Daily news - 17th 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

Coronavirus: Public Health England 'to be replaced'

PHE will continue to be responsible for now, for prevention issues such as anti-obesity measures | BBC, UK

Police issue warning about Donald Trump-shaped ecstasy pills

Man, 30s, from Luton arrested on suspicion of supplying the dangerous high-strength batch, police say | Guardian, UK

Click and collect' life saving drug kits being sent to addict's homes

The head of Scotland’s Drug Deaths Task Force has warned that turning around the woeful fatal overdose record could take up to five years and even then may be thwarted by a blue wave of fake valium flooding the nation’s streets | Herald, UK

Access to take-home naloxone increased through paramedic supply

Ambulance paramedics are to supply to patients at risk of an opiate overdose take-home naloxone as part of a pilot scheme in Glasgow | SDF, UK

Parents of toddler with severe epilepsy seek legal review of cannabis oil guidelines

Charlie Hughes, 3, has rare condition called West syndrome, but NHS-approved medicines have been ineffective | Guardian, UK

Poppers in the UK: a brief guide to the battle over legality

The drugs have been in a ‘legal grey area’ since 2016, but now Priti Patel is seeking to exempt them from any bans | Dazed Digital, UK

NDTMS: accreditation for software suppliers

Updated software supplier accreditation details | PHE, UK

Upcoming webinar: Changing Drug Policy: networks of people who use drugs. Friday 21 August – 13:00-14:00

Around the world, people who use drugs have, for many years, created unions, groups and networks to advocate for drug policies and practices that support harm reduction, health promotion and human rights. In the first webinar leading up to International Overdose Awareness Day we will hear about the history of the movement | SDF, UK

QMJC July 2020 - Narrating the unspeakable: Making sense of psychedelic experiences in drug treatment

In July 2020, members of Qualitative Methods Journal Club reviewed Harris’ 2019 paper, Narrating the unspeakable: Making sense of psychedelic experiences in drug treatment. In this article, the author analyzes the ways in which people struggle to narrate their experiences of using psychedelics for drug treatment | SSA, UK

Coronavirus: Organisers of illegal raves could face £10,000 fines under new crackdown

More than 500 such events were planned in London alone last month | Independent, UK



International news

Addiction during a pandemic - video

Covid-19 has forced social isolation upon many of us. Nuala McGovern considers alcohol and drug addiction relapse during the pandemic. We hear from two men, in Kenya and the United States, about how they have fought their addictions while under lockdown | BBC, UK

Global burden of disease due to smokeless tobacco consumption in adults: an updated analysis of data from 127 countries

ST is used across the globe and poses a major public health threat predominantly in South and Southeast Asia. While our disease risk estimates are based on a limited evidence of modest quality, the likely ST-related disease burden is substantial | BMC Medicine, UK

Coronavirus: Spanish regions ban smoking over Covid-19 risk

It issued a blanket ban on smoking in the street and in public places, such as restaurants and bars, if social distancing is not possible | BBC, UK

Sydney's Star casino fined $90,000 after 12-year-old girl caught gambling

A 17-year-old boy was served alcohol and played 42 rounds of roulette and 22 hands of poker while a 16-year-old girl was served alcohol | Guardian, UK

Association of Pregnancy and Insurance Status With Treatment Access for Opioid Use Disorder

These findings suggest that pregnant and nonpregnant women face substantial barriers in obtaining appointments with an opioid use disorder treatment clinician | JAMA Open Network, USA

Have opioid overdose deaths been underreported?

The world has improved in recent years on many metrics-- fewer people are living in extreme poverty, dying from air pollution, or missing out on a basic education. One clear exception to this trend is opioid overdoses | BASIS, USA

Psychedelic drugs reduce depressive symptoms by helping individuals accept their emotions, study suggests

New research provides preliminary evidence that psychedelic drugs can improve mental health by making individuals more accepting of distressing experiences | PsyPost, USA

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



Blogs, comment and opinion

Addiction and Recovery Covid-19 Response Grant: Funded organisations

Collective Voice is pleased to announce that 20 grassroots VCSE organisations will receive funding from the Addiction and Recovery Covid-19 Response Grant, administered by us on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Department of Health and Social Care | Collective Voice blog, UK

Shrinking drinks: how minimum pricing is making bottles smaller

Andrew Misell believes producers' and consumers' reactions to the new minimum unit price of alcohol in Wales could lead to a win-win situation for both industry and public health actors | IAS blog, UK

Counterfeit alcohol: getting to grips with fake booze

In this blog, we look at the hidden issue of counterfeit alcohol and summarise the main findings from an Alcohol Change UK-funded report on the topic by Jon Spencer, Nicholas Lord, and Cecilia Flores Elizondo | Alcohol Change UK, UK

Editorial. Co-optation of harm reduction by Big Tobacco

Harm reduction is a respected public health strategy for managing addictive behaviours that pose severe health risks. Such an approach recognises that for people unable to abstain from a certain risky behaviour, public health interventions can be used to mitigate the potential dangers and health risks | BMJ editorial, UK

In the world’s forgotten borderlands, the drug trade helps people survive – but at a cost

When Jangul’s* village on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan was bombed in the war between the Soviet communist regime and the Mujahedeen in the 1980s, it was some opium buried under his house that enabled him to build a new home | Conversation, 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

Police Commissioner says NT needs to rethink Indigenous communities alcohol ban

This morning Commissioner Chalker told the ABC he found it surprising people were still being told where they could and could not drink alcohol in 2020, and noted the flow on effects that had | abc.net.au blog, Australia