PUBLI : Honor Scarlett et al., « Substance Use Among Residents of Homeless Shelters During the COVID-19 Pandemic : Findings From France », International Journal of Public Health, 2022


Objec­tives : To record the preva­lence and risk factors of substance use amongst home­less persons during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods : The ECHO study consisted in two inde­pendent cross-sectional waves of data collec­tion in the regions of Paris, Lyon, and Stras­bourg during the Spring of 2020 (n = 530) and 2021 (n = 319). Factors asso­ciated with substance use were explored using gene­ra­lised logistic regres­sion models.

Results : The most prevalent substance used was tobacco (38%–43%), followed by alcohol (26%–34%). The use of both substances posi­ti­vely asso­ciated with each other, although risk factors varied depen­ding on the substance. The only factors consis­tently asso­ciated with alcohol and tobacco use were being male, expo­sure to theft/​assault and parti­ci­pants’ region of origin. Whilst the rate of tobacco use was rela­ti­vely stable between Spring 2020 and 2021, alcohol use was more common in 2021.

Conclu­sion : These findings high­light a high preva­lence of substance use amongst home­less persons. People expe­rien­cing home­less­ness face specific chal­lenges in the context of the pandemic, along­side greater vulne­ra­bi­lity to illness and low heal­th­care access, there­fore the need to improve preven­tion and support services for substance abuse within this popu­la­tion is vital.

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