Daily news - 13th 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

ACMD work programme 2020 to 2022: commissioning letter

The Home Secretary's commissioning letter to the chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) for the period 2020 to 2022 | ACMD, UK

Priti Patel 'minded' to decriminalise sales of 'poppers' drug

Home Secretary Priti Patel has said she wants to "explicitly" remove any legal ban on supplying "poppers", a muscle-relaxing drug used by gay men during sex | BBC, UK

Priti Patel seeks advice on confirming legality of poppers

Poppers were given a reprieve from inclusion in a ban on formerly legal highs in 2016 | Guardian, UK

We Are With You calls for more life-saving overdose kits

Distribution of life-saving overdose revival kits increased by 40% last year, new figures show | The National, UK

Neuropsychopharmacology with Joss Stone - podcast

In this special episode, the tables are turned and Professor David Nutt is interviewed by singer-songwriter and podcast host - Joss Stone about Neuropsychopharmacology | Drug Science, UK

My alcohol addiction and recovery - video

This is a short video about my experience with alcohol abuse which turned into a painful addiction/dependency and also some personal reflections about my life in recovery | MyPOV, UK

Another Belfast Needle Exchange Depository Closes Despite an Increase in Demand

The imminent closure of another Needle and Syringe Exchange Scheme (NSES) depository in Belfast brings the number of exchange centres in Northern Ireland down to 20, despite a 13% increase in demand for the service compared to last year | Talking Drugs, UK

Team Bridges' Humber Tri Challenge

On Saturday 12th September, James Britton and friends will be taking on an incredible 63-mile Humber Tri Challenge to help raise vital funds for Forward at The Bridges rehabilitation centre in Hull!| The Forward Trust, UK

Spalding cafe loses licence for lockdown birthday party

On 20 June police found about 20 people inside the cafe who were mainly adults. The lights were turned off, music was playing and food and alcohol was being served and no social distancing was in place | BBC, UK


International news

Assessment of Relationship of Ketamine Dose With Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy of Glx and GABA Responses in Adults With Major DepressionA Randomized Clinical Trial

The findings of this study suggest that glutamate and glutamine suppression by ketamine may be a potential biomarker of rapid antidepressant effect and that a fast-acting antidepressant without psychotomimetic adverse effects may be possible | JAMA network, USA

Lawmakers urge the FDA to temporarily clear e-cigarettes from market amid Covid pandemic. Here's why

In a letter to the US Food and Drug Administration, lawmakers are urging the agency to temporarily clear the market of all e-cigarettes for the duration of the coronavirus crisis | CNN, USA

Study: Overdose Deaths Stratified Among Latinx People

At first glance, national data suggest that Latinx people are suffering fewer fatal overdoses compared to other racial groups | Filter Magazine, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

The legal status of "poppers"

In R v Rochester [2018] EWCA Crim 1936, decided on 17th August 2018, the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) concluded that the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 does not require a “psychoactive substance” to be capable of producing its “psychoactive effect” by directly stimulating or depressing the central nervous system | Rudi Fortson QC blog, UK

Alcohol addiction: could the brain’s immune system be the key to understanding and treating alcoholism?

Alcohol abuse is a serious problem worldwide. In England alone, over 350,000 alcohol-related hospital admissions – and over 5,000 alcohol-related deaths – were reported in 2018. Long-term alcohol abuse can have many harmful effects on our body | Conversation, UK

Drinking to cope? Stress, boredom and alcohol use during COVID-19 lockdown

In this blog, Dr Matt Parker, Neuroscientist and Alcohol Researcher at the University of Portsmouth, discusses the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on alcohol use | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK