Daily news - 24th 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

NHS provides just 18 prescriptions for cannabis-based medical products in 2019

Only 6.5% of the total number of cannabis-based medical products prescribed in 2019 were prescribed through the NHS, a report by the Care Quality Commission has found | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Survey shows Scots lockdown drinking rise caused by stress

A new survey commissioned by Alcohol Focus Scotland and Alcohol Change UK found that in Scotland people who were already drinking at high levels before the pandemic were more likely to have increased their drinking during lockdown, and stress was a key factor | Alcohol Focus Scotland, UK

Findings update: closing the gap

Drug and Alcohol Findings aims to bridge the divide between UK-relevant research on the effectiveness of responses to drug and alcohol problems and the practitioners who provide those interventions | SSA, UK

Effects on alcohol consumption of announcing and implementing revised UK low-risk drinking guidelines: findings from an interrupted time series analysis

 In January 2016, the UK announced and began implementing revised guidelines for low-risk drinking of 14 units (112 g) per week for men and women. This was a reduction from the previous guidelines for men of 3–4 units (24–32 g) per day. There was no large-scale promotion of the revised guidelines beyond the initial media announcement. This paper evaluates the effect of announcing the revised guidelines on alcohol consumption among adults in England | BMJ, UK

PRESS RELEASE: Trade body calls for outright retail ban of Nitrous Oxide

The trade body representing the UK's compressed gases industry is calling on the Government to tackle escalating misuse of Nitrous Oxide among young people | BCGA, UK

Qualitative methods conference week 7: Dr Caitlin Notley

This is the third lecture of the series. Dr Caitlin Notley talks about the ECtra study that explored the perceptions of people using e-cigarettes for smoking cessation | SSA, UK

Part Two - Exploring how the drug culture in prisons has evolved over the years - video

The Government has introduced mandatory drug testing in prisons which has had a dramatic impact on drug use. Prisoners have moved away from taking cannabis and are now using more harmful drugs like heroin and the synthetic drug MPS. Natalie, Director of SISCO and I discuss the issues | MyPOV, UK

Making Every Adult Matter - survey

Short survey to inform our response to the Carol Black review on drug treatment | MEAM, UK

Prison for Anglia Ruskin law student found with heroin and cocaine worth £4,000 at uni halls

Samuel Kayode from Hackney, East London, was living in university halls when he was first stopped by police in March 2019 | Legal Cheek, UK



International news

Decriminalising cannabis in Guernsey will be reviewed

A decision on whether to decriminalise cannabis in Guernsey has been delayed until 2022 | ITV, UK

Clint Eastwood sues over false cannabis endorsements

The 90-year-old accuses the firms of spreading fake articles and tagging their websites with his name to make it look like he had backed their products | BBC, UK

Undercover with the FBI on the trail of a drug gang – podcasts of the week

From journalist Jake Halpern comes an incredible story of one man’s mission to expose the traffickers | Guardian, UK

Commando squad cracks down on California pot farmers – archive, 1985

24 July 1985: The helicopter pilots have to watch for wires strung at tree height like the ones they saw in the Vietnam war | Guardian, UK

Pleasure and Risk for Trans Chemsexeurs in Ukraine

Chemsex harm reduction responses in Europe often center gay men, leaving transgender people as an afterthought. But a Ukrainian LGBTQ organization found that the need is similar among the country’s transgender and intersex people | Filter Magazine, USA

Addiction & the Humanities - Does Netflix have a smoking problem?

Today, most parents would balk at the idea of exposing their children to the late 20th century cartoon Joe Camel - a character inextricably tied to big tobacco and their not-so-subtle attempts to push their products on children | BASIS, USA

Impacts of COVID-19 Mitigation on People with Pre-Existing Substance Use and Addictions Issues (PDF)

for this report, we have mainly included resources that focus on the impact of mitigation on non-COVID-19 populations with pre-existing substance use and addiction problems | NLCAHR, Canada

A radical drug policy to reduce crime, arrests, and incarceration: Regulating alcohol

The drug that contributes the most to crime, violence, and incarceration is not cannabis, cocaine, or heroin, but alcohol. The current policy for alcohol in the developed world is to tax it far below the costs of the harm it produces, to allow its wide advertisement, and to accept extensive lobbying with and donations from the industry to policymakers and regulators | NDARC, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

The NHS SMPA New Happy Hour campaign supports sensible alcohol consumption during the pandemic

Recognising that the Coronavirus pandemic is a stressful time for many, a national organisation of substance misuse providers has launched a campaign to help people find ways to manage their anxiety without increasing their consumption of alcohol | NHS Substance Misuse Provider Alliance blog, UK

Reducing The Spread of Blood Borne Viruses During Covid-19

In these unprecedented times, it is important that awareness is raised around the risks associated with sharing drug paraphernalia in relation to Blood Borne Viruses (BBV’s) and bacterial infections, including hepatitis C | NHS Substance Misuse Provider Alliance blog, UK

Moving To A Digital Service During Lockdown - What Have We Learned?

Addiction services have made substantial changes to their ways of working and how services are delivered during the Covid-19 pandemic.We recently spoke to representatives from one of our partners Inclusion about how One Recovery Bucks has worked to overcome the challenges of moving to a digital service and what their future service delivery might look like as lockdown measures begin to ease | NHS Substance Misuse Provider Alliance blog, UK

What’s in a name? How language and stigmatisation are connected

Stigma usually stands for a mark of shame, discredit or public disapproval. Stigmatisation involves the artificial categorisation of a group of people as a distinct social entity associated with undesirable social/physical perils. These characteristics are framed as the group’s essential identity and are often blamed on the group itself, which, in turn, is weponised to justify their marginalisation | IDPC, UK

Opinion as well as science informs policy advice

Prof Joe Boden, of the University of Otago, provides a view from inside the expert panel on cannabis ahead of this year’s cannabis referendum | Otago Daily Times, New Zealand