Daily news - 17th 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

NI alcohol sales to be relaxed in pubs and nightclubs

Rules on the sale of alcohol are to be significantly relaxed under plans agreed by Stormont ministers | BBC, UK

Belfast needle and syringe exchange to close

Protests had taken place outside the pharmacy on Botanic Avenue after claims the service was leading to anti-social behaviour in the area | BBC, UK

With new licensing laws coming, can a balance between tackling alcohol abuse and supporting the hospitality industry be found? - audio

Minister Carál Ní Chuilín says a minimum pricing system for alcohol could be considered | BBC Radio Ulster, UK

Qualitative methods lecture: Professor Gerda Reith

The second lecture sees Professor Gerda Reith talk about the gambling careers study. This longitudinal qualitative study ran from 2006 to 2011 and involved 176 interviews. Gerda talks about how the research team managed, and analysed, large amounts of qualitative data using a matrix-based approach to data management | SSA, UK

RSFF 20202 deadline extended for submissions

Yes, you read that right. With the date for Recovery Street Film Festival fast approaching this September, we’ve made the decision to extend the final deadline that filmmakers can submit their one-minute films to this year’s competition | RSFF, UK

Cocaine-taking driver jailed for fatal M1 Bricket Wood crash

A driver who lost control of his car on the M1 killing a woman and seriously injuring two others after taking cocaine has been jailed | BBC, UK


International news

Discussing alcohol use with the GP: a qualitative study

Despite most GPs recognising their role in the early diagnosis of alcohol use disorder (AUD), only 23% of GPs routinely screen for alcohol use. One reason GPs report for not screening is their relationship with patients; questions regarding alcohol use are considered a disturbance of a relationship built on mutual trust | BJGP Open, UK

Congress debates decriminalising magic mushrooms in DC as representative claims it would make area ‘drug capital’

Activists have focused on health benefits of natural hallucinogens | Independent, UK

Opium linked with more deaths after bypass surgery

The largest study on opium use and outcomes after bypass surgery has found that - in contrast to widely held beliefs - it is linked with more deaths and heart attacks | EurekAlert, France

New peak of 71K US overdose deaths in 2019 dashes hopes

Nearly 71,000 Americans died of drug overdoses last year, a new record that predates the COVID-19 crisis, which the White House and many experts believe will drive such deaths even higher | Medical Xpress, USA

Patients with substance use disorder discriminated against by post-acute care facilities

New study results show high rejection rates based on substance use disorder, medication treatment status | EurekAlert, USA

Experts strongly recommend varenicline over the patch for adult smokers hoping to quit

Smoking cessation initiatives notwithstanding, along with provocative public health campaigns and clinical guidance, quitting tobacco has remained elusive for many smokers | Medical Xpress, USA

Flavored cigarette ban significantly reduced youth smoking, new study finds

Despite a general decline in U.S. tobacco use since the 1950's, tobacco use is still prevalent and a significant threat to public health. Previous research has shown that flavored cigarettes largely appeal to and are disproportionately used by underage smokers | Medical Xpress, USA

Why Are Black Arrest Rates for Marijuana Rising in Los Angeles?

Although California legalized marijuana over two years ago, racial disparities in arrests for the drug are worsening in its largest city. Each year since legalization took effect in January 2018, Los Angeles police have arrested more Black residents for marijuana-law violations | Filter Magazine, USA

NDARC academics present AOD Knowledge Centre webinars

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet Alcohol and Other Drugs Knowledge Centre recently hosted two webinars with NDARC academics, Dr Veronica Boland and Dr Sara Farnbach | NDARC, Australia

Tobacco smoking in three “left behind” subgroups: indigenous, the rainbow community and people with mental health conditions

This paper aims to investigate the extent to which three subgroups – people with mental health conditions, people belonging to sexual minority and gender groups and Indigenous peoples – have been ‘‘left behind’’ by countries implementing the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control | Emerald, New Zealand

American woman Jamie Hudson Mendez admits smuggling cocaine into New Zealand inside puffer jackets

Jamie Hudson Mendez, 44, was caught with 2.5kg of highly pure cocaine lined inside five jackets in her luggage at Christchurch International Airport last September | NZHerald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Should alcohol packaging display graphic tobacco-style health warning labels?

Today, in most countries, if you go to the shop to buy a packet of cigarettes it’s likely you’ll be faced with a gruesome image on the packaging. These images are not pleasant, but the harms that smoking causes are not pleasant either. Pictorial (or ‘graphic’) health warning labels on tobacco packaging were implemented in an attempt (amongst others) to reduce smoking-related harms and have been shown to change smoking behaviours | IAS blog, UK

A deep dive into Drug Science’s Project Twenty21

Clinical Director Dr Chloe Sakal and Project Director Amelia Middlemiss give an update on the progress of Drug Science’s groundbreakingly ambitious Project Twenty21 programme | Health Europa, UK

Covid-19 has shown yet again how important charities are in delivering public services

Should charities deliver public services? In this week's blog, Joe Saxton explores public perception of charities as public service providers, and discusses what Covid-19 has revealed about charities who also fulfil public service roles | NFP Synergy, UK

Australia has some of the highest rates of drinking during pregnancy. It’s time to make labelling mandatory

State and federal minsters involved in the Forum on Food Regulation will tomorrow vote on whether or not to introduce mandatory alcohol pregnancy warning labels in Australia and New Zealand | Conversation, Australia

Drive-in music festivals allow you to social distance. But what happens when you add drugs and alcohol?

The cancellation of events due to the COVID-19 pandemic has hit Australia’s music industry hard, with reports of losses up to A$200 million | Conversation, Australia