Daily news - 5th June 2020

Weekly subscribe button

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

New substance misuse commissioner forum established

Collective Voice is delighted that a new national forum for substance misuse commissioners in England is to be established, supported by the Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Public Health | Collective Voice, UK

Why is England’s alcohol treatment caseload shrinking?

Is it because need for treatment is declining too, or have austerity-driven funding cuts made treatment less accessible? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Drink driving rises during lockdown despite closure of pubs and restaurants

[Free registration may be required] A rise in drinking at home - and quieter roads - may explain the "really concerning" increase | Telegraph, UK

New Poll Shows One Quarter of Young Adults Unaware that 
UK Guidance is to Avoid Alcohol in Pregnancy

In April-May 2020 NOFAS-UK (now the National Organisation for FASD) engaged OnePoll to conduct two surveys to test awareness of the risks of alcohol in pregnancy and to see if the general population knows the national scientific guidance | NOFAS-UK, UK

Coronavirus lockdown 'led to alcohol relapse'

A woman in alcoholism recovery has said the "lack of connection" caused by the coronavirus lockdown led to a relapse | BBC, UK

New Drugs Uncut episode explores whether COVID-19 has prompted real action on homelessness

In this episode, we are joined by Hugh Hill, Director of Services and Development at The Simon Community Scotland – who have been instrumental in providing support to those temporary accommodated – to discuss the lockdown and the unexpected benefits for some people living on the Scotland’s streets; how services have struggled and improved; and what happens when lockdown eases | SDF, UK

Three arrested as NCA makes record breaking drug seizure in Northern Ireland

As part of an ongoing NCA investigation into drug supply, NCA officers, in a joint operation with colleagues from the Police Service of Northern Ireland, moved in to stop a lorry in the Templepatrick area in the early hours of Wednesday 3 June | NCA, UK

Dan Evans: British number one says he was 'disgusted' with himself after drugs ban

Evans was suspended for a year after testing positive for cocaine in 2017 | BBC, UK


International news

Why Is Per Capita Consumption Underestimated in Alcohol Surveys? Results from 39 Surveys in 23 European Countries

The aims of the article are (a) to estimate coverage rates (i.e. the proportion of ‘real consumption’ accounted for by a survey compared with more reliable aggregate consumption data) of the total, the recorded and the beverage-specific annual per capita consumption in 23 European countries, and (b) to investigate differences between regions, and other factors which might be associated with low coverage (prevalence of heavy episodic drinking [HED], survey methodology) | Alcohol and Alcoholism, UK

HIV outbreaks among people who inject drugs in Europe, North America, and Israel

During 2011–16, HIV outbreaks occurred among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Canada (southeastern Saskatchewan), Greece (Athens), Ireland (Dublin), Israel (Tel Aviv), Luxembourg, Romania (Bucharest), Scotland (Glasgow), and USA (Scott County, Indiana). Factors common to many of these outbreaks included community economic problems, homelessness, and changes in drug injection patterns | Lancet UK

The role of alcohol use and drinking patterns in socioeconomic inequalities in mortality: a systematic review

Individuals with low socioeconomic status (SES) experience disproportionately greater alcohol-attributable health harm than individuals with high SES from similar or lower amounts of alcohol consumption. Our aim was to provide an update of the current evidence for the role of alcohol use and drinking patterns in socioeconomic inequalities in mortality, as well as the effect modification or interaction effects between SES and alcohol use, as two potential explanations of this so-called alcohol-harm paradox | Lancet, UK

Porn star Nacho Vidal held in Spain after man dies in toad-venom ritual

Spanish porn actor is being investigated on suspicion of manslaughter after a photographer died during a toad-venom ritual, police say | BBC, UK

Webinar: Outreach Work during the COVID19 epidemic | Exchange of Experiences & Paths Forward

On June the 3rd, [we] organized a webinar which experts in the field of outreach, Harm Reduction professionals, community members, drug users and rights representatives attended. During the sessions participants had the opportunity to share insights and to inform each other on recent developments in their practice, the challenges experienced by their communities and the impact of COVID19 on the operational capacity of outreach in Europe | Correlation – European Harm Reduction Network, Netherlands

Impact of Recreational Cannabis Legalization in Michigan: A Baseline Report

The report will enable the examination of trends in the use of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes, criminal justice cases, and effects including motor vehicle crashes and emergency department visits | Injury Prevention Center, USA

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Philippines (PDF)

The present report is submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 41/2, which requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a comprehensive written report on the situation of human rights in the Philippines and to present it at its forty-fourth session | Human Rights Council, USA

Opioid addiction treatment is more widely available, but only for adults

Prescriptions for an FDA-approved treatment for opioid addiction have increased over the past decade in all age groups except the youngest (age 15-24), a new analysis of prescription data by researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center has found | Medical Xpress, USA

Off-Premise Alcohol Sales Are Up, With Hard Seltzer Especially Seeing A Boom

According to Nielsen CGA measured channels, the year-over-year growth rate for total off-premise beverage alcohol dollar sales are up 24.8% | Forbes, USA

Giving Alcohol, Nicotine, Marijuana to Isolated Homeless People Is Harm Reduction

Seeking positives in current times can feel futile. But for drug policy reformers, there are a few. San Francisco and King counties, in California and Washington respectively, are both engaging in a radical form of harm reduction—at least by US standards | Filter Magazine, USA

Exploring the nature of anomalous psychedelic experiences

Psychedelics are among the most intriguing and mysterious psychoactive substances, as they can radically alter people's perceptions, cognitive processes and emotions. Their unique qualities and their effects on the human brain have made these substances an appealing subject of study for several researchers worldwide | Medical Xpress, USA

Methamphetamine, the Respiratory System and COVID-19 [report]

Summarizes what is currently known about the health risks associated with using methamphetamine during the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics covered include the effects of methamphetamine on heart and lung health, its potential impact on the immune system and guidance for reducing harms | CCSA, Canada

Lighting up the illicit market: Smokers’ responses to the cigarette sales ban in South Africa

Between 29 April and 11 May 2020, members of REEP conducted an online survey among smokers to determine how they responded to the ban on cigarette sales during the lockdown, and to evaluate how the lockdown has impacted the market for cigarettes in South Africa. The survey was completed by more than 16 000 respondents, and the final cleaned sample consisted of 12 204 responses | REEP, South Africa

State's second safe injecting room to open opposite Queen Vic Market

Victoria is set to get its second safe injecting room, opposite the Queen Victoria Market, after the government was handed a report showing the North Richmond injecting room had been overwhelmed by demand | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Two months into lockdown, what have we learned so far?

It has now been two months since the UK entered lockdown. During this time drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services have faced incredible challenges and tackled crucial questions to make sure services continue to meet people’s needs | Collective Voice, UK

A brush with coronavirus has transformed my attitude to drinking

While recovering from coronavirus symptoms, I not only lost her taste for alcohol, I've re-evaluated my whole relationship with it | Telegraph, UK

Dr. Bonnie Henry has a bold prescription for B.C.’s other public health crisis

British Columbia has wrestled down the coronavirus pandemic better than most places, and much of the credit has rightly gone to Bonnie Henry, the province’s Provincial Health Officer | Globe and Mail opinion, Canada