Daily news - 7th August 2020

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Coronavirus frequently updated resources

COVID-19 and addiction: webinars, podcasts and online discussions | SSA

Treatment and recovery services – and COVID-19 |Collective Voice

COVID-19 Information Hub | Scottish Drugs Forum

COVID-19 and smoking: resources, research and news | BMJ

Coronavirus: information and advice hub - alcohol | Alcohol Change UK

COVID-19 resources page for people who use drugs (PWUD) and drug service providers | EMCDDA


UK news

Warning over surge in use of fake anti-anxiety drugs

[Harry Shapiro of DrugWise quoted] Harry Shapiro, director of charity DrugWise, said the distribution of the drugs in industry-standard packaging allowed some dealers to convince buyers they were genuine medicines that had found their way onto the black market | Express and Star, UK

Prescription Drugs: Addictions

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to publish the strategy on addiction; and when a 24-hour helpline for patients needing support for dependence on prescribed medicines will be created | They work for you, UK

Hotel homeless helped to address addictions by London-wide health programme

Rough sleepers housed in hotels during Covid-19 are getting support for drug and alcohol addiction issues through a pioneering London-wide project | Turning Point, UK

Independent review of drugs part 2 - Drug Science submission overview

On 8 February 2019, Professor Dame Carol Black was appointed to lead a major 2-part review that will look into the ways in which drugs are fuelling serious violence and at treatment, recovery and prevention | Drug Science, UK

Written Submission to Dame Carol Black review

Release’s Submission to Phase Two of the Black Review | Relesae, UK

The Independent Review on Drugs is an opportunity for bold change

Today, St Mungo’s put forward a written submission to the Independent Review. Here Emma Cookson, Senior Policy and Public Affairs Officer at St Mungo’s explains what this review means and the primary calls St Mungo’s is making towards it | St Mungo's, UK

Children of Alcohol Dependent Parents

At the end of May 2020, Gareth Davies, Head of the National Audit Office said:
I cannot remember such a period of bravery in public services as during the COVID-19 pandemic.” We have seen some of that in the tenacity, ingenuity and willingness to do things differently amongst the projects involved in the Children of Alcohol Dependent Parents (CADeP) programme | Tavistock Institute, UK

Bibliography on COVID-19 and Addiction

This downloadable document lists articles found in PubMed from searches on 03 August 2020 involving addiction-related topics and COVID-19 | SSA, UK

Why Do We Rarely See Black Brits Taking Party Drugs On TV?

"I May Destroy You" challenges the idea that taking ket, coke, MD and pills is just a white people thing | VICE, UK

Positive Media Coverage, With Sandra Holmes

On this episode, we are joined by Sandra Holmes who runs the Midlothian Family Support Group. Sandra speaks to us on the subject of our media project and programme "Insert Standard Stigmatising Headline and Image Here – Rewriting the Media’s Portrayal of Addiction and Recovery" | The Scottish Recovery Show, UK

Strategies for challenging times: September 25th, online, 1pm (UK time)

This event will explore how reshaping our relationship with alcohol can help us manage better in difficult circumstances, like the ones we face now | Phil Cain, UK

How our Manchester service supported homeless people during the pandemic

Our Manchester service was part of a city-wide effort to support homeless people during the coronavirus pandemic. Head of Services Jackie McVan explains what happened | Change Grow Live, UK

Welsh police boss wants magic mushrooms reclassified and used to treat mental health problems

A Welsh police boss wants magic mushrooms to be reclassified so research can be carried out on the psychedelic compound psilocybin, and its effectiveness in treating mental health problems | ITV, UK

Cocaine and cannabis use will lead to shorter bans

Athletes who fail out-of-competition drugs tests for cocaine and cannabis are set to receive shorter bans in future, says UK Anti-Doping | BBC, UK

Three men in Grimsby court charged with slavery and drug offences

Hazrat Shah, Andrew Fox and Jason Gladding are accused of exploiting a teenager and a vulnerable adult and supplying Class A drugs | BBC, UK

Dublin: Two arrested after police seize €3m worth of heroin

Gardaí (Irish police) have seized heroin with an estimated value of €3m (£2.7m) during searches in Dublin | BBC, UK


International news

China sentences Canadian to death on drugs charge

A court notice in the city of Guangzhou said Xu Weihong was found guilty after a trial. His alleged accomplice, Wen Guanxiong, was given a life sentence | BBC, UK

The cost of the alcohol ban in South Africa

To free up space in South African public hospitals for Coronavirus patients, the government instituted a nationwide ban on the sale of alcohol. But with over 100 000 job losses in the liquor industry, can South Africa afford to keep up the prohibition? | BBC, UK

The association of smoking status with SARS-CoV-2 infection, hospitalisation and mortality from COVID-19: A living rapid evidence review (version 6)

There is uncertainty about the associations of smoking with COVID-19 outcomes. Recorded smoking prevalence among people with COVID-19 was generally lower than national prevalence. Current smokers were at reduced risk of infection. Former smokers were at increased risk of hospitalisation, disease severity and mortality, while data for current smokers favoured no important associations but were inconclusive | Qeios, USA

15 adults have been hospitalized after drinking methanol-contaminated hand sanitizer. Four died

Fifteen adults have been poisoned after drinking hand sanitizer that contained methanol, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday | NBC News, USA

Dismantling the Federal Drug War: A Comprehensive Drug Decriminalization Framework (The Drug Policy Reform Act)

For most of the past century the United States has adopted increasingly punitive policies toward the possession, use and distribution of drugs; and, particularly in the last 50 years, has built a massive regime to enforce those policies | DPA, UK

4 Canadians with terminal cancer win the right to try magic mushrooms

B.C.'s Laurie Brooks says just one psilocybin trip has led to lasting improvements in her mental health | CBC News, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Britain's gambling laws didn't anticipate smartphones – rewrite them now

The public and all parties agree that the gambling industry must no longer profit from public harm | Guardian opinion, UK

Fewer opioid prescriptions in the UK look likely – and the consequences could be dire

Painkillers such as morphine have transformed the way pain can be controlled – but there are drawbacks, not least the risk of overdose or becoming dependent. The havoc and misery caused by over-prescribing these drugs in the US has seen hundreds of thousands of people die prematurely | Conversation, UK

A new study shows more Americans are dropping acid. Why?

One expert said people might be using psychedelics as a therapeutic mechanism amid abounding bleakness | Guardian opinion, UK

The Laughing-Gas Wars of London

When the sun is out and everything is closed, what is there to do but go to the park? In London, where the restaurants are open but still viewed suspiciously, like pop-up carnival rides, why not take a bottle of wine and some wipes to a patch of grass instead? | The New Yorker, USA

‘Success Addicts’ Choose Being Special Over Being Happy

The pursuit of achievement distracts from the deeply ordinary activities and relationships that make life meaningful | The Atlantic, USA

My Brother Died Of An Overdose. Here’s What I Wish I’d Known That Could Have Saved Him

Addiction is treatable. But not if you’re dead | Hufffington Post, USA

Tobacco companies must wonder: with enemies like Big Public Health, who needs friends?

There is a public health issue you would have heard very little about that could be far more important to the health of Australians than the pandemic | Spectator, Australia