Daily news - 22nd 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

New hangover research reveals heavy cost of drinking on people’s decision making the following day

A study from Dr Sally Adams and Craig Gunn in our Addiction & Mental Health Group highlights how hangover inhibits individuals' core executive functions | University of Bath, UK

Alcohol use during pregnancy linked to offspring depression

Children of mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may be at an increased risk of developing depression in late adolescence, according to new University of Bristol research | University of Bristol, UK

Study finds ‘compelling’ case for safe drug taking facilities

Safe injection rooms would be widely used by drug addicts if introduced in Scotland, benefiting those at greatest risk, new research has found | Herald, UK

Smoking cessation 3: supporting people with mental health conditions

This article, the third in a series of five on the nurse’s role in smoking cessation, looks at challenges and opportunities in supporting people with poor mental health to stop smoking | Nursing Times, UK

COVID-19 – Working with people who use drugs and who are homeless

The second SDF COVID-19 webinar will be held on Friday the 24th of April 1pm-2pm and will focus on the particular challenges faced by people affected by homelessness and substance use, and of the services working with them | SDF, UK

We Are With You in Scotland - video

We’re working really hard to make sure every single person we support continues to get the help and care they need during the coronavirus crisis. But you can help | We Are With You, UK

Alcohol and the Outbreak 2

The WHO recommends we consume little or no alcohol during the covid-19 outbreak to safeguard our immune function, judgement and mental health. But policy has varied. In some places, alcohol has been designated an essential item, while in others its sale is banned. This second free-flowing discussion on alcohol and the coronavirus outbreak will explore the pros and cons | Phil Cain, UK

Free Webinar: Supporting the families of substance users: An interview with Vivienne Evans OBE

Join us on Friday 24th of April for an interview with Vivienne Evans OBE, ISSUP Board member and Chief Executive of Adfam - the UK’s national umbrella organisation for children and families affected by substance misuse | Adfam, UK

Scotland set to get its first legal cannabis farm

A large greenhouse will be built where the drug will be grown for use in medicines | Daily Record, UK

Minimum alcohol prices for off-licences and other shops come into force

The new measure, which is not a tax, came into effect last week, having been agreed by the Licensing Assembly last December as part of an attempt to deter problem levels of drinking | Jersey Evening Post, UK



International news

Opioid overdose reversals using naloxone in New York City by people who use opioids: Implications for public health and overdose harm reduction approaches from a qualitative study

[Open access] Adverse reactions to naloxone, such as withdrawal symptoms and aggression, are widely recognised in the literature by pharmaceutical manufacturers and clinical practitioners as standard reactions of individuals who are physically dependent upon opioid drugs following the reversal of potentially fatal opioid overdose. This paper seeks to provide a differentiated view on reactions to naloxone that may have important implications for public health and harm reduction approaches | IJDP, UK

Practical guidelines on older people and benzodiazepines

What have Canadian experts judged to be the best ways to prevent and treat problems with benzodiazepines among older populations, who may be uniquely affected by decisions to prescribe and deprescribe these ‘highly addictive’ sedatives? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Cannabis and Capitalism: The Question of Ownership Within Drug Policy Reform

The idea of certain drugs as bad, dangerous and requiring prohibition by law it is a relatively recent social phenomenon, with the first international laws prohibiting drugs only appearing at the start of the twentieth century | Common Wealth, UK

NETHERLANDS: Move to phase out tobacco sales in supermarkets and petrol stations

On 3 March 2020, a majority in the Dutch parliament voted to end the sale of tobacco in supermarkets and petrol stations. All political parties, apart from the three liberal right-wing parties, supported a motion that called on the government to ask supermarkets and petrol stations to voluntarily stop selling tobacco products. Should they fail to acquiesce before 2022, they will be legally required to do so | BMJ, UK

South Africa coronavirus lockdown: Is the alcohol ban working?

The ban on the sale and transportation of alcohol during the coronavirus lockdown in South Africa has emptied hospital beds, ruined businesses, provoked violence and political disputes, and has led to a surge of interest in pineapples, writes the BBC's Andrew Harding from Johannesburg | BBC, UK

Coronavirus: Take-home alcohol sales almost 40% higher than last year

Some €158m spent on alcohol in the Republic over the past four weeks | Irish Times, Ireland

SAMHSA Moves Quickly to Begin Releasing $110 Million in Emergency Grant Funding to Provide Americans with Substance Use Treatment and Mental Health Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has expedited its process to today release emergency grants to strengthen access to treatments for substance use disorders and serious mental illnesses during the COVID-19 pandemic | HHS.Gov, USA

Nearly $17 million invested in research to fast-track studies on health impacts of e-cigarettes and nicotine on youth

The American Heart Association is investing nearly $17 million in scientific research to be led by scientists from Boston University, the Ohio State University and Yale University to study the health impacts of e-cigarettes and other nicotine delivery systems on youth and young adults | EurekAlert, USA

One-third of primary care physicians do not support the use of medications for treating opioid use disorder

A survey of primary care physicians found that one-third did not perceive medications to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) to be more effective than nonmedication treatment or safe for long-term use, despite conclusive evidence to the contrary | Medical Xpress, USA

How Tweets may influence substance abuse in youth

Substance use by youth remains a significant public health concern. While social media provides youth the opportunity to discuss and display substance use-related beliefs and behaviors, little is known about how posting drug-related content, or viewing posted content influences the beliefs and behaviors of youth relative to substance use | Medical Express, USA

Should you stop smoking pot during the coronavirus pandemic?

If you smoke marijuana, or vape e-cigarettes, you could end up with the kind of damage to your lungs and airways that could put you at risk of real harm from COVID-19, medical experts said | Medical Xpress, USA

The pandemic may fuel the next wave of the opioid crisis

COVID-19 harms various vulnerable populations, but drug users face unique challenges | National Geographic, USA

How the Illicit Drug Trade Is Adapting to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Throughout history, outbreaks of infectious disease have often been linked with illicit trade. A cholera outbreak in Mexico during the 1990s, for example, is believed to have originated with an infected person from South America who arrived on an illegal airstrip used for drug trafficking | WPR, USA

Why Dark-Web Drug Marketplaces Can Be a Refuge

Whether because of fentanyl adulteration or the present pandemic, buying drugs from the “dark web”—a term for sites in the unsearchable “deep web” part of the internet that require specific software to access—has never looked so appealing | Filter Magazine, USA

Mexican Farmers Are Growing Cartel-Free ‘Ethical’ Weed

We spoke to farmers in Sinaloa growing "blood-free" cannabis with no ties to the local drug cartels | VICE, USA

Adulterants, Contaminants and Co-occurring Substances in Drugs on the Illegal Market in Canada (CCENDU Bulletin)

Provides a snapshot of the contents of drugs on the illegal market in Canada using 2018–2019 data from drug seizures, drug checking services and a drug monitoring study. This bulletin is accompanied by a technical report featuring detailed research methods and data | CCSA, Canada

Canadians Under 54 Drinking More While at Home Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

25% of Canadians (aged 35–54) and 21% of Canadians (aged 18–34) say they have increased the amount of alcohol they drink while spending more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Only 10% of adults older than 54 say they have been drinking more alcohol since they began practicing social distancing and self-isolation | CCSA, Canada




Blogs, comment and opinion

COVID-19: Testing available for substance misuse treatment organisations

The government has released guidance on the strategy for testing for COVID-19. The guidance makes clear that testing capacity is being built gradually in a phased approach | Collective Voice blog, UK

How the coronavirus is putting our relationship with alcohol to the test

It is not surprising to hear that sales of alcohol are rising during this COVID-19 pandemic. Retail sales data for the United Kingdom reported an additional £104 million was spent in the last week of March, which is when lockdown measures were introduced, compared to the week before. Lager is where the greatest spend was found, although sales of rum rose by 92.4% | Conversation, UK

The Pandemic of Drug Policy by Sunny Dhadley - video

Here I share insights in to the pandemic that is global drug policy. I cover some of the key challenges that people who use drugs are facing with the global coronavirus pandemic & explore solutions in rebuilding society post Covid_19 | MyPOV, UK

'I found 10 bottles of wine in his room': What it's like to live with an addicted loved one in lockdown

Supporting a loved one with an addiction is difficult at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic | i news opinion, UK

GDS Corona Conversations - With Dr. Adrian Dunlop from Australia

Dr. Adrian Dunlop is an Addiction Medicine Specialist in New South Wales, Australia. Adrian talks about how opioid treatment services are having to rip up the rule book on delivering methadone and buprenorphine to ensure people get treatment safely during this period | Global Drug Survey, UK

Pharmacists could be front-line fighters in battle against opioid epidemic

When you stop at your local pharmacy to pick up a toothbrush or an antacid, soon you may also be able to buy an over-the-counter drug to reverse an opioid overdose. The lifesaving drug, naloxone, currently requires a prescription, but it may become available as an over-the-counter purchase in 2020 | Conversation, USA

Coping with the Collision of Public Health Crises: COVID-19 and Substance Use Disorders

For the past half-dozen years, I’ve had the privilege of attending the Rx Drug and Heroin Abuse Summit. And I was counting on learning more about this national crisis this April in Nashville, where I was scheduled to take part in a session with Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse | NIH Director's blog, USA

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, Australia