**COVID-19 Harm Reduction for Substance Users

Date: 
03/30/2020

Guidance for People Who Use Substances on COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) has been posted by the Yale University School of Medicine. Two key messages are:

  • “REMEMBER that people who use drugs and the people in their lives commonly have weakened immune systems, respiratory (breathing) problems, and other conditions that place them at a higher risk of getting COVID-19.”
  • “BE AWARE that some early symptoms of withdrawal and COVID-19 infection are similar.  These include fever and muscle soreness.  If symptoms include a persistent cough, it could be COVID-19.”

This resource emphasizes that harm reduction can help individuals reduce their risk of getting sick.  It provides helpful tips on planning ahead and alternative strategies to use when people may not be able to obtain drugs or alcohol to avoid involuntary withdrawal and when access to treatment and support resources may change.  It was created as a collaboration by the Yale Program in Addiction Medicine, Global Health Justice Partnership, and Crackdown and was adapted from a document produced by 3D Research.