Daily news - 20th April 2020

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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

Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested

Guidance on coronavirus testing for frontline workers, including voluntary sector organisations providing substance misuse treatment and domestic abuse support | Department of Health and Social Care, UK

Coronavirus: Recovering heroin addicts offered monthly injections

A new drug for recovering heroin addicts is being rolled out across Wales to prevent them having to make daily trips to over-stretched pharmacies | BBC, UK

Coronavirus and alcohol: One in three drink less but one in five drink more - survey

Pubs and bars may be closed across the UK, but supermarket alcohol sales are on the rise, off-licences have been classified as essential businesses and recycling bins have been seen overflowing with wine and beer bottles | BBC, UK

Lockdown puts Scotland's’ ‘alcohol problems in sharp focus’

Alison Douglas, head of Alcohol Focus Scotland, told The National that more people are contacting support organisations over worries about a family member’s drinking | National, UK

Delivering OST and contingency planning for pharmacy service reductions - SDF COVID-19 Webinar video

As part of its response, Scottish Drugs Forum is hosting a series of free webinars. These will address crucial aspects of the support of people with drug problems and the delivery of effective services that provide treatment and support, reduce harm and protect people from COVID-19. This webinar focuses on the delivery of opioid substitution treatment (OST) with a particular focus on contingency planning for pharmacy service reductions | SDF, UK

The training and development needs of emerging Scottish drugs researchers

The Drugs Research Network for Scotland (DRNS) is keen to support emerging, early career and non-academic researchers to develop capacity across the sector and to ensure that emerging researchers are well-placed to lead on the future of Scottish drugs research | DRNS, UK

IAS Small Grants Scheme call for applications

The IAS Strategy 2020–2023 is available here. One of the main initiatives detailed in the strategy is the launch of a new small grants scheme intended to support novel research initiatives in the alcohol field, particularly proposals from early career researchers | IAS, UK

Support for Families about COVID-19

Giving the current coronavirus situation that is impacting all our lives, we wanted to let you know that our support services are still open for business. Our helpline, bereavement support and one-to-one support are all available online or by phone | SFAD, UK

Hotel scheme 'will cut rough sleeping after virus'

Giving rough sleepers rooms in hotels should lead to a significant long-term reduction in rough sleeping after the coronavirus outbreak, says a charity for homeless people | BBC, UK

Coronavirus: Drug dealers 'stand out' during lockdown

Sussex Police said it was making "far more arrests" as it tried to clamp down on so-called county lines drug networks | BBC, UK

Coronavirus: County lines drug dealers 'stick out like a sore thumb' during lockdown, say police

Pandemic could provide ‘unexpected opportunity’ to tackle exploitative drug dealing activity, officers say | Independent, UK

Five fishermen, a stormy night and £53m of cocaine: were the Freshwater Five wrongly convicted?

A decade ago, the fishermen were sentenced to a total of 104 years in prison. Now, new evidence suggests they are innocent | Guardian, UK

Belfast pub forced to suspend pint delivery service

A Belfast publican has been forced to suspend his service of pulling pints on people's doorsteps after the PSNI said it breached licencing legislation | ITV, UK

Carson Price died from 'violent reaction' to illegal drug

A 13-year-old boy died after suffering a violent reaction to an excessive amount of illegal drugs, a coroner has concluded | BBC, UK

Blackburn drug-stealing burglar became trapped inside pharmacy

An "extremely inebriated" burglar who helped himself to drugs from a pharmacy had to call the police for help when he realised he could not escape the shop | BBC, UK


International news

Trans-European COVID-19 and drug use survey Phase 1: lockdown

We would like to find out a little bit about how coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting drug use.Below is a short, anonymous survey with mostly tick box questions which will take about 10 minutes to complete.Your answers will inform drugs services across Europe, helping us to help people who take drugs by providing the most accurate and up to date information during this uncertain and difficult time | GT Research, UK

Alcohol sales 58% higher than this time last year

Retailers have recorded a 58%increase in the volume of alcohol sales week on week this week, compared to this time last year | Irish Examiner, Ireland

EMCDDA launches COVID-19 special round of European Web Survey on Drugs to assess impact of pandemic

Crucial information on the impact of COVID-19 on people who use drugs, and on the services that support them, will be collected via a special round of the European Web Survey on Drugs, launched this week. The survey — the Mini European Web Survey on Drugs: COVID-19 — is coordinated by the EMCDDA in collaboration with its Reitox network of national focal points | EMCDDA, Portugal

Alcohol and COVID-19: what you need to know (PDF)

The following factsheet provides important information that you should know about alcohol consumption and COVID-19. It addresses, among other things, the misinformation that is being spread through social media and other communication channels about alcohol and COVID-19 | WHO, Switzerland

Study: Juul Stopped Selling Their Fruit-Flavored Vaping Pods, With No Effect On Overall Sales

In 2018, vaping company Juul stopped selling some flavored products from stores after facing intense pressure from the FDA to do more to curb youth vaping rates | Forbes, USA

A key brain region for controlling binge drinking has been found

A team of National Institutes of Health-funded researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina has found that deactivating a stress-signaling system in a brain area known for motivation and emotion-related behaviors decreases binge drinking | Medical Xpress, USA

Pressure Builds on ICE to Release Far More People During Pandemic

The pandemic has exposed inhumane health and sanitary conditions in US jails and prisons; advocates and some lawmakers have responded by calling on governments to release at-risk people from incarceration, with limited responses from some jurisdictions | Filter Magazine, USA

Pandemic 'one crisis too many' for those with opioid addiction

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the need for a safer supply of drugs even more urgent for Ottawa’s homeless drug users, say advocates for the city’s most vulnerable population | Ottawa Citizen, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Using alcohol to cope with coronavirus lockdown is exposing our class divides

Alcohol is the most accessible that we can self-medicate with, and repeat prescriptions are always available. But now detox is only available to those who can afford it | Independent voices, UK

GDS Corona Corona Conversations - with Dr. Mike Kelleher, consultant addiction psychiatrist from UK - video

Dr. Michael Kelleher is a Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist as well as Clinical Advisor to Public Health England´s Alcohol, Drugs, Tobacco and Justice Division. In this episode with Adam he describes the pragmatic responses that have been made to ensure drug treatment is delivered in the safest way during Covid-19 and how harm reduction comes into its own. He describes some the ongoing challenges as well | Global Drug Survey, UK

In conversation with Tony Adams - video

Clouds House Treatment Consultant Michael Rawlinson in conversation with footballing legend, former England & Arsenal Captain and Rugby Football League President Tony Adams, talking about recovery, going back to basics during the coronavirus crisis, "zoom bombing" of meetings, structure, commitment, connecting, keeping busy, balance, and spiritual growth | Action on Addiction, UK

I added a treat to my neighbour’s shopping. I shouldn’t have chosen whiskey

I was trying to add frivolity to a self-isolating stranger’s grocery list. Wracked with indecision, I picked a spirit I don’t even drink | Guardian, UK

The story of the pharma giant and the African yam

It was a drug produced in Nottingham in the United Kingdom that led us on a journey to South Africa to visit muthi markets, archives, herbariums and nature reserves | Points blog, USA

Time to let non-violent drug offenders out of jail

Outdated criminal and correctional laws are threatening the lives of over 1.6 million people incarcerated for non-violent offences. Countries are failing to meet their basic needs and rights | Bangkok Post opinion, UK