As Tasmanian specialist ATOD community organisations transition to a post COVID-19 service environment, most have returned to delivering services and programs face-to-face, while retaining telehealth and online services as complementary service options. Focusing on what lays ahead, their four key concerns are:
- Increased drug use during COVID-19
- Investment to boost treatment programs and services to respond to COVID-19
- A lack of data / information to inform COVID-19 responses
- Inclusion of the ATOD sector in broader COVID-19 responses and consultations
Given the wide-ranging impact substance use has in Tasmania, ensuring we are well-placed to respond to these concerns will be critical to address well-being as a key measure of our COVID-19 recovery success.
To strengthen the sector’s ability to respond to these concerns and the anticipated ‘service-bubble’ that will occur in the coming months, a range of priority actions have been identified.
The concerns and priority actions outlined have been identified through consultation with community service organisations delivering specialist ATOD programs and services across Tasmania. It also builds on the information presented in the ATDC’s report ‘Determining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the community organisations that provide alcohol and other drug services in Tasmania’ developed in June 2020.