycle disruptions, psychological distress, and maladaptive coping strategies with the consequent appearance of anxiety symptoms and their potential impact on substance use [...] Read more.
(1) Background: During the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic, cannabis use increased relative to pre-pandemic levels, while forced home confinement frequently caused sleep/wake cycle disruptions, psychological distress, and maladaptive coping strategies with the consequent appearance of anxiety symptoms and their potential impact on substance use problems. (2) Aim: Long-acting trazodone (150 mg or 300 mg daily) has a potential benefit as monotherapy in patients with cannabis use disorder. The present work aims to investigate the effectiveness of trazodone in optimizing the condition of people with cannabis dependence under pandemic conditions. (3) Methods: All cases with cannabis use disorder were uniformly treated with long-acting trazodone 150 mg or 300 mg/day; their craving and clinical status were monitored through appropriate psychometric scales. Side effects were recorded as they were reported by patients. We described the cases of three young patients—one man and two women—who were affected by chronic cannabis use disorder and who experienced lockdown-related psychological distress and sought psychiatric help. (4) Results: The described cases highlight that the once-a-day formulation of trazodone seems to have a therapeutic role in patients with cannabis use disorder and to guarantee tolerability and efficacy over time. No significant side effects emerged. (5) Conclusions: The use of long-acting trazodone (150 mg or 300 mg daily) has a potential benefit as monotherapy in patients with cannabis use disorder. Trazodone deserves to be studied in terms of its efficacy for cannabis use disorder. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Back to TopTop