Daily news - 15th April 2020

Weekly subscribe button

Coronavirus frequently updated resources

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

Let’s use lockdown to break old habits and start afresh with healthier new ones 

The Covid-19 pandemic has the potential to overwhelm every health care system in the world. To cope with such demand on its acute and critical care services, the NHS is buying ventilators, opening wards, creating hospitals, building labs, and vastly expanding its workforce | Telegraph, UK

Diageo stops 'ineffective' advertising and promotional spend

Diageo is stopping advertising and promotional spend "that will not be effective in the current environment" as part of measures to mitigate the impact on its business of lockdowns taking place in countries worldwide | Campaign, UK

A Diary of an Addicted Heroin User Under Lockdown

The coronavirus lockdown is difficult for everybody, but it creates a unique set of challenges for addicted heroin users. Robbie, a 28-year-old former market-researcher from Portsmouth, has been a frequent heroin user for the last three years. He gave me a detailed breakdown of how the lockdown has affected his life since it came into effect three weeks ago | VICE, UK

More than 1,000 London rough sleepers given accommodation

More than 1,000 London rough sleepers have been provided with accommodation to self-isolate from the coronavirus in just three weeks, City Hall has said | Inside Housing, UK

Broken promises and nowhere to go: The reality of sleeping rough during coronavirus lockdown

'We’re left in a lonely place. It’s all well and good for the government to say they've spent millions of pounds to get us off the streets. But they haven’t. We’re the forgotten ones,' Soren Birch, homeless in Ealing... | Independent, UK

Gangs buy blank-firing guns online before importing them to UK amid rise in firearms to enforce drugs

[Free registration may be required] The National Crime Agency has seized more than 400 blank-firing guns as seizures of firearms have quadrupled in two years | Telegraph, UK

Norfolk county lines: Police charge 19 after drugs raids

Nineteen people have been charged in connection with supplying Class A drugs after a series of police raids | BBC, UK


International news

Man believed to be Brazil’s biggest cocaine supplier arrested in Mozambique

Gilberto ‘Fuminho’ Aparecido dos Santos caught after more than 20 years on the run | Guardian, UK

Alcoholic beverage preferences among teenagers in Finland before and after the 2018 alcohol law change

The alcohol law change in Finland in the beginning of 2018 was forecast to shift alcohol sales from alcohol monopoly stores to grocery stores. The trend of declining adolescent alcohol use was predicted to end. This study aimed to provide a more detailed view on under-age drinking change through analysing alcoholic beverage use preferences among 14 and 16 year olds in Finland from 2017 to 2019 | Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, Finland

Nicotine’s Effects in Depression

The relationship between nicotine and depression is complicated and uncertain. Although some studies claim that nicotine can have therapeutic effects on individuals with depression, there is a considerable amount of emerging information that supports the hypothesis of a causal relationship between nicotine and depression | News Medical, USA

Conduits of change: First responders as treatment initiators following an overdose

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is an effective approach to treating opioid use disorder (OUD), but not enough people have access to it, or use it when they do have access | BASIS, USA

COVID-19 drives alcohol sales—and raises concerns about substance abuse

Alcohol sales have surged since the COVID-19 pandemic began, raising concerns among USC experts and others that the bottoms-up binge could come with a social cost | Medical Xpress, USA

Tensions Rise in Kensington, Philadelphia as Lockdown Bites

Like much of the nation, Philadelphia has come to a virtual standstill. At publication time, Philadelphia County had almost 6,400 confirmed coronavirus infections and 176 reported deaths | Filter Magazine, USA

Intubated Patients Need Fentanyl. The DEA Had Recently Cut Production

As the pandemic sweeps the country, overwhelming intensive care units with patients in need of emergency respiration, medical-grade fentanyl is urgently needed | Filter Magazine, USA

Recovering addicts finding support online

A woman recovering from addiction has found a surprising amount of solace online after her 12-step group transformed all their face-to-face meetings following lockdown in NSW | 7News, Australia

Spider venom key to pain relief without side-effects

Molecules in tarantula venom could be used as an alternative to opioid pain killers for people seeking chronic pain relief | Science Daily, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

The COVID-19 emergency brings new challenges for substance misuse

Every Thursday evening, we step outside and rightfully applaud our brilliant NHS workers. It is a show of genuine respect for people who are going above and beyond in these unprecedented times, and often putting themselves at risk in order to help others. They are among the very best of us | Collective Voice blog, UK

Ireland and alcohol: Have we always seen ourselves as a nation of drinkers?

An Irish Times article from 1981 stated ‘drink and the Irish go together like gin and tonic’ | Irish Times, Ireland

America is drinking its way through the coronavirus crisis – that means more health woes ahead

In the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic, it has become easier to buy alcohol than toilet paper or eggs | Conversation, USA

A history of how sedatives took hold in white South Africa

In the early 1960s, pharmacists and government authorities were of the view that South Africa had experienced key aspects of a ‘pharmaceutical revolution’ over the course of the previous 40 years | Points blog, USA

Will COVID-19 change our drinking habits long term?

Pubs, bars and nightclubs have closed as part of Australia's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given sales from licensed premises make up approximately one quarter of all alcohol sales in Australia, the way we drink and the harms we experience from alcohol consumption are set to change. But how? | Canberra Times opinion, Australia