Could COVID expand the future of addiction research? Long-term implications in the pandemic era

Amir Englund, Stephen Sharman, Basak Tas*, John Strang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
136 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background/Aims: The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted face-to-face research. This has propelled ideas and plans for more remote styles of research and provided new perspectives on conducting research. This paper aimed to identify challenges specific to conducting remote forms of experimental addiction research, although some of these challenges apply to all types of addiction research. Argument: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to important lessons for future addiction research. Although remote research has been conducted for decades, little experimental research has been performed remotely. To do so require a new perspective on what research questions we can ask and could also enable preferential capture of those who may be more reluctant to engage in research based in clinical settings. There may, however, be crucial factors that will compromise this process. We illustrate our argument with three real-world, ongoing case studies centred on gambling behaviour, opioid overdose, and cannabinoid psychopharmacology. We highlight the obstacles to overcome to enable more remote methods of study. Conclusions: The future of experimental research and, more generally, addiction research, will be shaped by the pandemic and may result in advantages, such as reaching different populations and conducting addiction research in more naturalistic settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2135-2140
Number of pages6
JournalAddiction
Volume117
Issue number8
Early online date25 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

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