Daily news - 23rd 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

COVID-19 & the impact on the drugs market

Release is setting up a network of people across the UK to provide information on what is going on in the drugs market in light of the Coronavirus | Release, UK

Covid-19 and drug markets - week 3 update

The UK has been on lockdown for over three weeks now, with an additional three week extension of the restrictions just announced. Our survey into the way COVID-19 has impacted the way drugs are bought, sold and taken is also now in its third week | Crew, UK

Accessing Drug Services During COVID-19 - podcast

Today we talk with Dr Emily Finch, Addictions Clinical Director at South London Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust | Relations Radio, UK

Scots taking mixed approach to alcohol in lockdown, survey suggests

Drinkers in Scotland have changed their alcohol consumption in equal measure during the lockdown, with an estimated one million people drinking more often and the same number cutting down or stopping completely | Evening Express, UK

Clinical Competencies for the Care of Hospitalized Patients with Alcohol Use Disorders

[Open access] The UK government aims to develop alcohol care teams (ACTs) that provide care for alcohol dependence in general hospital settings. Service descriptors have been identified to support the development of ACTs. The aim of this study was to use Delphi panel principles to identify the clinical competencies required to provide these elements of service | Alcohol and Alcoholism, UK

ACMD advice on administration rights for therapeutic radiographer independent prescribers

Letter from ACMD to ministers, providing advice on the administration rights of morphine by injection for therapeutic radiographer independent prescribers | ACMD, UK

Menthol cigarettes ban 2020: why they are being banned in the UK, and when the law changes

The ban comes as part of an effort to deter young people from smoking | i news, UK

UK minister urges betting firms to do more for problem gamblers

Nigel Huddleston calls on industry to go beyond 10-point pledge criticised by MPs | Guardian, UK



International news

French researchers to test nicotine patches on coronavirus patients

Study – which stresses serious health risks of smoking – suggest substance in tobacco may lower risk of getting coronavirus | Guardian, UK

Lebanon becomes first Arab country to legalise cannabis farming for medical use in bid to beat economic crisis

Cannabis has long been illegally farmed in the fertile Bekaa Valley and government now hopes to turn it into a legal billion-dollar trade | Independent, UK

New study could lead to therapeutic interventions to treat cocaine addiction

Targeting mechanisms in the brain that trigger euphoric sensations could be key | EurekAlert, USA

AHA invests almost $17 million to speed up health impacts of e-cigarettes, nicotine on youth

The American Heart Association (AHA) 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 | News Medical, USA

How the Pandemic Is Restricting Health Options for People Who Use Drugs

For the average non-essential worker, it might feel like the coronavirus has put the world on hold. But for people who use drugs and may be addicted, particularly those substances that can produce a physical dependency, there is no pressing pause | Filter Magazine, USA

San Francisco’s Frontline Harm Reductionists Persist Despite Pandemic

Grassroots harm reduction organizations in San Francisco are adapting their services to bypass limitations presented by the coronavirus pandemic while still meeting the needs of drug users, who are at high risk of COVID-19, as two videos produced by the Harm Reduction Coalition (HRC) depict | Filter Magazine, USA

ACLU Underlines That Racial Justice Takes More Than Just Marijuana Legalization

Black people are more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana, even after decriminalization and legalization, confirms a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union | Filter Magazine, USA

COVID-19 and Cannabis Smoking and Vaping: Four Things You Should Know [report]

Summarizes four important facts currently known about COVID-19 and how it can affect people who smoke or vape cannabis products. Topics covered include the potential impact of smoking or vaping cannabis on lung health, the potential impact on the immune system, how it can have an impact on people infected with COVID-19 and guidance for reducing harms | CCSA, Canada

A history of cannabis dependence associated with many negative mental health outcomes

Recovery is more prevalent among women, older respondents, those with higher levels of social support, and those who had never had major depressive disorder or generalized anxiety disorder | EurekAlert, Canada

Survey results reveal Australian usage of medicinal cannabis for inflammatory bowel disease

New research conducted by the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the University of Sydney reveals a quarter of Australians with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have used cannabis, predominantly from illicit sources, to manage their condition. They reported improvements in symptoms and reduced use of prescription medication | Medical Xpress, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Covid-19 and addiction—a secret burden during this pandemic

We’re all in this together, we hear, we read, we tell ourselves as we fumble our way through these extraordinary times.  Yet how we manage the days that lie ahead will depend not just on our individual circumstances but also on our own personal histories, the life experiences that have made us who we are | BMJ blog, UK

What does this new world look like?

"Where have we been, where are we going, and how do we get there?" Mark offers a plea from on the ground | Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland, UK

I’m glad the pubs might be closed until Christmas. This isn’t the national tragedy you think it is

Our tendency to peddle quaint myths positioning these venues as ‘robust British values’ is ridiculous. We don’t need them half as much as we need more family-friendly establishments | Independent voices, UK

Plague Time: Intoxicating Spaces and Pestilence in Seventeenth-Century London

One of the most challenging aspects of the lockdown and social distancing measures necessitated by COVID–19 are the restrictions placed on the intoxicating spaces of everyday life. The inability to visit coffee shops, pubs, restaurants, and tea bars is for me and many others one of the most difficult psychological features of the current situation... | Intoxicating Spaces blog, UK

Decriminalizing drug use as we contain the coronavirus is the humane thing to do

In 2018, there were 83,483 drug arrests in Canada. That amounts to approximately 228 drug arrests on any given day | Conversation, Canada