Daily news - 15th 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

Alcohol-attributable fractions for England: an update

This report sets out estimates of the relative risks of alcohol on disease, as well as alcohol-attributable fractions for England | PHE, UK

Local alcohol services and systems improvement tool

Updated - Replaced section 3.3 'CLeaR peer assessment' with 'External validation of the CLeaR findings'. Removed 'Preparing for a peer assessment visit' (formerly section 5) and all mentions of subsidised CLeaR assessments, which the service no longer provides | PHE, UK

Menthol cigarettes ban: Health minister orders investigation into ‘New Dual’ range replacing menthol products

Japan Tobacco International faces questions from Public Health England over its ‘New Dual’ products | i news, UK

Alcohol Minimum Pricing

Alcohol has always played a part in most of our lives and has had a huge impact. What is the First Minister’s response to the latest report by Public Health Scotland on the impact of minimum pricing? | They work for you, UK

Greene King announces new 'safe socialising' layout for its 1,700 pubs including Perspex screens and visors ahead of their July 4 reopening

Greene King has announced a new 'safe socialising' layout to its 1,700 pubs as preparations ratchet up to serve customers from July 4 | Mail Online, UK

Whisky is back in favour … and now women are calling the shots

Female drinkers have a new favourite poison, and are also increasingly involved in running distilleries | Guardian, UK

Police scrutiny chief stopped and searched by officers ‘at least 60 times since the age of 13’

A 35-year-old black Lambeth councillor and vice-chairman of several police scrutiny committees has been stopped and searched at least 60 times since he was 13 — almost always because police assume he is a drug dealer | Evening Standard, UK

Albanian gangs are waging open warfare on London's streets, experts warn

[Free registration may be required] Five Albanians have been murdered in the past year as gangs tighten their grip on the UK cocaine market | Telegraph, UK

Nottingham text alert drugs gang members jailed

The group, based in the Bestwood area of Nottingham, set up the 'R1 drugs line' to let buyers know when they had Class A drugs available | BBC, UK

Greater Manchester illegal raves: Man dies, woman raped and three stabbed

Thousands flocked to Daisy Nook Country Park and Carrington in Greater Manchester late on Saturday. The man at the country park died of a suspected drug overdose and the stabbings and the attack on an 18-year-old woman took place in Carrington | BBC, UK


International news

The engagement of young people in drug interventions in coercive contexts: findings from a cross-national European study

The engagement of young people has been a neglected area in youth justice and drug policy and practice. This paper explores the concept of ‘engagement’ in relation to drug interventions in custodial and community settings in different European countries | DEPP, UK

US study finds protective effect of opioid substitution therapies not being fully realised

In a very large sample of patients with opioid use problems, the treatment pathway associated with the greatest risk reduction was also the hardest to access. Why did only 1 in 10 patients receive medical treatment with buprenorphine or methadone? What are the implications for other countries when availability and duration of treatment is curtailed? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

China death sentence for Australian not 'necessarily' linked to ongoing friction, minister says

Simon Birmingham says Cam Gillespie, arrested with over 7.5kg of methamphetamine, has 10 days to appeal | Guardian, UK

'Two or three glasses is not against the law': It's not illegal to drink in public places, Taoiseach tells Dáil

However, bye-laws prohibit the activity in many parts of the country | Journal, Ireland

Drug Decriminalization Policy : Literature Review: Models, Implementation and Outcomes

The report aims to identify legal frameworks, models, and implementation practices of the decriminalization policies and to assess their empirical results. Statistics show that the prevalence of drug use has increased for decades all around the world despite all the strict measures taken | THL, Finland

No laughing matter: new legislation will ban the sale of nitrous oxide

Junior health minister Paul Blokhuis has published his plans to severely ristrict the sale of laughing gas to consumers, six months after pledging to take action | Dutch News, Netherlands

EMCDDA webinar: COVID-19 and patterns of drugs use

The EMCDDA is offering a new series of webinars around the theme of COVID-19. The purpose of the webinars is to help those working in the drugs field understand how drug users, and those supporting them, are coping with the pandemic and to share knowledge and experience | EMCDDA, Portugal

Addressing the drug problem in health and social care will produce better outcomes

The prevalence of drug use has increased for decades all around the world despite the strict measures taken. As the traditional prohibitionist drug policy has created social injustice, public health problems, and high social costs, decriminalization of drug use has emerged as a response | Medical Xpress, Finland

What We Know (and Don’t) About Magic Mushroom Paralysis

People are coming down with a condition known as 'wood-lovers paralysis' after eating certain species of shrooms—and scientists don't know why | VICE, USA

Original quantitative research – Setting the baseline: a description of cannabis poisonings at a Canadian pediatric hospital prior to the legalization of recreational cannabis

This study describes the events and circumstances preceding children aged 16 years or younger being treated for cannabis poisoning in the emergency department (ED) of a Canadian pediatric hospital | Government of Canada, Canada

Even 'low-risk' drinking can be harmful

It's not just heavy drinking that's a problem—even consuming alcohol within weekly low-risk drinking guidelines can result in hospitalization and death, according to a new study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs | Medical Xpress, Canada

Terminally ill Canadians apply for legal access to 'magic mushrooms' drug

Hartle has tried everything from anti-anxiety medication to meditation to treat the symptoms of his anxiety, but he’s hoping for a more long-lasting solution to ease his distress | CTV News, Canada

Stigma towards people who inject drugs and sex workers prevalent according to new study

Priority groups at risk of blood borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections still likely to experience negative behaviour from the general public and in healthcare settings | UNSW, Australia

Addiction stigma and the production of impediments to take-home naloxone uptake

[Open access] Opioid overdose deaths are a major health issue in Australia and around the world. Programmes to provide opioid consumers with ‘take-home’ naloxone to reverse overdose exist internationally, but uptake by mainstream health services and consumers remains inconsistent | Health, Australia

Tobacco giant blocked from selling heated cigarette substitute in Australia

Efforts by tobacco giant Philip Morris to introduce a smoke-free cigarette alternative to Australia have been blocked by an interim decision from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Alcohol: a drug in a class of its own

Alcohol is so much a part of our lives that the government deemed off-licences to be ‘essential services’ placing them alongside pharmacies and ensuring access to our favourite drug wasn’t compromised during the COVID-19 pandemic | Mental Elf, UK

How easily can under 18s buy alcohol online?

Jessica Muirhead and Professor Vic Grout discuss their recent research into age-gating practices for online alcohol sales | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

Recovering after Covid-19

Dr Fiona Sim explains why resetting the dial to low risk drinking, or none at all, is important to your recovery from coronavirus. | Drinkaware blog, UK

The Pass-Through of Alcohol Excise Taxes to Prices in OECD Countries: Filling in the evidence gap

Governments 'may consider additionally implementing minimum pricing policies' as a viable complement to tax increases on alcohol | IAS blog, UK

Using cannabis during pregnancy could be bad news for your baby: new research

It’s well known smoking cigarettes during pregnancy can increase the risk of harm to the baby and is best avoided | Conversation, Australia

Quit Meth while you’re ahead? NT News does it again

NT News, renowned for big headlines and little substance, has again not allowed the facts to get in the way of a good story, or in this case, a sensationalist headline | AOD MediaWatch, Australia