Daily news - 10th 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


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UK news

Get an up-to-date overview of emerging drug-related health harm

Read Public Health England’s summary of emerging drug-related health harm which pulls together information from across intelligence sources. It aims to support frontline professionals in responding to drug health harm | PHE, UK

Insert Standard Stigmatising Headline & Image Here: Rewriting the Media’s Portrayal of Addiction and Recovery is a research project and programme from Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs and the Scottish Recovery Consortium. Both charities shared concerns around the stigma towards people with addictions, and the lack of lived experience highlighted in the media | SFAD and SRC, UK

Enhancing the Criminal Court Response to Substance Misuse - Evidence and Practice Briefing

This briefing aims to support practitioners seeking to enhance their court-based response to substance misuse | Centre for Justice Innovation, UK

Decline in mental health due to lockdown is pushing people to buy illicit prescription drugs online, experts say

A growing number of hospitalisations and deaths have been linked to a surge in the use of counterfeit benzodiazepines | i news, UK

Quantifying alcohol audio-visual content in UK broadcasts of the 2018 Formula 1 Championship: a content analysis and population exposure

Exposure to alcohol imagery is associated with subsequent alcohol use among young people, and UK broadcasting regulations protect young people from advertising alcohol content in UK television. However, alcohol promotion during sporting events, a significant potential medium of advertising to children, is exempt. We report an analysis and estimate the UK population exposure to, alcohol content, including branding, in UK broadcasts of the 2018 Formula 1 Championship | BMJ, UK

Covid-19 and smoking research

A list of published articles on scientific research which includes information or data on smoking, nicotine and Covid-19. These have been collated to facilitate research and help inform opinion | ASH Scotland, UK

Dundee needle exchange lauded as area becomes first in world to ‘eliminate’ Hepatitis C

Dundee drugs workers from Hillcrest Futures are celebrating how their work with addicts inspired a push to drive Hepatitis C out of Tayside, helping the region to become the first in the world to “effectively eliminate” the disease | Courier, UK

New drug and alcohol service commissioned in City and Hackney boroughs

The social enterprise, Turning Point, has been commissioned by London Borough of Hackney and City of London Corporation to run a new integrated substance misuse service in City and Hackney, London | Turning Point, UK

Magic mushrooms could avert looming mental health crisis, says North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones has written to all the region’s MPs asking them to support a call to reclassify psilocybin as a drug so that more research can be carried out | Deeside.com, UK

London police station blockaded after 14-year-old's arrest

Stand off between officers in Colindale and protesters over stop-and-search arrest | Guardian, UK

Cardiff Bay barriers up in a bid to deter drinking crowds

Security has been stepped up in Cardiff Bay in a bid to stop crowds gathering and drinking alcohol | BBC, UK


International news

One in 12 Australians drinking alcohol every day during coronavirus outbreak, survey finds

Alcohol and Drug Foundation says one in 10 people report consuming more than 10 standard drinks per week | Guardian, UK

Death Penalty Danger in the Philippines

The plummeting human rights situation in the Philippines got even worse this week as the government began considering bills to reinstate the death penalty. The move by the House Committee on Justice came a week after President Rodrigo Duterte used his State of the Nation Address to call for capital punishment by lethal injection for drug offenders | Human Rights Watch, UK

Man who was given life sentence for $30 marijuana sale to be freed

Louisiana’s habitual offenders law ‘disproportionately’ impacts black defendants, Harris’ lawyer says | Independent, UK

The extraordinary life of Pablo Escobar’s secret son

[Free registration may be required] His mother was killed in a shoot-out, he was adopted by an MI6 agent, survived kidnap attempts... Meet Pablo's secret son Roberto Escobar | Telegraph, UK

Potentially addictive drugs dispensing to patients receiving opioid agonist therapy: a register-based prospective cohort study in Norway and Sweden from 2015 to 2017

The number and frequency of potentially addictive drugs dispensed were calculated for the two countries. The mean daily doses of dispensed benzodiazepines and z-hypnotics were summarised by calculating benzodiazepines in diazepam equivalents and z-hypnotics in zopiclone equivalents | BMJ Open, Norway

European group: E-cigarette use should be limited due to CV effects

In a new position paper, the European Association of Preventive Cardiology recommended that due to known CV harms from e-cigarettes, they should not be used for smoking cessation except as a last resort | Healio, USA

Teens who crave excitement more likely to smoke, use multiple illicit substances

A new study of high school seniors in the U.S. suggests that teens who are less satisfied with their lives and seek out risky experiences and exciting, unpredictable friends are more likely to use multiple illicit substances regularly | Medical Xpress, USA

Clearing the Smoke on Cannabis: Respiratory and Cardiovascular Effects of Cannabis Smoking

Reviews research about the effects of smoking cannabis on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems (heart and lungs). Findings of the report include that cannabis smoke contains many of the same chemicals as tobacco smoke, emerging evidence that quitting cannabis smoking can reverse some of the negative respiratory symptoms associated with its use, and the effects of cannabis vaping | CCSA, Canada

The faces of B.C.'s deadly overdose crisis are young and old, male and female, rich and poor

Relatives and friends describe some of the people lost to B.C.'s overdose crisis | Vancouver Sun, Canada

Patterns of ecstasy use amongst live music event attendees and their opinions on pill testing: a cross sectional study

[Open access] Pill testing services could potentially be used to reduce drug-related harm. This study aims to identify patterns of ecstasy use among live music event attendees; explore the opinions and potential usage of illicit pill testing programs and examine factors associated with the likelihood of still taking a pill containing a potential harmful substance | Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Is there really such thing as having an addictive personality?

What compels one person to want to use drugs again and another not to bother has a lot to do with previous life experience | Independent voices, UK

Regulatory and allocative policies inform access to opioid agonist therapy

Jin et al had the difficult task of summarizing opioid agonist therapy (OAT) delivery practice indicators from around the world ( = 41 countries) | Addiction commentary, UK

Alcoholism is the silent pandemic that will kill more people than coronavirus

[Free registration may be required] The Government has announced plans for calorie labelling on booze – where's the concern for the effects it has on people’s brains and lives? | Telegraph comment, UK