Daily news - 14th 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

DDN July/August 2020 out now

Conversations at the moment often come back to feelings of anxiety and isolation, so we’re pleased to be able to keep sharing the ways you’re responding positively to the COVID situation. Forward Trust are among those looking for creative ways to engage their service user community (p10), while Open Road and Humankind are also redoubling their efforts to connect with service users and make sure no one is isolated (p16 and p22) | DDN, UK

20/69 Application Development Award – Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs (IPEDs)

From discussion with experts in the field, the PHR Programme has recognised that the evidence base for IPEDs use is at varied stages. This funding opportunity is for applications of up to £50,000 over a maximum of 6 months. The aim of this scheme is to provide funding for underpinning development work that will add to the current knowledge base, and will ultimately support and inform applications to the IPEDs intervention effectiveness commissioned call that will launch in the spring of 2021 | NIHR, UK

Youth Violence Commission Final Report (PDF)

Serious violence has a devastating impact on the lives of countless young people across the UK, leaving deep and enduring scars on the families, friends and communities affected. While the magnitude of the effort needed to protect young people from serious violence cannot be underestimated, we believe there is cause for cautious optimism | Youth Violence Commission et al, UK

COVID-19 Webinar – Specific challenges for women drug users during COVID

The next SDF COVID-19 webinar will be held on Friday 17 July at 13.00 – 14.00. The coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown results in specific challenges for women who use drugs. In this webinar we will discuss issues around gender based violence (GBV),  homeless women and the HIV outbreak in Glasgow, and supporting women to access sexual and reproductive health needs | SDF, UK

Restaurants face al fresco dining smoking ban over concern about second-hand smoke

Peers have warned higher numbers of people will choose to smoke with their meal as restaurants and bars move more tables outside | i news, UK

Benzodiazepine market: strong drugs in circulation

Recently, a number of benzodiazepine drugs have been tested by the Welsh drug testing service WEDINOS, and have been found to contain a drug called flubromazolam which is much more potent that diazepam (the drug you usually expect to find in Valium.) | Crew, UK

Coronavirus and deaths of homeless people, England and Wales: deaths registered up to 26 June 2020

The number of identified deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) of people who were homeless | ONS, UK

Four arrested after girl, 16, dies from drugs overdose

Paramedics were called to a park near St Margaret's Hill in Wimborne, Dorset, just after 22:30 BST on 6 July. She died in hospital three days later | BBC, UK

Liverpool and North West gangs 'dominate' UK guns and drugs trade

Nearly three-quarters of secret communications about guns between crime gangs had links to Liverpool and the north-west of England, police said | BBC, UK

Johnnie Walker whisky to be sold in paper bottles

Diageo, the drinks giant that owns the brand, said it plans to run a trial of the new environmentally-friendly packaging from next year | BBC, UK


International news

Summing it up: Building evidence to inform advocacy for harm reduction funding in Asia

Harm Reduction International developed tools for assessing national harm reduction investment and spending on drug law enforcement. This report presents the research findings generated by these tools in seven Asian countries. It provides insights on the state of harm reduction financing, informed by donor and government stakeholders, civil society and community representatives | HRI, UK

Coronavirus: South Africans divided over second alcohol ban

The reintroduction of a ban on the sale of alcohol in order to help curb the spread of coronavirus has divided South Africans | BBC, UK

TAKING BACK WHAT’S OURS! – Episode 2. Canada

Drugreporter and INPUD present the second episode of an oral history of the movement of people who use drugs. The second chapter is about Canada, featuring Ann Livingston, Zoë Dodd and the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) team | Drug Reporter, Hungary

Sensation seekers, risk-takers who experience more bitterness apt to drink IPAs

People who seek novel and powerful sensations and are more prone to taking risks -- and who perceive bitter tastes more intensely -- are more likely to prefer bitter, pale-ale-style beers and drink them more often, according to sensory researchers, who conducted a study that involved blind taste tests and personality assessments | Science Daily, USA

Association of State-Level Opioid-Reduction Policies With Pediatric Opioid Poisoning

In this interrupted time series analysis of 338 476 opioid poisonings among children younger than 20 years, implementation of a prescription drug monitoring program and a pain clinic legislation was associated with immediate and sustained reductions in rates of opioid poisoning | JAMA Network, USA

Addiction consult teams: ACTing to prevent hospital readmission among inpatients with substance use disorders

Substance use disorders (SUDs) are prevalent among hospitalized individuals and are associated with increased and recurrent utilization of hospital and emergency department services | BASIS, USA

Policy guides medical marijuana use at pediatric hospital

Development of institutional policy and clinical support services is beneficial for pediatric hospitals interested in use of medical marijuana (MMJ), according to a special article published online July 13 in Pediatrics | Medical Xpress, USA

Oklahoma Reservation Ruling Is an Opening for Harm Reduction

Hardline Oklahoma prosecutors have received bad news about their capacity to force people who use drugs into “therapeutic” courts. That is one of the many implications of the far-reaching July 9 Supreme Court decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma | Filter Magazine, USA

We Desperately Need Safe Zones For Drug Users In This Pandemic

For many US residents, whose loved ones and neighbors (if not their own selves) are struggling with increased needs and/or risks right now amid overlapping social crises, this moment in our history is ‘all hands on deck | Forbes, USA

Impacts of COVID-19 and associated restrictions on people who use illicit stimulants in Australia: Preliminary findings from the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System 2020

In this bulletin we present preliminary findings from the first half of the Ecstasy and Related Drug Reporting System (EDRS) 2020 sample. We expect to release analysis of the full sample in late July | NDARC, Australia

Depictions of Alcohol in Australian TV ‘Bachelor In Paradise’: A Content Analysis

[Open access] All 16 episodes were coded in 1-min intervals for the presence of alcoholic beverage related content and non-alcoholic beverage content, and the categories of actual use, implied use and other references | Alcohol and Alcoholism, Australia

Assessing New Zealand’s Cannabis Legalization and Control Bill: prospects and challenges

Few countries have developed detailed legislative proposals for legalizing cannabis. New Zealand recently released the Cannabis Legalization and Control Bill (CLCB) that will be the subject of a referendum in September 2020 | Addiction, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Coronavirus and drug addiction are both a public health crisis – but only one is being taken seriously

Our politicians don’t miss a chance to remind us that they are guided by the science on Covid-19 yet the government has ignored its own scientific advisors on how to reduce drug-related deaths | Independent voices, UK

Drink-driving could soar as pubs reopen in July

Fears this summer could attract record numbers of drink-driving convictions, especially while public transport restrictions are still in place | IAS blog, UK

My son needs medical cannabis — but the UK approach remains a national disgrace

For any parent to hear a child’s horrific scream as they have a seizure, not breathing or responding, is a rude wakeup call that life will be far from normal | City AM, UK

Listen Up #8 - Neil Woods on Undercover Cop Work, LEAP and the War on Drugs - podcast

Neil Woods is a former UK policeman and undercover drugs operative. Now he’s an active member of LEAP (Law Enforcement Action Partnership) and the international drug policy reform movement. He worked undercover between 1993-2007, becoming close with and gaining the trust of some of Britain's most violent and unpredictable criminals. Neil joins us for a fascinating chat on his career, plus some discussion on the War on Drugs | Banks and Black, UK

LSD: can psychedelics treat mental illness?

Recent years have seen an increased interest in ‘psychedelics’ as potential psychiatric treatments (Bird, 2019). There have been some promising results in pilot studies administering psychedelic drugs to patients with “treatment-resistant” mental illness, including this one blogged a few years ago by Sir Iain Chalmers (Chalmers and de Beyer, 2016) | Mental Elf, UK

Making it harder to import e-cigarettes is good news for our health, especially young people’s

From next year, access to e-cigarettes and related products containing liquid nicotine will require a doctor’s prescription. This is to ensure liquid nicotine is handled like the poisonous, addictive substance it is and not promoted to young people. It’s good news for public health and bad news for the tobacco and e-cigarette industries | Conversation, Australia

Residents, government and health experts support injection rooms. Why doesn’t television news?

On the 5th June, an evaluation of the Melbourne Medically Supervised Injecting Room (MSIR) was released. The evaluation found that the MSIR was one of the busiest in the world, with over 119 000 visits and an estimated 21-27 lives saved | AOD Media Watch, Australia


And finally...

Cornwall pub installs electric fence at the bar

The Star Inn in St Just, Cornwall, has confirmed that, yes, the fence can be switched on | Cornwall Live, UK