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

Authors
  • Englund, Amir1
  • Sharman, Stephen1
  • Tas, Basak1
  • Strang, John1
  • 1 National Addiction Centre, Addictions Department, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, London, UK.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Addiction (Abingdon, England)
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2022
Volume
117
Issue
8
Pages
2135–2140
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/add.15790
PMID: 35038780
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

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. 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. 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. © 2022 The Authors. Addiction published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society for the Study of Addiction.

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