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Call for papers - Health services for substance use disorders

Guest Editors:
Chaisiri Angkurawaranon: Chiang Mai University, Thailand
Berkeley FranzOhio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, United States
João Pedro SilvaUniversity of Porto, Portugal

Submission Status: Open   |   Submission Deadline: 8 January 2024


BMC Health Services Research is calling for papers on Health services for substance use disorders. Along with a more general trend affecting mental health disorders, the COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase in prevalence of substance use disorders (SUDs) and in the severity of pre-existing SUDs. Numerous comorbidities including psychological, psychiatric, neurological, cardiovascular, respiratory, liver and sexually transmitted infections are frequently associated with SUDs and these further increase the SUDs-related burden on the health systems. This Collection calls for papers describing measures taken withing health systems to respond to these unprecedented challenges, increase care access and improve care. 

Meet the Guest Editors

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Chaisiri Angkurawaranon: Chiang Mai University, Thailand

Dr Chaisiri Angkurawaranon is a Family Physician and an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Thailand.  He is a primary care researcher interested in understanding common problems such as substance abuse and ways to improve the delivery of services in primary care, especially in low-to-middle-income settings.


Berkeley FranzOhio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, United States

Dr Berkeley Franz is an Associate Professor of Community-based Health at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. Her research and teaching focus on health disparities, population health, and substance use.  She also leads a productive research program on how continued racial resentment in the U.S. serves as a fundamental barrier to health equity and population health improvement. She currently leads two NIH/NIDA-funded studies focused on increasing access to opioid use disorder services in rural and urban underserved communities.

João Pedro Silva University of Porto, Portugal

Dr João Pedro Silva is an Assistant Researcher at the Toxicology Lab of the University of Porto. His research interests and expertise are the assessment of the neurotoxicological signatures of substances of abuse (e.g., synthetic cannabinoids, synthetic cathinones, opioids), as well as on the development of in vitro models able to predict neuropsychiatric/psychological adverse events at an earlier stage of a pharmaceutical’s R&D. He currently integrates the extended expert list of the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)’s Scientific Committee for NPS risk assessment, and supports drug dependence liability evaluation for World Health Organizations’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD). 

About the collection

BMC Health Services Research is calling for papers on Health services for substance use disorders. Along with a more general trend affecting mental health disorders, the COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase in prevalence of substance use disorders (SUDs) and in the severity of pre-existing SUDs. Numerous comorbidities including psychological, psychiatric, neurological, cardiovascular, respiratory, liver and sexually transmitted infections are frequently associated with SUDs and these further increase the SUDs-related burden on the health systems. 

With the pressures placed on health systems by the pandemic, health services need to adjust the offer in terms of access to care for these patients. Services for the prevention and treatment of substance misuse and SUDs are delivered by distinct, dedicated programs or services, which often lack coordinated operability with general healthcare systems.

This Collection calls for papers describing measures taken withing health systems to respond to these unprecedented challenges, increase care access and improve care. 

These include but are not limited to:

  • Innovative initiatives that improve access to SUDs treatment and engage patients who are hesitant to participate in formal care
  • Initiatives that aim at integrating SUDs health services and general healthcare within the health systems e.g. by improving coordination between emergency departments and primary care settings 
  • Coping strategies from health care structures offering SUDs care such as from primary care, specialty substance use disorder treatment (including residential and outpatient settings), mental health care, infectious disease clinics, school clinics, community health centers, hospitals, emergency departments, and others
  • Financing models and policy changes potentially driving health reform efforts to develop effective and sustainable financing high-quality care that integrates behavioral health and general health care.
  • Economic analyses such as cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit studies which assess the value of substance use Interventions. 
  • Initiatives that aim at implementing optimal, effective infrastructure for the SUDs prevention and treatment system.
  • Challenges related to healthcare workforce in the field e.g. shortages, training, coordination.

Image credit: © orcea david / stock.adobe.com 

  1. People who inject drugs (PWID) in Europe are at an increased risk of HIV/AIDS, chronic viral hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV), and tuberculosis (TB). We aimed to complement the evidence base on interventions opti...

    Authors: Ilonka Horváth, Otilia Mårdh and Tanja Schwarz
    Citation: BMC Health Services Research 2023 23:1352
  2. South Africa presents one of the riskiest patterns of alcohol consumption, with per capita consumption above the African regional average. Globally, there has been an increased focus on the potential of appoin...

    Authors: Lynne Goldschmidt, Buyisile Mncina, Malose Langa, Steven Rebello, Thokozile Budaza, Josephine Tshabalala and Tom Achoki
    Citation: BMC Health Services Research 2023 23:1227
  3. Scotland has the highest rate of drug related deaths (DRD) in Europe. These are deaths in people who use drugs such as heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines and gabapentinoids. It is a feature of deaths in Scotland...

    Authors: Karen Berry, Catriona Matheson, Joe Schofield, Joshua Dumbrell, Tessa Parkes, Duncan Hill, Mary Kilonzo, Graeme MacLennan, Duncan Stewart, Trina Ritchie and Michael Turner
    Citation: BMC Health Services Research 2023 23:1205
  4. Individuals who have a low socio-economic position (SEP) are more likely to smoke and face greater barriers to quitting tobacco. However, the effectiveness of tailored interventions has been limited probably d...

    Authors: Aurélia Manns, Sarah Mahdjoub, Gladys Ibanez, Emilie Jarrier, Ava Daeipour, Maria Melchior and Fabienne El-Khoury
    Citation: BMC Health Services Research 2023 23:993
  5. Opioid overdose death rates are increasing for adults aged 55 and older, with especially high rates in large urban areas. In parallel, admissions to treatment programs for older adults using illicit substances...

    Authors: Maryann Mason, Lori Ann Post and Rahul Aggarwal
    Citation: BMC Health Services Research 2023 23:876
  6. Fatal drug overdoses and serious injection-related infections are rising in the US. Multiple concurrent infections in people who inject drugs (PWID) exacerbate poor health outcomes, but little is known about h...

    Authors: John J. Chiosi, Peter P. Mueller, Jagpreet Chhatwal and Andrea L. Ciaranello
    Citation: BMC Health Services Research 2023 23:760

Submission Guidelines

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This Collection welcomes submission of Research Articles. Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have read our submission guidelines. Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp. During the submission process you will be asked whether you are submitting to a Collection, please select "Health services for substance use disorders" from the dropdown menu.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Guest Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer review process. The peer review of any submissions for which the Guest Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.