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Home > Saving lives in the time of COVID-19. Case study of harm reduction, homelessness and drug use in Dublin, Ireland.

O'Carroll, Austin and Duffin, Tony and Collins, John (2020) Saving lives in the time of COVID-19. Case study of harm reduction, homelessness and drug use in Dublin, Ireland. London: London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Dublin has outperformed even best-case scenarios for COVID-19 mortality among homeless and drug using populations. The experience provides important lessons for policy discussions on the pandemic, as well as broader lessons about pragmatic responses to these key client groups irrespective of COVID-19. The overarching lessons is that when government policy is well coordinated and underpinned by a science-driven and fundamentally pragmatic approach, lives are saved. Within this, the importance of strategic clarity and delivery, housing, lowered thresholds to methadone provision, Benzodiazepine (BZD) provision and Naloxone availability were key determinants of policy success. Further, given the rapid collapse in policy barriers to these interventions that COVID-19 produced, it is important to secure and protect these improved policy responses into the post-COVID-19 era.

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