02 June, 2022

Marie (lives alone, COPD, intellectual disability)

The DRNS evaluation team suggest four broad challenges in helping people use digital technology to reduce drug-related harm. These are access, skills, motivation, and trust.

Marie's story illustrates the four challenges identified above.

Marie (33) has her own tenancy, has been in stable drug treatment for a number of years (i.e., in receipt of an optimal dose of OST), and is currently volunteering with a third sector organisation three times a week. She considers her substance use under control, as she uses (street benzodiazepines and gabapentin) only on payday and no longer injects heroin. Marie has diagnosed COPD and is taking steps towards self-management, including exercise and meditation, though this is sporadic and depends “where [her] head is at”. Marie is a self-confessed ‘technophobe’, having struggled at school with an intellectual disability and significant absence related to a chaotic home life. During the pandemic, Marie regularly participated in online group activities facilitated by the organisation she volunteers for. Her peer mentor helped set up her zoom account and demonstrated how to access meetings via a link.