Daily news - 23rd 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


Evaluation of the DrugWise website - survey

After DrugScope closed in April 2015 we developed the DrugWise website to continue disseminating drug information and to provide a full range of DrugScope archival materials and all Druglink magazine articles dating back to 1986. We would love to know what you think of the website now and if you have any ideas of ways to improve it and new things to add. Please take this 5 minute survey to help us. Thank you! | DrugWise, UK



UK news

Drug users who lack access to clean water use dangerous alternatives to prepare injections

Strategies to reduce the harm to homeless people who inject drugs rarely focus on their lack of access to clean water. This matters because injecting drugs prepared with unclean water or alternatives to water can lead to serious infections and illness | NIHR, UK

Misuse of Nitrous Oxide

[House of Commons debate introduced by Rosie Duffield MP (Lab)] We have all seen the tell-tale bullet- shaped silver canisters and their balloon companions littering our beaches and parks this summer. On Saturday morning, I saw yet another little pile of littered canisters at every 10 paces or so along Whitstable beach in my constituency | Hansard, UK

Why Is the UK Still Obsessed with Laughing Gas?

It’s a relatively safe drug and popular among young people – but there are growing calls for a clampdown | VICE, UK

COVID-19 guide for drug and alcohol residential rehab and detox services

This guide, produced with the close involvement of Public Health England, residential services, and their membership bodies in the sector, aims to provide specific and useful information for all residential detox and rehab services dealing with COVID-19 | SCIE, UK

Expert warns drug-driving 'could soon exceed' drink-driving

Tom Nelson, director of Forensic Services, said one of the main challenges is the complexity of testing for 17 drugs, from cocaine to diazepam | BBC, UK

Drug Driving Update

An update on the Drug Driving Toxicology Service | SPA, UK

Using prevention and harm reduction to ensure we hit Scotland’s hepatitis C elimination target - free webinar

Friday 24 July at 13.00 – 14.00. This Scottish Drugs Forum and Hepatitis Scotland COVID-19 webinar will focus on issues around wider prevention and harm reduction themes that will impact on whether Scotland eliminates hepatitis C by 2024 | SDF, UK

Street Drugs Discussions - free event

Fri, August 7, 2020. 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM BST. Please join us for a discussion on the legalisation and decriminalisation of drugs with Niamh Eastwood and Daniel Pryor | Niamh Eastwood and Daniel Pryor, UK

Somerset pub stripped of licence over drugs and prostitution

A pub has lost its licence after police found evidence of prostitution, drug abuse and anti-social behaviour taking place on site | BBC, UK

Harrogate pub loses licence over 'blatant' lockdown breach

A pub has been stripped of its licence after "blatantly disregarding" lockdown rules by setting up tables and chairs for customers buying takeaway drinks | BBC, UK


International news

Overdose deaths have reduced survival gains among people with HIV in British Columbia

Survival gains resulting from effective antiretroviral therapy are threatened by drug overdose deaths among people living with HIV, researchers reported this month at the 23rd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020: Virtual). A related study found that HIV-positive people who use drugs are also at greater risk of death due to acute infections | NAM Aidsmap, UK

A national model of remote care for assessing and providing opioid agonist treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic: a report (PDF)

The purpose of this initiative is to provide easy access to OAT by developing a model of remote assessment and ongoing care and eliminate existing national waiting lists. The Irish College of General Practitioners in conjunction with the National Health Service Executive office for Social Inclusion agreed a set of protocols to enable a system of remote consultation but still delivering OAT locally to people who use drugs | BMC, Ireland

Expanded access to treatment in prisons can reduce overdose deaths by more than 31%, study finds

While the benefits of life-saving medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD)—such as methadone, buprenorphine and extended-release (XR) naltrexone—has been documented across hospitals and treatment centers, its uptake has been extremely limited in U.S. prisons and jail settings | Medical Xpress, USA

FDA sets out guidelines on cannabis derived drugs

The guidelines cover both drugs and treatments that contain cannabis oil and other compounds found in the plant. These guidelines include references for calculating weight for oral dosages and what online resources to use for clinical trials | Pharmafile, USA

Study suggests increased risks for COVID-19 patients who smoke, vape

As the SARS-CoV-2 virus, or COVID-19 has unfurled its tentacles across the globe, the severe respiratory and pulmonary disorders associated with the infection have become well known | EurekAlert, USA

Psychedelic Suburbia: why people are taking magic mushrooms during the lockdown

Harvesting mushrooms requires only a little more patience than taking to TikTok or baking banana bread. Could psilocybin be effective in guiding us through to a better place? Those in the know weigh in | The Face, USA

Drug checking (‘pill testing’) and behavioural responses among a sample of people who regularly use drugs in New South Wales

The Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) and the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS) are national drug monitoring systems intended to identify emerging trends of local and national concern in illicit drug markets, and form part of Drug Trends | NDARC, Australia

Teen vaping is way less common than the news claims

Last week, Australian school playgrounds were reportedly awash with vaping smoke: Over 65 per cent of adolescents (14-17 year olds) were using e-cigarettes, one major news site said, quoting a new national survey of drug use | Triple J Hack, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Cannabis can both help and hinder memory. How it affects you might come down to inequality

The idea that cannabis impairs memory has been around so long it’s almost accepted as fact. But science is coming to a more nuanced understanding | Independent voices, UK

We are all in the gutter – but some of us are counting the nitrous oxide canisters

MP Rosie Duffield wants to clamp down on laughing gas for health reasons. It’s the litter she should be worried about | Guardian opinion, UK

Such a Gas, Gas, Gas by Alex Rhys Taylor

Its 6.00am on Tuesday morning in the car park of a redbrick housing estate in Tower Hamlets. An empty bay is strewn with over fifty small, metallic gas canisters along with three flaccid party balloons, an empty packet of Capri Sun and a crushed bottle of Lilt | CUCR blog, UK

Trump can save the economy from a coronavirus recession — if he legalizes marijuana

Follow the lead of Colorado and pour back the millions made by selling cannabis into the Department of Education and substance abuse programs | Independent voices, UK