Daily news - 21st 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

The Forward Trust and WDP join Collective Voice

Following the news in April of We Are With You joining Collective Voice, we are delighted to announced that The Forward Trust and WDP are also joining | Collective Voice, UK

Nitrous oxide: No laughing matter?

On Tuesday 21 July MPs will discuss the misuse of nitrous oxide (commonly known as laughing gas) in an adjournment debate. This Insight explains what nitrous oxide is and how its use as a recreational drug is currently policed | House of Commons library, UK

Parliamentary briefing on tackling the misuse of Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is a gas that was discovered in the late 1800s by UK scientists Priestley and Davy, the latter being President of the Royal Society. At the time nitrous oxide was used by them along with leading scientists, writers and philosophers to explore the boundaries of the consciousness especially the sense of self | Drug Science, UK

Health fears as lockdown leads to unprecedented surge in alcohol problems... with four in ten households drinking more than before

Women in particular have turned to the bottle during the pandemic and 53 per cent have upped their alcohol intake, a major survey reveals | Mail Online, UK

Alcohol factors in 89,000 ambulance call-outs in four years

The figures have been called “staggering” by the Scottish Liberal Democrats, after they were revealed in an answer to a parliamentary question | STV, UK

Government ‘will not ban smoking outside restaurants’ despite pressure from Lords and councils

But establishments will be asked to provide no-smoking areas outside | Independent, UK

‘Knowing it could kill you isn’t a deterrent’: the deadly trade in diet pills

DNP is an industrial chemical used in making explosives. If swallowed, it can cause a horrible death – and yet it is still being aggressively marketed to vulnerable people online | Guardian, UK

It's an absurd and grotesque desire – podcast

Loneliness can affect us in very different ways. This week, we hear how Felix*, who has struggled with addiction | Guardian, UK

The Fore’s RAFT Transition Fund

In Autumn 2020, The Fore’s RAFT Transition Fund is offering unrestricted grants of up to £15,000 to help fantastic small charities and social enterprises plan for the longer term and gain a stronger footing in a post-coronavirus world | The Fore, UK

Your guide to the Opium Wars

In the 19th century, Britain and France sent in the gunboats to bully China into allowing the sale of opium to its citizens... | BBC History Magazine, UK


International news

TAKING BACK WHAT’S OURS! – Episode 3. Germany, Denmark and Norway

Drugreporter and INPUD present the third piece of an oral history of the movement of people who use drugs. This episode is about the achievement of drug user groups in Germany, Denmark and Norway | Drug Reporter, Hungary

FDA Notifies Companies, Including Puff Bar, to Remove Flavored Disposable E-Cigarettes and Youth-Appealing E-Liquids from Market for Not Having Required Authorization

Companies Cited for Marketing Unauthorized Tobacco Products Based on Continued Internet Surveillance During COVID-19 Pandemic | FDA, USA

Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts

This data visualization presents provisional counts for drug overdose deaths based on a current flow of mortality data in the National Vital Statistics System. Counts for the most recent final annual data are provided for comparison | CDC, USA

Beneath Tragic New US Overdose Figures, There Are Wide Regional Variations

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its analysis of overdose deaths from 2019. The new projections indicate that the United States has failed to maintain the marginal progress represented by 2018’s slight fall in fatalities. The nation is projected to have seen a 4.8 percent increase in deaths in 2019 | Filter Magazine, USA

Stress, isolation and free time: People are drinking more amid pandemic, study says

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches into the year, more adults are drinking to cope, and alcohol sales have surged across the country, a new study says | Medical Xpress, USA

Legal marijuana may be slowing reductions in teen marijuana use, study says

The legalization of marijuana for Washington state adults may be thwarting a steady downward trend in teen marijuana use, according to new research from the University of Washington | Medical Xpress, USA

Critical Illness Secondary to Synthetic Cannabinoid Ingestion

This case series of 30 adult patients describes the acute neurologic and cardiopulmonary complications of synthetic cannabinoid intoxication, including severe toxic encephalopathy, acute respiratory failure, and death | JAMA Network, USA

Traditional PTSD therapy doesn't trigger drug relapse

About a quarter of people with drug or alcohol use disorders also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is typically caused by a traumatic or stressful life event such as rape or combat, and which leaves the person with intense anxiety | Medical Xpress, USA

PANDA: The Birth of a Pan-American Drug-User Alliance

You can draw interwoven lines of suffering right down through the Americas. British Columbia, Canada has announced 175 illicit-drug overdose deaths for the month of June—the highest number ever in a single month. That’s four years after the overdose crisis was deemed a public health emergency in the province | Filter Magazine, USA

4 dying Canadians wait to hear if they'll be allowed to try magic mushrooms for their anguish

Research suggests psilocybin could have lasting success at treating anxiety and depression in cancer patients | CBC News, Canada

24/7 Addiction Medicine Clinician Support Line

The 24/7 Addiction Medicine Clinician Support Line provides telephone consultation to physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, and pharmacists who are involved in addiction and substance use care and treatment in British Columbia. The Support Line will connect these health care providers to an Addiction Medicine Specialist who has expertise and knowledge in addiction medicine (including emergency, acute, and community care) | BCCSU, Canada

Ontario won't allow cannabis cafes — for now — as health officials raise concerns

There's a sharp divide between health officials and business groups on whether or not the Ford government should allow cannabis lounges and cafes, and broaden the number of places pot can be sold | CBC News, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

COVID‐19 makes a stronger research focus on home drinking more important than ever

Over the past few decades, enormous research effort has been devoted to understanding drinking in licensed venues such as bars, clubs and pubs. The emergence in many countries of a vibrant but also sometimes perilous night‐time economy (NTE) has been explored extensively | Drug and Alcohol Review editorial, UK

Is it always best to think local?

I’m quite a fan of the New Local Government Network (NLGN).  Their starting point is that government in the UK could be more efficient and effective if more power lay in the hands of local authorities and local communities | Thinking to some purpose, UK

The Trip Report 20/07

Through the work of organisations such as WEDINOS, The Loop, and SaferParty, we know a little more about the drugs in circulation. The report provided below is a summary of their findings over the last week | The Trip Report, UK

The Guardian view on stabbings: stick to a public-health approach

A joined-up violence prevention programme is the surest way to stop lives being lost and ruined | Guardian, UK