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Epidemic puts many marginalised and vulnerable groups at serious risk

Many marginalised and vulnerable groups, and in particular people who use drugs, have found themselves in a very challenging situation during the epidemic, as many prevention and social protection programmes and other key interventions have had to close their doors or at least severely curtail their activities. These people are also at a higher risk of possible infection with the new coronavirus and COVID-19, mainly due to their health vulnerability (often linked to long-term illnesses and other conditions that weaken the immune system), their socio-economic situation (often combined with homelessness), and other factors such as social isolation or exclusion, stigma and often criminalisation.
The European Civil Society Forum on Drugs (CSFD) therefore calls on the European Commission and EUMemberStates to support (both politically and financially) the implementation of effective measures to protect and support these vulnerable groups. The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) further states that "the current public health crisis is causing serious additional concerns for the health and well-being of people who use drugs, and it is therefore crucial to continue to provide a continuum of services to help people with drug problems and to protect the staff who provide care and support to this population".
The full position of the CSFD is available here (in Slovenian and English )