Daily news - 3rd June 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

Half of British drinkers starting earlier in the day during Covid-19 crisis

Global Drug Survey finds big rises in binge drinking and poor health during lockdown | Guardian, UK [See also GDS report in International section]

Nearly a third of UK public drinking more alcohol than usual during the pandemic

Nearly a third of people (29%) are reporting that they have drunk more alcohol than they normally would, according to a major new study by the Policy Institute at King’s College London in partnership with Ipsos MORI | KCL, UK

UK lockdown: have you been accessing alcohol addiction treatment?

We would like to hear about the coronavirus lockdowns’ effect on drinking, addiction and detox | Guardian, UK

Prevalence of problem drug use in Scotland: 2015/16 Estimates

This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) provides a follow-up to previously published estimates of the prevalence of Problem Drug Use (PDU) in Scotland between April 2015 and March 2016. The original definition was limited to opioids and benzodiazepines. Using data collected for the original study, broader definitions of PDU have been constructed for Scotland based on the addition of substances such as cocaine (including crack cocaine), amphetamines (including amphetamine-type substances) and cannabis (including synthetic cannabinoids) | PHS, UK

‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ – A Youth Work Response to Gangs and Exploitation during COVID-19

Headline statistics show a fall in gang-activity and exploitation. However a new report from the National Youth Agency (NYA) shows that gangs have adapted to COVID-19, changing locations and grooming new recruits – hidden in plain sight of those in authority | NYA, UK

Drug gangs on 'recruitment drive' during lockdown

Drug gangs have been on a "recruitment drive" during lockdown, targeting vulnerable children and increasingly girls, according to a report {see item above] | BBC, UK

County lines: Norfolk and Met police shut down 20 drug networks

Some 20 county lines drug networks have been closed "permanently" in a joint Norfolk and Met Police operation | BBC, UK

Pub Statistics

This paper provides national and regional figures for the number of public houses and bars in the UK, as well as employment data | House of Commons Library, UK

'No downside': Johnny Marr, Best Coast and Jason Isbell on how sobriety improves music

Rock’n’roll is equated with excess – but for many musicians, addiction to drugs or alcohol can stifle their art. Three of them explain how getting sober sent their creativity skyrocketing | Guardian, UK

Early morning drinking banned in Scotland – archive, 1914

3 June 1914: Scots come to terms with new pub opening hours | Guardian, UK

Call for book proposals: Intoxicating Histories series

McGill-Queen’s University Press have asked us to alert members of the Drinking Studies Network to a call for their new book series on the history of drugs & alcohol. The series, called Intoxicating Histories, is edited by Virginia Berridge, Erika Dyck, and Noelle Plack | Alcohol and Drugs History Society, UK

Gambling Awareness - free training

This session, delivered by Citizens Advice, is designed to help attendees spot the signs of gambling-related harm and help people to get the support they need | LawWorks, UK

Rapper convicted of manslaughter of actor’s daughter mounts appeal

Louella Fletcher-Michie, daughter of actor John Michie, died after taking the hallucinogenic drug 2-CP at the Bestival music festival, at Lulworth Castle, Dorset, in September 2017 | ITV, UK

PC turned drug dealer Daniel Aimson jailed for Sky TV fraud

A former police officer turned drug dealer who sold devices that allowed viewers to watch Sky TV for free has been sentenced to more time in prison | BBC, UK


International news

Global Drug Survey - Covid 19 special (PDF)

The Global Drug Survey (GDS) Special Edition on Covid-19 was developed as part of a global effort to better understand the impact of the pandemic on people’s lives with a specific focus on the use of alcohol and other drugs, mental health and relationships. In this report we highlight the most noteworthy preliminary findings halfway through data collection. A complete report based on all data collected until June 20, 2020 follows in July | GDS, UK

One Country Has Been Taking More Benzos Than Any Other During Lockdown

And more findings from the preliminary results of the Global Drug Survey's Covid-19 study | VICE, UK

Altered States: Cannabis regulation in the US

Cannabis is now legal for adult non-medical use in 11 US states, but the details of how this works in practice are not widely understood. In this report, we explore how regulation compares across the states that have legalised and consider what lessons can be learnt for drug policy reform in future – especially how it can deliver better outcomes for public health and social justice | Transform, UK

In the UK National Health Service, Staffers Benefit From Subsidized Vapes

Vaping is perceived differently across the pond. Instead of portraying it as a trap to lure kids to a nicotine-dependent life and pave the way to smoking, British public health authorities see what vaping can be | Filter Magazine, USA

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual older adults at higher risk for substance use

Sexual minority adults ages 50+, who may face stigma and discrimination, at risk for non-medical use of drugs, including cannabis, opioids, and tranquilizers | EurekAlert, USA

Association Between Opioid Prescriptions and Non–US-Born Status in the US

In this cross-sectional analysis of 48 162 respondents, 14.2% of US-born and 7.0% of non–US-born individuals received at least 1 opioid prescription within a 12-month period. Non–US-born individuals with chronic pain who were prescribed opioids received significantly fewer days’ supply than US-born individuals after adjustment for confounding factors | JAMA Network , USA

How India Introduced Methadone Take-Homes in the Pandemic

It was one of the most welcome emails I’ve received recently. It came from Dr. Atul Ambekar—a professor and researcher at the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, and at the Department of Psychiatry of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi | Filter magazine, USA

Changes Related to COVID-19 in the Illegal Drug Supply and Access to Services, and Resulting Health Harms (CCENDU Alert)

Summarizes preliminary information about the impact of COVID-19 on the illegal drug supply, the provision of harm reduction services and the associated health impacts for people who use drugs. Data were compiled from multiple sources across Canada between March 31 and May 10, 2020 | CCSA, Canada

Alberta introduces vaping legislation to ban minors from buying e-cigarettes, flavours still allowed

Alberta has introduced new legislation on vaping that would include a ban on anyone under 18 from using e-cigarettes | Global News, Canada

Some people are easily addicted to drugs but others are not, new research shows

Some people are more vulnerable to addiction when exposed to similar dose of addictive drug. Yet, the neurobiological mechanism underlying such phenomenon remains elusive | Medical Xpress, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

Supporting the sector during COVID-19: Collective Voice re-launches “Making a Difference Together” Slack community

The systems we work in are large and complex, with lots of different organisations, each with their own approach, tools and priorities. Too often it can feel like we are trapped within our corner of that system and that collaboration with colleagues and peers across the field is simply too hard. Yet we are all united by a single goal – we want to work together to bring about positive change for people who have drug or alcohol problems | Collective Voice blog, UK

GDS Corona Conversations - with Kate O´Brien, general nurse from UK - video

Kate O’Brien is a general nurse working in the front lines in London with homeless populations. Specialising in Hepatitis-C treatment in this interview done exactly a month ago she talks about the initiatives that have occurred to bring people that have previously never been on methadone or buprenorphine into treatment and get them accommodation | GDS, UK

The label appeal: A look at industry interference in the little warning labelling study that could

Part 2 of a blogpost on the history of a groundbreaking labelling study illustrates the level of industry opposition faced by the researchers involved | IAS blog, UK

Covid-19 and alcohol: mirroring stories

Big ideas are often born of big problems, covid-19 now joins alcohol in providing an opportunity for some fresh thinking | DSN blog, UK

Points Interview: “Serrano Communities and Subaltern Negotiation Strategies: The Local Politics of Opium Production in Mexico, 1940–2020,” with Nathaniel Morris

Today we feature Dr. Nathaniel Morris, whose article you can see here. Dr. Morris is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow attached to the History department at the University College London | Points blog, USA

Women are drinking more during the pandemic, and it’s probably got a lot to do with their mental health

COVID-19 has significantly affected our collective mental health. For many people, social disconnection, financial strain, increased obligations in the home and ongoing uncertainty have created distress – and with it, a need for new ways of coping | Conversation, Australia