Daily news - 20th 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

Wider Impacts of COVID-19 on Health (WICH) monitoring tool

The wider impacts of COVID-19 on health monitoring tool (WICH) looks at the indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the population's health and wellbeing. Includes alcohol sales and consumption and smoking status and smoking habits | PHE, UK

Working years of life lost due to alcohol mortality

The aim of this ad hoc statistical release is to quantify the burden alcohol puts on the working-age population in England | PHE, UK

English councils call for smoking ban outside pubs and cafes

LGA press peers to impose condition on pavement licences but government is opposed | Guardian, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Advertising

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to reports of increases of 20 per cent in alcohol consumption by drinkers and increases in related harms during the restrictions in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic, what consideration they have given to restricting alcohol advertising | They work for you, UK

Take-up of ‘low dead space’ syringes

Contracting a blood-borne virus is an ever-present risk for people who share injecting equipment. Could switching to ‘low dead space’ syringes cut down the risk of becoming infected with hepatitis C, and is switching from their ‘high dead space’ counterparts a realistic prospect for all people who inject drugs? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

NHS planning to manufacture cannabis oil

[Free registration maybe required] Plans are afoot to manufacture cannabis oil in preparation for a clinical trial expected early next year | Telegraph, UK

Visionable - remote consultation use for clinicians working in prisons and connecting with the community

In March 2020 the national NHSE Health and Justice started working in partnership with HMPPS to deliver an approved solution for healthcare video consultations in secure settings, including prisons, IRCs and CYPSE in England | SMMGP and FDAP, UK

Interview with filmmaker Maddie Kitchen for Recovery Street Film Festival - video

On the last broadcast of Recovery TV, we got the chance to have an interview with the brilliant Maddie Kitchen, founder of Sobriety Films and previous participant of Recovery Street Film Festival. Here she is discussing how filmmaking helped her through her own journey of recovery, and her experience creating and submitting a film to the festival | Phoenix Futures, UK

Flintshire police officers first in Wales to carry life saving heroin overdose antidote

Police officers in Flintshire are the first in Wales to carry a life-saving nasal spray which acts as an antidote to a drugs overdose amid fears of more deaths caused by the coronavirus crisis | Deeside, UK

St. Modwen donates £15,000 to solvent abuse charity Re-Solv

St. Modwen has donated £15,000 to Staffordshire charity Re-Solv to support its in-demand mental health and substance misuse support services | St Modwen, UK

Eddie and the Hot Rods: Barrie Masters' death drug-related

The death of the lead singer of the band Eddie and The Hot Rods was drug-related, an inquest has concluded | BBC, UK

Torquay and Liverpool drug gang members jailed

A gang which brought an estimated £1.6m of cocaine and heroin into south Devon have been jailed | BBC, UK

Dublin: €2.5 million of drugs seized from house

Drugs worth €2.5 million have been seized by An Garda Síochána after searches of a house in Dublin | BBC, UK

The Ups and Downs of Dealing Drugs During Lockdown

VICE News spoke to a Liverpool-based drug gang about the challenges they have faced since mid-March, including £100,000 of heroin going missing and the fact they owe their cocaine supplier £450,000 | VICE, UK



International news

Global mindful drinking festival

Social distancing won’t stop us. Whilst we can’t have the events we planned in Scotland, London and Manchester we can bring the whole mindful drinking community together online of the first-ever Global Mindful Drinking Festival - 30th July- 2nd August. Live on Facebook and Youtube | Club Soda, UK

Dublin: €2.5 million of drugs seized from house

Drugs worth €2.5 million have been seized by An Garda Síochána after searches of a house in Dublin | BBC, UK

EU ban on menthol cigarettes sees smokers create dangerous DIY alternatives - poll

Nearly one in eight of those craving the flavoured variety have attempted to make their own version to get around the legislation which came into effect on May 20. Desperate smokers have created YouTube videos and online forums to share tips on how to create homemade menthol cigarettes | Express, UK

Threatening increase in alcohol consumption in physicians quarantined due to coronavirus outbreak in Poland: the ALCOVID survey

The potential risks of increased alcohol use and of the development of alcohol dependence during COVID-19 pandemic were identified. So far there have been no studies concerning pandemic influence on alcohol consumption in medical professionals in quarantine or isolation | Journal of Public Health, UK

Italian police find cocaine hidden inside coffee beans

Italian police have discovered cocaine hidden inside individual coffee beans, in a package sent from Colombia | BBC, UK

Pregnancy warning mandatory on alcoholic beverages within three years

Warning labels have been voluntary since 2011, but AMA president says they cannot be left in the hands of those motivated by profit | Guardian, UK

South Africa’s alcohol ban - audio

For the second time during its Covid-19 outbreak, South Africa has decided to ban sales of alcohol. How does that have an impact on the workload of doctors in hospitals treating coronavirus patients? In Colombia, the economic impact of the pandemic is so desperate in poorer neighbourhoods that some people are hanging red flags outside their homes as a cry for help | BBC, UK

Teens 'are using social media to order alcohol' as girl (13) falls ill after drinking party in park

Young teenagers are using social media apps to order alcohol deliveries to parks and parties from unscrupulous adults who are profiting from putting them in danger, a Dublin councillor has warned | Independent, Ireland

Drink and drug-driving arrests surge in Dublin during Covid-19 pandemic

Arrests rise 24% despite pubs being closed for months and traffic levels plummeting | Irish Times, Ireland

Effect of Inhaled Cannabis for Pain in Adults With Sickle Cell Disease

This randomized clinical trial including 23 participants found that inhaled cannabis was safe. Inhaled cannabis was more effective than inhaled placebo in interference in mood, but there was no statistically significant difference in pain rating between cannabis and placebo | JAMA Network, USA

Doctors And Dentists Still Flooding U.S. With Opioid Prescriptions

Despite widespread devastation caused by America's opioid epidemic, an investigation by NPR found that doctors and other health care providers still prescribe highly addictive pain medications at rates widely considered unsafe | npr, USA

Americans Increase LSD Use—and a Bleak Outlook for the World May Be to Blame

Millennials and older adults lead the surge while Gen Z stays on the sidelines | Scientific American, USA

'Pandemic blues' could be driving more people toward alcohol abuse

Before the pandemic hit, alcohol was the largest contributor to substance-related emergency department visits and EMS calls in Windsor-Essex | CBC, Canada

'Erasing' drug-associated memories may help prevent addiction relapse

Research surrounding addiction often points to the reward of a "high" as the primary motivation for drug use and relapse. However, it's often the acute symptoms of withdrawal, including nausea, vomiting, pain and cramping, that drives a return to drugs for relief | Medical Xpress, China

How to identify and respond to an opioid overdose

This seminar provides information on how to identify and respond to an opioid overdose, as well as how to administer Nyxoid Naloxone nasal spray in the event of overdose | NDARC, Australia

New mandatory labelling rules for alcohol protect kiwi kids

New Zealand will be moving to mandatory pregnancy warning labels on alcohol products, Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor has announced | Beehive, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: preventing collateral damage from COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, slowing the spread of the disease and caring for people whose survival and health are jeopardised have rightly been prioritised. Now, attention is increasingly being focused on the unwelcome consequences of COVID-19 for individuals, families, communities, and society. These consequences form a long and daunting—but incomplete—list. To date, a potential source of collateral damage by COVID-19 has remained oddly invisible | Lancet Correspondence, UK

The Vital Importance of the Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist role within Addiction Services

The role of the Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist is uniquely commissioned in the NHS and is an indisputable asset when it comes to the successful and efficient running of addiction treatment services and providing support across primary as well as secondary physical and mental healthcare services, as highlighted in the current treatment system in Bristol | NHS Substance Misuse Provider Alliance blog, UK

Green fingers: How cannabis can fuel a British agri-tech revolution

Since time immemorial, the human race has slashed and burned its way through wilderness to fuel its rapacious growth | City AM opinion, UK

‘Like putting out a fire with a colander of water’: my life as an antisocial behaviour officer

I lasted 18 years in the job – but working with heroin addicts, the terminally ill and nuisance neighbours nearly broke me | Guardian, UK

How do I teach my son not to take drugs when I did myself?

You need to focus on what you’ve achieved in beating your addiction, says Annalisa Barbieri. Be calm and factual: tell him how it really was | Guardian, UK

The verdict: Canada’s legalization of cannabis is a success

A highly regarded British think tank focused on reforming drug laws thinks Canada’s legalization and regulation of cannabis has gone well | Conversation, UK

States allow misleading claims that cannabis can treat opioid addiction

As Stanford postdoc Chelsea Shover, PhD, was scrolling through her Twitter feed, one image stopped her cold | Stanford Medicine blog, USA

Record B.C. overdose deaths mean it's time to listen

When I learned that this month’s report from the Coroners Service was going to be another record, I was numb. I still am—175 lives lost in June in B.C. | Georgia Straight, Canada

Pregnancy warnings on alcoholic beverages will now be mandatory

New warning labels will need to be printed in red, black and white, and will sit underneath a heading reading 'Pregnancy Warning' | abc.net.au blog, Australia