Daily news - 7th April 2020

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Coronavirus frequently updated resources

NEW: COVID-19 resources page for people who use drugs (PWUD) and drug service providers - International | EMCDDA

Treatment and recovery services – and COVID-19 |Collective Voice

COVID-19 and smoking: resources, research and news | BMJ

Coronavirus: information and advice hub - alcohol | Alcohol Change UK



UK news

DDN April 2020

You will no doubt have enough to worry about at home and work but we hope that this edition will bring a sense of proportion to the task ahead. With so much beyond our control, we need to focus on essential priorities – which is where the clear protocols and sound harm-reduction practices are so useful. We have been so impressed by the swift initiatives to share action that will save lives | DDN, UK

Supporting people affected by alcohol and drug use

Extra support for people affected by alcohol and drug use during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been announced by the Minister for Public Health Joe FitzPatrick. Funding of £166,000 will support: 1) a programme to increase access to naloxone in new settings, including investment in kits to add to the existing outlets for naloxone supply. 2) Increased capacity within the Know the Score helpline and webchat service. 3) a COVID-19 publicity campaign signposting support for alcohol and drug use during the pandemic and 4) funding to link people with others in recovery through the Scottish Recovery Consortium | Scottish Government, UK

Guidance on contingency planning for people who use drugs and COVID-19

Guidance has been produced on contingency planning for people who use drugs and COVID-19 and has been shared with all Alcohol and Drug Partnerships and all drug services in Scotland | SDF, UK

Clinical Profiles of Concurrent Cannabis Use in Chronic Pain: A CHOIR Study

Despite evidence of the analgesic benefits of cannabis, there remains a relative scarcity of research on the short- and long-term effects of cannabis use in individuals with chronic pain | Pain Medicine, UK

Binge-drinking Brits - two thirds admit to boozing more during lockdown

Since the measures were introduced by the Government on March 23, 61 percent of Brits said they've been knocking back more booze than they usually would, and more than a fifth said they drink enough to get drunk every night | Lancashire Telegraph, UK

Joe Wicks has opened up about how his father’s heroin addiction shaped his move into the fitness industry

‘I decided that wasn’t going to be my destiny,’ says fitness entrepreneur | Independent, UK


International news

Smoker’s trek to Spain for cigarettes ends in mountain rescue

Frenchman found ‘exhausted and shivering’ after getting lost in Pyrénées | Guardian, UK

Emergency supply of medicinal cannabis to be delivered to patients

An emergency supply of medicinal cannabis is to be collected from Holland and delivered to patients who receive the treatment. The government initiative is being launched for those who avail of a ministerial licence for medicinal cannabis products | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Collision of the COVID-19 and Addiction Epidemics

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is causing untold challenges to health care and wider social structures. Among the vulnerable populations are persons who smoke or vape, use opioids, or have a substance use disorder (SUD) | AIM, USA

Many People Treated for Opioid Overdose in Emergency Departments Die Within 1 Year

Every year, emergency departments (EDs) across the country treat thousands of patients for nonfatal opioid overdoses, and this number continues to rise. These patients are typically observed in the ED and then discharged with information about finding outpatient treatment. But what happens to these patients after they leave the ED? | NIDA, USA

Feds Seek Breakup of Altria-Juul Deal on Antitrust Grounds

U.S. business regulators are suing to break up the multibillion-dollar deal between tobacco giant Altria and e-cigarette startup Juul Labs, saying their partnership amounted to an agreement not to compete in the U.S. vaping market. The action announced late Wednesday by the Federal Trade Commission is the latest legal headwind against Altria's investment in the embattled vaping company | NYTimes, USA

Safer Drinking During Desperate Times

We are all doing our best to adjust to the new “normal” in the COVID-19 era, while still trying to meet the demands of everyday life, work, bills, family, school, friendships and self-care | Filter Magazine, USA

Amid the Crisis, Marijuana Legalization in New York Will Have to Wait Again

During New York’s worst health crisis in a lifetime, a deadline came up for the state’s lawmakers to put forth a provision to legalize adult-use marijuana. With other, desperate concerns to address, lawmakers are passing on legalization for the second year in a row | Filter Magazine, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry's Blog #99: Fear, loathing and COVID-19

Just when you thought that the ‘public health’ authorities could not sink any lower in their attempt to undermine tobacco harm reduction, they take advantage of one virus to spread a contagion of virulent lies and propaganda | NSP blog, UK

Mitigating and learning from the impact of COVID‐19 infection on addictive disorders (PDF)

The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures required to address it are cutting a swathe through people’s lives and the global economy. People with addictive disorders are particularly badly affected as a result of poverty, physical and mental health vulnerabilities and disruption of access to services | Addiction editorial, UK

Cheers Covid-19: Will we consume more alcohol during this crisis?

We can now add alcohol to the list of things we seem to be stockpiling in anticipation of what goods might be in short supply as a result of Covid-19. Retail sales at the end of March show a fifty percent plus rise in alcohol purchases. What we can’t be sure about is whether this reflects a rise in consumption or just a hoarding of alcohol with no change in consumption | Mental Elf, UK

With more people feeling isolated it is sadly likely there will be more people drinking

Loneliness can affect all of us at the best of times, but given the current climate it’s certainly a more prevalent issue than ever. We are being asked to stay at home, avoiding contact with friends, family and colleagues, potentially for months | Turning Point, UK

The tobacco industry in the time of COVID-19: time to shut it down?

The COVID-19 pandemic which originated in China in late 2019 has spread rapidly and taken much of the world by surprise, creating a health and economic emergency likely to have significant impacts for many years | BMJ editorial, UK

In Conversation with Melissa Rice and Jade Wye of “Hooked: The Unexpected Addicts”

Clouds House Treatment Consultant Michael Rawlinson in conversation with "Hooked: The Unexpected Addicts"' Melissa Rice and Jade Wye, discussing recovery during this period of quarantine, physical distancing and staying at home - and how the opposite of addiction is connection | Action on Addiction, UK

I’m an alcoholic mum, but my husband won’t help by not drinking

Focus on giving up drinking on your own – and your husband’s lack of support when you are healthier, says Mariella Frostrup | Guardian, UK

GDS Corona Conversations - with Judy Chang from INPUD

Judy talks about the challenges facing people who use drugs around the world and how peer support and solidarity in different regions is guiding governments to change what they do and how - for better and occasionally for worse | Global Drug Survey, UK

Fear COVID-19? Current US Drug Policy Spreads It

The rapid escalation of COVID-19 across the US is exposing many of the systemic vulnerabilities within our society while also revealing the many policy and criminal justice decisions that have made us more vulnerable | Harm Reduction Coalition, USA

Drinking in coronavirus isolation: experts warn Australians to monitor their intake

As Australia went into Covid-19 lockdown, alcohol sales increased. It’s tempting to drink in times of stress, but habits picked up now could be difficult to break | Guardian, UK

Why Covid-19 might make you rethink your smoking habits

A college friend who is now a physician first introduced me to an electronic cigarette in 2008. He purchased his online from China with the hope of transitioning from smoking to vaping but found himself using both instead. A few years later, he shared a pleasant surprise -- he had succeeded in quitting both vaping and smoking | CNN Opinion, USA