Daily news - 12th 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


UK news

National Naloxone programme Scotland

This release by Public Health Scotland presents information on the number of take-home naloxone kits issued by the National Naloxone Programme in Scotland. Figures are presented separately for kits issued from community outlets, kits issued in prisons at the point of prisoner release and kits dispensed via community prescription | ISD Scotland, UK

Relative expected value of drugs versus competing rewards underpins vulnerability to and recovery from addiction

Behavioural economic theories of addiction contend that greater expected value of drug relative to alternative non-drug rewards is the core mechanism underpinning vulnerability to and recovery from addiction. To evaluate this claim, we exhaustively review studies with human drug users that have measured concurrent choice between drugs vs. alternative rewards, and explored individual differences | Behavioral Brain Research, UK

Smoking: Pregnancy

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the data included in Statistics on Women's Smoking Status at Time of Delivery: England Quarter 4, 2019–20, published on 7 July, what assessment they have made of Greater Manchester’s Smokefree Pregnancy programme; and what plans they have to implement a national smoke-free pregnancy incentives programme along the lines of that programme | They work for you, UK

Smoking: Health Education

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase funding for public education campaigns about smoking in order (1) to encourage people who have quit smoking during the COVID-19 lockdown to remain smoke-free, and (2) to motivate people to quit smoking in coming months | They work for you, UK

London firefighters warn of huge spike in smoking-related house fires during lockdown

London Fire Brigade has revealed figures showing smoking-related fires have risen by 20 per cent since measures to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 were brought in | Evening Standard, UK

Coping with stress and alcohol: a parent's guide

Coping with stress and drinking is an online resource for parents. It aims to: Raise awareness of the impact of stress on relationships and parental conflict on children. Increase parents’ capacity to cope with stress and stop using alcohol as a coping mechanism | One plus One, UK

GDPO quarterly news

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the on-going global pandemic curtailed somewhat GDPO activities over the past quarter. Nonetheless, the team was still busy writing, pursing desk based research and engaging with a range of activities on planet Zoom | Swansea University, UK

UK Drug Situation Report Feedback Survey

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. We are interested in receiving your feedback about the use and format of our new annual report.
Your feedback is very important. This survey only takes about two minutes to complete, and will help us to develop future reports | PHE, UK

New needle vending machines installed at Horizon hubs

The machines, located at Harrogate and Scarborough, are free to access, available now and incredibly simple to use. Users can operate the vending machine with a plastic token given out by hub reception staff | North Yorkshire Horizons, UK

Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund

The Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund is open to constituted community organisations throughout Cambridgeshire (including Peterborough), who are supporting isolated older and vulnerable people at this time | Cambridegshire Community Foundation, UK

Lakes District hike to raise funds for Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Service

People are being urged to sign up for a guided hike up Helvellyn in the Lake District to see the sunrise - while at the same time raising much needed funds for a Cumbrian charity | The Mail, UK

Launch of the Sign, Send, Subscribe campaign to reschedule psilocybin for the UK's mental health

The Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group launches the Sign, Send, Subscribe campaign, uniting voices across the UK in a call for the urgent rescheduling of psilocybin to allow the development of pressingly needed new mental health treatment approaches | CDPRG, UK

'Crack made butterflies dance in my mind' – the hidden stories behind survivors' tattoos

The Outsiders Project asks people who have come back from lives of addiction, illness and crime to talk about their inked skins. As it goes global, we hear their moving stories | Guardian, UK


International news

How do you identify effective clinicians?

They differ greatly in how well their patients do, so how do we identify effective clinicians? In cell C3 the Alcohol Treatment Matrix tackled the critical missing link in improving treatment: recruitment. Research offers valuable clues, including brief written tests pioneered by a seminal US study whose findings were broadly replicated in Finland | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

How a Quiet Corner of Northern Europe Became a Theatre of Extreme Drug Warfare

Underworld violence is on the up in the otherwise peaceful countries of Belgium and the Netherlands – and it’s all linked to the international cocaine trade | VICE, UK

Netherlands police bust country's largest cocaine lab at ex-riding stables

Police seize drugs valued at up to €6m and arrest at least 17 suspects at stables | Guardian, UK

High time for a law change: Ex-PM backs the legalisation of marijuana as national vote nears

Former long-serving New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark is pushing for marijuana to become legal, ahead of the country's referendum next month | Mail Online, UK

South Africa: Gabola church 'connects with God by drinking alcohol' - video

Gabola means ‘drinking’ in South Africa’s SeTswana language. Gabola church believes its congregation connects with God through consuming large amounts of alcohol during services | BBC, UK

Prisons see huge increase in ‘hooch’ seizures during lockdown

Authorities uncover 541 litres of illicit alcohol so far this year | Irish Times, Ireland

India’s High Demand For Drugs in Lockdown Is Making Dealers Take More Risks

Since the enforcement of lockdown, India’s drug busts are seeing higher quantities of opium and marijuana as dealers attempt to smuggle drugs through creative ways | VICE, USA

Vaping linked to COVID-19 risk in teens and young adults, study finds

Vaping is linked to a substantially increased risk of COVID-19 among teenagers and young adults, according to a new study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine | Medical Xpress, USA

Q&A: Pandemic fuels rise in drug-related deaths

In Arizona, there's been a recent uptick in drug overdoses. There were 463 deaths reported in March, and throughout the summer the number of deaths per month has remained higher than most month-to-month totals in 2018 and 2019. Numbers are expected to continue to climb as more medical reports are confirmed | Medical Xpress, USA

Why the Drug User Liberation Front Gave Out Free, Checked Drugs in Vancouver

The Drug User Liberation Front, a Vancouver-based activist group, made a serious statement on June 23. During a protest in the city’s Downtown Eastside, they gave out free, checked and illegal drugs to their community | Filter Magazine, USA

Japan's male smoking rate drops below 30% for first time

Japan’s male smoking rate fell below 30 percent for the first time last year, slipping to 28.8 percent, down 2.3 points from the previous study in 2016, a health ministry survey found | Japan Times, Japan

International Overdose Awareness Day - 31st August

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on 31 August each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose | Penington Institute, Australia

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation Team With Dee Madigan's Campaign Edge To Tackle CV-19 Drinking

Funded by the Australian Government, Break the Habitreveals that it takes only around 66 days to form a habit – roughly the same amount of time many Australians spent in lockdown | B&T magazine, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Alcohol control policies, socioeconomic inequalities, and adolescent alcohol use

Eva Leal-López argues a combination of alcohol control policies are key to reducing inequalities among adolescents | IAS blog, UK

Have Your Say! : The drop team

My name is Sorcha and I’m the 'Festival and Nightclub Harm Reduction Lead' at Bristol Drugs Project. Having started in this role in November, I spent the winter months learning the ropes at BDP, booking slots at some of Bristol’s biggest and best events, dreaming of a summer dancing to some of my favourite bands and DJs. But alas, the world had other plans... | BDP blog, UK

Commentary on de Vocht et al . (2020): The value of local causal inference models for alcohol policy debates

There is a key disconnect in policy debate: despite a proliferation of alcohol outlet density research, those in positions to use that research—alcohol policymakers, community coalitions, civil servants and so on—remain largely unaffected by it | Addiction commentary, UK

Cocaine and Canada in the Early 1970s

Canadians have been consuming cocaine since the early twentieth century.  They have traditionally been part of the larger western thirst for the stimulant that resulted in a transnational global industry that was initially controlled by European mafias | Points blog, USA