Daily news - 15th 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

COVID-19: guidance for commissioners and providers of services for people who use drugs or alcohol

Guidance updated relating to PPE supply, NHS test and trace, accessing treatment and meeting of groups inside and outside | PHE, UK

Coronavirus: Smokers quit in highest numbers in a decade

More than one million people have given up smoking since the Covid-19 pandemic hit, a survey for charity Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) suggests | BBC, UK

Wales moves to ban smoking outside pubs, cafes and restaurants

Health Minister Vaughan Gething says he wants to extend the current smoking ban into some outdoor areas | Wales Online, UK

Normalised pain and severe health care delay among people who inject drugs in London: Adapting cultural safety principles to promote care

In the United Kingdom, increases in premature mortality among the intersecting populations of people made homeless and people who inject drugs map onto the implementation and solidification of fiscal austerity policies over the past decade, rather than drug market fluctuations and trends as in North America | SSM, UK

Why are today’s drinkers missing out on an effective drug?

The matrix cell released last week featured an extended examination of disulfiram or ‘Antabuse’, the original anti-alcohol medication whose deterrent effects have also made it the most controversial. Relative neglect means many of today’s drinkers are missing out on what UK studies found to be the most convincing of the approved anti-drinking pharmacotherapies | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Age

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on taking steps to raise awareness of under age drinking | They work for you, UK

Medical MDMA Student Educational Slides

MDMA (3,4-Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine) was first synthesised in 1912 by chemists at the pharmaceutical company, Merck in Germany. In 1985, MDMA was placed in schedule 1, resulting in no research being conducted into the potential therapeutic applications of MDMA between 1985 – 2000. However, since then, MDMA has been included in over 5000 academic articles and administered to over 1100 human volunteers | Drug Science, UK

UWS Contemporary Drug and Alcohol Studies - online information session

Interested in studying Contemporary Drug and Alcohol Studies in 2020/2021? Come to our online open evening and find out more. Tue, 21 July 2020 18:00 – 19:00 BST | UWS, UK

Buckingham Palace gin sells out within 8 hours

The official Buckingham Palace gin launched by the Royal Collection Trust has sold out online within eight hours of its release | Independent, UK


International news

Basel:the birthplace of psychedelic science

This Swiss city is where Albert Hofmann accidentally discovered the hallucinogenic properties of LSD, which transformed popular culture as well as psychology and brain science | BBC, UK

Report calls for development of new cannabis testing technologies

According to research, the rise in demand for high-quality cannabis will also drive growth in the cannabis testing market, where new technologies are needed to overcome current limitations | EPR, UK

Fake pharmaceutical industry thrives in West Africa

The counterfeit pharmaceutical industry is thriving in West Africa, with law enforcement agencies battling to crackdown on foreign-linked criminal syndicates, writes Emma Hooper | BBC, UK

The Business of Drugs: inside the economics of America's longest war

A half-century into America’s ‘war on drugs’, a new Netflix series uses dollars, cents and economic incentives to ask: is prohibition worth it? | Guardian, UK

Fatal Drug Overdoses Are Likely Increasing Again Because Of The Coronavirus Pandemic

“Everything we have to do to fight the coronavirus pandemic — social distancing, closing businesses, limiting gatherings — makes the overdose crisis worse,” said one | BuzzFeed, USA

One in three young adults at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 due to smoking, vaping

Previous data show that certain people are at a higher risk of developing severe coronavirus disease (COVID-19), including the elderly, those with underlying health conditions, and those with weakened immune systems. Smoking has also been flagged as a risk factor that may heighten the likelihood of experiencing worse symptoms | News Medical, USA

Significantly less addictive opioid may slow progression of osteoarthritis while easing pain

A Keck Medicine of USC study reveals that kappa opioids preserved cartilage in joints and eased pain | EurekAlert, USA

I’m a Paraplegic Who Used to Smuggle Ecstasy in My Wheelchair

J. told me he was thinking of carving out some candles, putting pills inside them, and mailing them to Chicago. I had a better idea: I’d fly them out in my wheelchair, because airport security never searched it | VICE, USA

Consumers vote for a red, black and white ‘health warning’ label on alcohol

First-ever consumer testing of the most effective alcohol warning label has found a red, black and white label saying ‘health warning’ was the best in drawing attention to the risks of alcohol use and pregnancy | FARE, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

We’ll never defeat systemic racism until we legalise drugs

Former drug dealer turned author writes on how the worst consequences keep falling on already disadvantaged communities | i news opinion, UK