COVID-19 has driven a shift toward virtual services, including substance use care. However, many equity-deserving populations in Canada still lack access to these virtual resources. This new research by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) provides valuable insights on experiences with virtual substance use care and how to enhance access.
Working in partnership with a research associate with lived experience of substance use, CCSA collected recommendations from equity-deserving populations on how to tailor virtual substance use services and supports to their realities, needs and preferences.
Key recommendations for service providers, decision makers, regulatory bodies and subject matter experts include:
- Involve people with lived or living experience of substance use when developing, delivering and evaluating virtual substance use policies and programs;
- Ensure all people living in Canada have access to technology and know how to use it;
- Invest in the promotion of existing virtual substance use care;
- Invest in the delivery of quality virtual care; and
- Improve accessibility and create low-barrier virtual supports and services.