The impact of COVID, lockdown and subsequent easing on recovery in an ongoing international study of people in recovery from drug addiction

COVID and drugs
02 November 2020 → 01 November 2021
International funding: global institutions
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Health psychology
    • Orthopedagogical assessment and diagnostics
    • Orthopedagogics and special education not elsewhere classified
addiction recovery covid
Project description

Addiction is a chronic relapsing disorder that causes significant harms to individuals, families and communities, and addiction recovery is a fragile and complex process. The study extends an existing NIHR and Horizon 2020 research cohort (from the ERANID programme, and so is a rare 'active' cohort study in the addictions field). There have been three rounds of data collection on recovery pathways by gender, with an outcome study follow-up rate of 85%. This provides the foundation for assessing change in wellbeing and functioning during the lockdown period and in the transition to easement. Standard measures of sobriety, wellbeing, recovery capital, physical and psychological health, and social and family support, will be repeated with additional measures of online recovery group involvement and family engagement. The proposed research hypothesis is that continued engagement in family activites and peerbased recovery support groups will result in better wellbeing and outcomes. In contrast, where there is reduction in family and social support and in recovery group participation, there will be a significantly enhanced risk of relapse and of psychopathology. The study will assess how gender has an effect on social and recovery support pathways to recovery, with the hypothesis that females will be more reliant on generic social capital and males on recovery group belonging as protective factors, based on existing research by the research team. The study will provide evidence on the effectiveness of online supports and identify gender-specific risks and intervention strategies to support addiction recovery.