Daily news - 2nd July 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

Government launches second phase of independent review into drug misuse

The second part of a major independent review by Professor Dame Carol Black into the misuse of illegal drugs in England has launched today |
Department of Health and Social Care and Jo Churchill MP, UK

Growing numbers of alcohol-related hospital admissions linked to local spending cuts

A new study by King’s College London has shown an association between increases in alcohol related hospital admissions and decreases in spending on alcohol services since they came under the responsibility of local authorities in 2012 | KCL, UK

Anger at NHS failure to prescribe cannabis oil medicines

No new NHS prescriptions in England for full-extract cannabis oil since legalisation 18 months ago | Guardian, UK

A&E doctors plead with England's pub-goers not to get 'plastered'

Fears over NHS being stretched and the spread of Covid-19 ahead of ‘Super Saturday’ | Guardian, UK

Scottish schools Adoledscent lifestyle and substance use survey (SALSUS) 2018: Mental Wellbeing Summary Report (PDF)

Almost two thirds (63%) of all pupils surveyed had a normal overall score on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), while 18% had a borderline score, and a fifth (20%) had an abnormal score. Since 2010, the proportion of pupils with borderline or abnormal scores has continually risen, while the proportion of pupils with normal scores has fallen | Scottish Government, UK

Five years of achievements for Forward Leeds

Forward Leeds, the city’s alcohol and drug service, is marking five years of successes in July 2020. Over 6,000 people left the service having achieved their treatment goals since Forward Leeds began in July 2015 | Forward Leeds, UK

Licensed Premises: Coronavirus

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will amend the Temporary Events Notice regulations to permit pubs to utilise outdoor spaces beyond the current maximum of 21 days in a calendar year to facilitate the safe re-opening of licensed premises | They work for you, UK

Pub closures ‘stabilise’ despite Covid-19 shutdown

The latest figures on pub closures have revealed that the number of pubs in England and Wales calling final orders in the first half of 2020 remained flat year-on-year, despite the enforced closure in March | Morning Advertiser, UK

Why a total alcohol ban isn't possible on North Tyneside's beaches

More than 5,000 fed up residents signed a petition calling for alcohol to be banned on beaches | Chronicle, UK

Two men hospitalised after 'taking drugs stolen from Basingstoke vets'

The first man, aged in his 50s, is in intensive care after he was found seriously ill on Tuesday night at a property in Basingstoke town centre | BBC, UK



International news

Saving Lives in the time of COVID-19 Case Study of Harm Reduction, Homelessness and Drug Use in Dublin, Ireland (PDF)

Dublin has outperformed even best-case scenarios for COVID-19 mortality among homeless and drug using populations.... The overarching lesson is that when government policy is well coordinated and underpinned by a science-driven and fundamentally pragmatic approach, lives are saved. Within this, the importance of strategic clarity and delivery, housing, lowered thresholds to methadone provision, Benzodiazepine (BZD) provision and Naloxone availability were key determinants of policy success | LSE, UK

Volteface Investigates: Is the Netherlands Finally Heading for Legalisation?

The Netherlands and in particular Amsterdam, has always been famous for its coffeeshops. Not for the amazing latte’s and cappuccino’s they serve, but for weed, hash and other cannabis related products. A not very well known fact, however, is that cannabis is actually not legal in the Netherlands. But with the introduction of the ‘controlled cannabis supply chain experiment’, that might actually change | Volte Face, UK

Punitive Drug Policy Is Fuelling The Prison Crisis In Colombia

What does the coronavirus crisis show us about drug policy in Colombia? In this article, we reflect on how Colombia's highly punitive drug policies have fueled the prison crisis, which has escalated with the spread of COVID-19 | Talking Drugs, UK

Jordan bans smoking and vaping in indoor public spaces

Decision follows recent revelation country has highest rates of tobacco use in the world | Guardian, UK

Dublin's approach to supporting drug users during pandemic saved lives, report finds

Sixty-three homeless people were diagnosed with Covid-19 and there was one death, a fraction of what had been predicted | Journal, Ireland

Pharmacotherapy for amphetamine and/or methamphetamine use — evidence summary

[Updated] A systematic review addressing 23 different types of pharmacotherapy for amphetamine and/or methamphetamine use, alone or in combination... | EMCDDA, Portugal

Vaping during the COVID-19 lockdown period in Belgium

Due to the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Belgian government has set out a range of measures to prevent the spread of the virus. One measure included closing all non-food shops, including vape shops | Qeios, Belgium

Surviving the COVID-19 Era: Stories of People Who Use Drugs from Russia, Ukraine and Norway

Internationally, COVID-19 increased vulnerabilities for people who use drugs. Some of the difficulties facing people who use drugs (PWUD) were location specific, while others were common across countries and contexts. This article covers interviews with three activists from Ukraine, Russia and Norway and shares their insights concerning the effects of COVID-19 on people who use drugs and the responses from the community and governmental levels | Drug Reporter, Hungary

COVID-19 pandemic brings new concerns about excessive drinking

Unwinding with a glass of wine or a "quarantini" might seem like a good way to cope with the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic. But for some people, too much alcohol is making the ongoing health crisis worse | Medical Xpress, USA

Addiction care barriers fell due to COVID-19; experts see challenges in keeping them down

Telehealth interactions with substance use disorder specialists and support groups could open treatment and recovery to many, but key changes will be needed | EurekAlert, USA

24 Shot to Death in Attack on Drug Rehab Center in Mexico

Gunmen burst into an unregistered drug rehabilitation center in central Mexico and opened fire Wednesday, killing 24 people and wounding seven, authorities said | TIME, USA

Review of literature on illegal drugs in the region

This document presents a summary of academic research papers on illegal drugs. All papers were published in 2018 and each one falls into one of three categories: production, trading, and consumption of illegal drugs | CESED, Colombia

Philip Morris says cigarettes may start disappearing in a decade

Philip Morris International signalled that cigarettes may start becoming obsolete within a decade in some markets as smokers switch to alternative products for nicotine | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

A Welcome Reprieve for Australian Vapers, but a Rocky Road Ahead

Australia’s 300,000 vapers were shocked, angry and frightened last week when the Health Minister announced a ban on importing nicotine liquid into Australia with two weeks’ notice and a penalty of AUD$220,000 per offence | NSP blog, UK

Impact Of Coronavirus On Drug Use Across Europe

EMCDDA trendspotter briefing suggests an overall decline in some forms of drug use with many local variations | Russell Webster, UK

Meeting Patients Where They Are: A Public Health Imperative

Despite the vast research conducted to better understand biological mechanisms underlying psychosis, people with psychotic disorders continue to suffer | Psychiatric Times, USA