Daily news - 27th 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: 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. Nevertheless, the guidance states that testing is available for: … voluntary sector organisations providing substance misuse treatment and domestic abuse support” | Collective Voice, UK

COVID-19 Information Hub

SDF has carried out significant work since the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic with the aim of supporting services who support people who use drugs. This includes the provision of information, guidance, resources, webinars and more. Please use this selection of links to access information and resources useful to service providers and for people who use drugs | SDF

Online tool shows COVID-19 service delivery updates for people in Scotland who use drugs

People across Scotland can stay up to date with local drug treatment and pharmacy service changes during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to a new online tool | SDF, UK

Latest Drugs Uncut podcast episode focuses on delivering services under ‘lockdown’

The latest episode of ‘Drugs Uncut’ – the Scottish Drugs Forum podcast – has been published and is available to listen to for free online or on your favourite podcast app | SDF, UK

Shoppers swap clothes for alcohol amid record sales drop

UK retail sales fell a record 5.1% in March as many stores shut up shop in the face of the coronavirus lockdown | BBC, UK

How to safely detox from alcohol at home

Normally, we'd recommend getting professional support before you try to cut down your drinking. But while the coronavirus situation continues, that might not be possible. That's why we have come up with this advice on safely detoxing from alcohol at home | We Are With You, UK

Alcohol and the Outbreak 2

This event was a unique chance to explore how different approaches to alcohol policy play out in reality, in real time | Phil Cain, UK

Recovery Games on hold until 2021

Organisers of the Recovery Games, one of the UK’s largest events that celebrate the achievements of people in recovery from an alcohol and/ or drug issue, have taken the decision not to hold the event this year due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak | Aspire, UK

The Final Fix

[Free with Amazon Prime] The Final Fix follows five chronic drug abusers through a trial of N.E.T. (Neuro Electric Therapy), a non-pharmaceutical treatment invented by Scottish surgeon Meg Patterson 45 yrs ago | Amazon Prime, UK

Police exploit lockdown to mount raids on wanted criminals 

[Free registration may be required] Police forces across the country have taken advantage of the coronavirus lockdown to swoop on dozens of wanted criminals including drug dealers, gangsters and even brothel owners | Telegraph, UK

Arrests after police seize cocaine worth £3m at Dover

Police have found cocaine with a street value of about £3m in a lorry and arrested three men | BBC, UK

Scot wandering streets looking for drugs is first to be convicted under new coronavirus laws

The new laws were recently brought into force in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has seen the country placed on lockdown with people only allowed outside for limited purposes | Daily Record, UK


International news

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

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

'On top of everything': coronavirus is making Australia's drug crisis a whole lot worse

Rising substance abuse and treatment restrictions are pushing an already over-burdened rehab system to breaking point | Guardian, UK

Calls to limit alcohol delivery services

Alcohol support services will get extra money to help Australians cut back on problem drinking during the coronavirus pandemic | Mail Online, UK

Incidence, types and acceptability of pharmaceutical interventions about drug related problems in a general hospital: an open prospective cohort

[Brazil] Drug-related problems detected by 100% medication order review by hospital pharmacists occur in a significant proportion of hospital episodes, the most frequent being related to treatment effectiveness and treatment costs. The medications mostly involved were cephalosporins, penicillins, antidyspeptics, analgesics, antipyretics, opioids and antiemetics. Pharmaceutical interventions had low acceptability by the medical staff | BMJ Open, UK

'Addiction doesn't stop during a pandemic, it gets worse': Methadone waiting lists virtually eliminated amid overdose fears

Drug users are at an increased risk of contracting Covid-19 – many suffer from underlying health conditions and don’t have a safe place to self-isolate if needed | Journal, Ireland

Helplines during Covid-19: ‘There is an awful lot more drinking going on at home’

Difficult domestic situations are now unbearable, say Childline, Samaritans and Women’s Aid | Irish Times, Ireland

Gardaí believe 'incredibly potent' cannabis on Irish streets due to shortages caused by Covid-19

The new cannabis is arriving through Dublin Port from the UK | Journal, Ireland

Major drug seizures since start of virus lockdown

Increased Covid-19 checkpoints allied to intelligence-led operations have resulted in gardaí seizing millions of euro in illegal drugs since the lockdown came into force on March 27 | Irish Examiner, Ireland

The Challenge of Treating 2 Epidemics at Once

As overdose deaths climb, advocates and activists fear the opioid crisis will run headlong into the Covid-19 crisis | Nation, USA

Why COVID-19 can be ‘toxic’ for people in alcohol recovery

For millions of people in recovery or looking for help for alcohol use, in-person group meetings can be a source of relief. But social distancing measures that were put in place to help curb the coronavirus have disrupted the support networks people rely upon for help | PBS, USA

Promoting advantages of product category, such as e-cigarettes, can backfire

Industries often position products to tout the benefits of one category over another—such as the higher-quality, traditional ingredients of a microbrew over mass-produced brewery beer | Medical Xpress, USA

Holistic approach best for tackling nonmedical drug use, study finds

Health practitioners are constantly developing new ways to help those with drug and alcohol addictions wean themselves from their substance of choice | EurekAlert, USA

Alcohol's financial toll on women—even when they don't drink

Many women are bearing a financial cost for alcohol consumption, even when they don't drink, according to new research led by La Trobe University's Centre for Alcohol Policy Research (CAPR) | Medical Xpress, Australia

A Standard Outcome Set for Substance Use and Addictive Behaviour Disorders

In this seminar, a new core outcome set for substance use and addictive behaviour disorders is presented, and the methodology for development described | NDARC, Australia

Drug Use During Lockdown and Social Isolation - survey

We have designed this survey to understand how lockdown and social distancing as a result of coronavirus are affecting the drug market and the people who are using drugs | Penington Institute, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

The tobacco industry is trying to get cigarettes classified as an ‘essential’ item during lockdown

Far from viewing the coronavirus pandemic as a problem, the tobacco industry thinks it is great opportunity – even offering to deliver to those in isolation | Independent voices, UK

Once again, the government is putting the alcohol industry’s health before ours

By continuing to push policies that are driven by commerce, not evidence, the Conservatives risk adding to the human cost of Covid-19 | Independent voices, UK

Martin Gavin: High hopes for drug policy after COVID-19?

This week, Martin Gavin, Homeless Network Scotland’s head of external relations, looks at the impact of COVID-19 on people who take drugs and what can be learned from what has been put in place so far | Scottish Housing News, UK

GDS Corona Conversations - with Jason Kew, senior police detective from UK - video

Jason Kew is a Violence Reduction Unit lead for Drugs, Exploitation and Harm Reduction with Thames Valley Police in the UK, and a trustee with DrugFAM. A champion for the most vulnerable in society and harm reduction advocate - he highlights how changes to drug policy and treatment are simply pragmatic and effective responses to many of society’s issues with drugs | Global Drug Survey, UK

Half a lifetime helping addiction recovery – Peter McCann celebrates 80th birthday

Almost 40 years ago, Peter McCann and his wife, Dr Margaret Ann McCann, began helping people with drug and alcohol addiction into a life of recovery.  This eventually led to the founding of Castle Craig Hospital in 1988. As he celebrates his 80th birthday having spent half of his lifetime helping people overcome addiction, we asked Peter to look back on his own life, and the changing face of addiction treatment | Castle Craig blog, UK

Honey, I'm drunk because of the kids

Marcus Barnes shares his tips for parenting during lockdown without giving into the drinking memes | Alcohol Concern blog, UK