Substance Use and Substance Use Disorder, in Relation to COVID-19: Protocol for a Scoping Review

Navin Kumar, Kamila Janmohamed, Kate Nyhan, Silvia S. Martins, Magdalena Cerda, Deborah Hasin, Jenny Scott, Richard Pates, Lilian Ghandour, Mayyada Wazaify, Kaveh Khoshnood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (SciVal)


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is creating severe issues for healthcare and broad social structures, exposing societal vulnerabilities. Among the populations affected by COVID-19 are people engaged in substance use, such as people who smoke, vape (e-cigarette use), use opioids, cannabis, alcohol, psychoactive prescription drugs, or have a substance use disorder (SUD).

Monitoring substance use and SUD during the pandemic is essential, as people who engage in substance use or present with SUD are at greater risk for COVID-19, and the economic and social changes resulting from the pandemic may aggravate SUD. There have been several reviews focused on COVID-19 in

relation to substance use and SUD. Reviews generally did not consider on a large range of substance use variants or SUDs. We plan a scoping review that seeks to fill gaps in our current understanding of substance use and SUD, in the

COVID-19 era.

Methods: A scoping review focused on substance use and SUD, in relation to COVID-19, will be conducted. Databases such as MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, Global Health, and Sociological Abstracts will be searched to capture current literature and preprints. Study selection will conform to Joanna Briggs Institute Reviewers’ Manual 2015 Methodology for JBI Scoping Reviews.

Results: N/A

Conclusions: Original research is urgently needed to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 on substance use and SUD. The planned scoping review will help address this gap.
Original languageEnglish
Article number48
JournalSystematic Reviews
Issue number1
Early online date3 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


  • COVID-19
  • Substance use
  • Substance use disorder
  • SUD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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