Daily news - 8th April 2020

Weekly subscribe button

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

ACMD advice on COVID-19 emergency legislation to enable supply of controlled drugs

Letter from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to the Home Secretary advising on COVID-19 emergency measures to enable the supply of controlled drugs | ACMD, UK

Methadone to be handed out without prescription during Covid-19 crisis

Pharmacists to be allowed to give out super-strength medication under emergency measures | Guardian, UK

Covid 19, Alcohol & Drugs

The Covid 19 pandemic has implications across all policy areas and alcohol and drugs is no different | Scottish Community Safety Network, UK

Just say N2O – nitrous oxide misuse: essential information for psychiatrists

Nitrous oxide misuse is widespread in the UK | Cambridge Core, UK

Local Alcohol Profiles for England (LAPE): April 2020 update

Update of Indicators in the Local Alcohol Profiles for England (LAPE) interactive tool | PHE, UK

Alcohol taxation and the pub trade

This note looks at the way alcoholic drinks are taxed, the Labour Government's introduction of a 'duty escalator' in 2008, and the concerns in the pub trade at the impact of this policy. It goes on to discuss the Coalition Government decision to remove the duty escalator in two stages in 2013 and 2014, and the current Government's approach to the taxation of alcohol | House of Commons Library, UK

On Drugs: Antidepressants - audio

This week he hears about the world of antidepressants: Are they overprescribed? How do they work? Who do they work for? He talks to his best mate Rebecca, and comedians Ahir Shah and Angela Barnes about their relationship to medication, he heads to Birmingham to hear from Emma Carrington of Rethink about her experiences working with patients on antidepressants and Dr David Healy about his research into the realities of SSRIs | BBC, UK

Breaking free initiative helps substance misuse services in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Gibraltar and Canada mitigate the impacts of Covid-19

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Breaking Free Group has launched an initiative to make Breaking Free from Substance Use, its evidence-based digital intervention for drug and alcohol dependence, available free of charge to substance misuse treatment and recovery services across the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Gibraltar and Canada | Breaking Free, UK

Drug Dealers Are Dressing Up as Delivery Drivers, Joggers and Nurses to Sell Heroin During Lockdown

We examined the impact of coronavirus and social distancing on Britain’s lucrative street heroin and crack trade | VICE, UK


International news

Clinical and patient care research and harm reduction resources related to Covid-19

There are many free sources of research and information for those working with patients and communities affected by Covid-19 | HSE, Ireland

Language and stigmatization of individuals with mental health problems or substance addiction in the Netherlands: An experimental vignette study

[Open access] Persons with mental health problems and/or substance addictions (MHPSA) are stigmatised more than persons with physical conditions. This includes stigmatisation by care professionals. Stigma is considered one of the most important barriers for recovery from these conditions | Health and Social Care in the Community, UK

Hangover drug shows wider benefits in research

A well-known hangover drug not only helps soothe pounding headaches but also triggers profound changes that protect the liver, USC scientists report in new findings that could help prevent alcohol-related harm | Medical Xpress, USA

Marijuana vaping usage up among American teenagers

A new study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics in April 2020 shows that more and more American teenagers were turning to vaping and ingesting marijuana in various forms over the period 2015 to 2018. This is a disturbing trend given the increasing evidence that chronic marijuana use at this age does cause abnormal development as well as causing social consequences | News Medical, USA

'Mod' E-cigarette users smoke more cigarettes one year later

Baseline modifiable (mod) electronic cigarette device users smoke more cigarettes at one-year follow-up than vape pen users, according to a study published online April 6 in Pediatrics | Medical Xpress, USA

Medicinal cannabis helps insomniacs sleep, small study claims

The results of a world-first study at The University of Western Australia have shown that medicinal cannabis can be used as a novel treatment for adults suffering from chronic insomnia | Medical Xpress, USA

Booze rush: Demand for alcohol far outstrips state’s ability to supply it online

As Pennsylvania’s experiment with online-only liquor retailing enters its second week, it is clear that demand continues to far outstrip supply | Penn Live, USA



Blogs, comment and opinion

Ian Hamilton: Is alcohol really “essential” during covid-19?

With the UK seeing a surge in alcohol sales over the past few weeks, now would be a good time to emphasise public health advice on alcohol, argues Ian Hamilton | BMJ opinion, UK

Providing a safe space for some of society's most vulnerable through residential rehab place

The Coronavirus outbreak has drawn attention to some of the most vulnerable groups in our society. Those most at risk include the elderly and those with existing health conditions. This, of course, includes people with substance misuse issues | Phoenix Futures, UK

Smoking and COVID-19

Smoking may put you at a higher risk for COVID-19, here’s why. Dr. Claire Steves, Senior Clinical Lecturer at King’s College London and her research team share the latest findings | COVID Symptom Tracker, UK

GDS Corona Conversations - with Mat Southwell from EuroNPUD - video

In this episode Adam talks to Mat Southwell, Project Manager from EuroNPUD - The European Network of People who Use Drugs | Global Drug Survey, UK

Can psychedelic therapy reduce the mental health impacts of the coronavirus pandemic?

Pandemic strikes mean physical illness for many and trauma for all. The 2003 SARS outbreak led to terrifying increases in depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among caregivers, those quarantined and people affected in other ways. How can we prepare for the mental health impact of the coronavirus pandemic? | The Scaremento Bee, USA

Cannabis in South Africa: the duplicity of colonial authorities

The history of cannabis in South Africa contains two particular trajectories that were sometimes in direct contradiction with one another | Points blog, USA

New Scientific Review Shows Gaps in Our Understanding of Cannabis and Psychosis

For decades on end, scientists have been trying to figure out the seemingly insurmountable puzzle that is the relationship between cannabis and psychosis | Greencamp, Canada