Addictions in the COVID-19 era: Current evidence, future perspectives a comprehensive review

Jasmina Mallet, Caroline Dubertret, Yann Le Strat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


© 2020 Elsevier Inc. Background: In the context of the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, an up-to-date review of current challenges in addictions is necessary. While large scale disasters may have an impact on substance use and addictions, the use of some substances is also likely to modify the risk of COVID-19 infection or course. Many countries have imposed lockdowns. Whether this quarantine or the end of lockdown measures will have an impact on substance use is discussed. The aim of this review is to gather knowledge for clinicians and to guide public health policies during/after lockdown. Methods: PubMed was reviewed in August 6th (2020), to determine the current evidences and observations concerning the addictions and SARS-CoV2. We used all the names of the severe acute respiratory syndrome of coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2 previously 2019 nCoV), the name of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and common substances of abuse. For the physiopathological parts, searches were conducted using key words such as “infection” or “pneumonia”. For the lockdown effects, key words such as “quarantine”, “disaster” or “outbreak” were used. Results: Overall, pathophysiological data showed an increased risk of infections for individuals with Substance Use Disorders (SUD) and a possible protective role of nicotine. During lockdown, there is a substantial risk of increasing SUDs. Individuals with opioid use disorder are particularly at risk of relapse or of involuntary withdrawal. After lockdown, increase of use may be observed as far as years after. Individuals with addictions are at higher risk of multimorbidity and mortality during COVID outbreak. Conclusion: This review describes useful strategies in clinical practice, including a systematic assessment of addiction comorbidity during this almost worldwide lockdown/pandemic. This review also highlights important areas for future research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
StatePublished - 2 Mar 2021

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