Daily news - 17th 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

COVID-19: Working with vulnerable people

Find out more about specific considerations you need to make when working with more vulnerable patients, such as older people or those who use drugs | RPSYCH, UK

MESAS monitoring report 2020

The Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland's Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) monitoring report 2020 presents all the latest available data on key alcohol indicators in Scotland | Public Health Scotland, UK

Fall in alcohol consumption in Scotland 'stalls' after minimum pricing

The drop in alcohol consumption in Scotland has stalled after an initial reduction sparked by minimum unit pricing (MUP), official data suggests | BBC, UK

Did payment-by-results really make things worse?

Alcohol-related findings on the UK government’s favoured mechanism for improving the performance of substance use treatment services | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Drugs offences up 27% in lockdown despite total crime falling by a quarter

Data obtained by the PA news agency under Freedom of Information laws showed that thousands more crimes linked to banned substances were recorded by police between March 23 and May 25 than in the same nine-week period last year | ITV, UK

Smoking and tobacco: applying All Our Health

Updated. Added smoking as the leading cause of preventable illness and updated statistic for smokers living with smoking-related illness (in section 3) | PHE, UK

High doses of ketamine can temporarily switch off the brain, say researchers

Researchers have identified two brain phenomena that may explain some of the side-effects of ketamine. Their measurements of the brain waves of sheep sedated by the drug may explain the out-of-body experience and state of complete oblivion it can cause | University of Cambridge, UK

Brand new naloxone window stickers will be popping up across Scotland any day now!

The window clings with the well-known ‘save someone’ logo will be provided to local naloxone leads who will distribute to services in their health board area that have naloxone available for use in an emergency. Most of these services will have naloxone available to take home as well | SDF, UK

Opportunity for people with a history of drug or alcohol problems to start career helping others in Highlands and Islands

Scottish Drugs Forum are looking for people who have a history of drug or alcohol problems to take part in a training and employment project in the Highlands and Islands! | SDF, UK

Webinar: Covid-19 and drug and alcohol services: we are through the rescue phase, what’s next?

Thursday, 2 Jul 2020, 10:30 AM. Drug and alcohol services and their clients have experienced massive change in the delivery of treatment over the past few weeks in response to the pandemic. This webinar will look at the next steps, as services navigate the relaxation of some of the lockdown measures | SMMGP, UK

Injecting wound care explored in new SDF e-Learning course

[Free to access for those in Scotland] Injecting related wounds can have major personal health impacts if they are not addressed or are ignored. Would you know what to look for when you see an injecting related wound? What questions to ask or what treatment works best? If the answer is no and you’d like to out the answers, then our new free e-Learning course on injecting wound care is ideal for you | SDF, UK

Greater Manchester illegal raves: 'Almost impossible' to stop

Two illegal "quarantine raves" at the weekend were "almost impossible" to stop after venues were changed at the last minute, a chief constable said | BBC, UK

Local Government: Licensing

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Government plans to permit local authorities to allow reimbursement of fees for the annual premises licence; and what guidance the Government has issued to local authorities on the reimbursement or reduction of those fees during the covid-19 outbreak | They work for you, UK

Bus passengers asked rather than told not to smoke – archive, 1964

17 June 1964: Many Manchester bus users along with drivers and conductors oppose the city council’s decision of an outright ban | Guardian archive, UK

Report from the Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group- Online Gambling Harm Inquiry (PDF)

Over the past year, the Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group (the APPG) has undertaken an inquiry into the online gambling industry. Our interim report was published in November 2019. This final report is based on evidence given in public inquiry sessions, closed inquiry sessions and on submissions from stakeholders ranging from people who have been harmed by online gambling to online gambling operators themselves | APPG, UK

Whitehaven drugs courier jailed over £30,000 stash

A man caught couriering cocaine and heroin worth more than £30,000 has been jailed for more than two years | BBC, UK


International news

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 16 June 2020

Can a housing intervention end the cycle of chronic homelessness and help people remain in opioid substitution therapy? Were all interventions created equal when it comes to preventing opioid-related overdoses and overdose deaths? What can a decades-old study tell us about the limits and possibilities of primary care consultations for enquiring about risky drinking and other ‘lifestyle issues’? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

“How do online and offline sampling compare in a multinational study of drug use and nightlife behaviour?”

[Open access] Online sampling is widely used to recruit hard to reach samples such as drug users at nightlife events. We conducted the first study comparing differences in demographics, drug use and nightlife behaviour between an online sample of young adults engaging with the European nightlife scene, and an offline sample recruited at nightclubs and festivals in Europe | IJDP, UK

Capturing the Market - Lessons from Canada's legal cannabis market - video

On 9th June, 2020 Transform and México Unido Contra la Delincuencia (MUCD) hosted a webinar on cannabis regulation in Canada, the second in a two-part series from Transform on lessons from cannabis regulation. This webinar coincides with the launch of Transform & MUCD's new report, ‘Capturing the Market: Cannabis regulation in Canada’. | Transform Drug Policy Foundation, UK

Exposure to certain e-cig cartridges may cause fatal lung damage

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center, New York, have shown that long-term exposure to certain electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) may cause lung toxicity and injury among vapers | News Medical, USA

Simulated sea slug gets addicted to drug

Scientists built a computer model of a simple brain network based on that of a sea slug, taught it how to get food, gave it an appetite and the ability to experience reward, added a dash of something called homeostatic plasticity and then exposed it to a very intoxicating drug. To no one's surprise, the creature became addicted | Science Daily, USA

New K2 Compound in Canadian Heroin Supply Amid Surging Fatal ODs

Alittle-known synthetic cannabinoid, a class of compounds colloquially referred to as “K2” or “spice,” has been recently popping up in Toronto’s illicit opioid supply amid a national surge in fatal overdoses | Filter Magazine, USA

Booze ads designed to keep you laughing all the way to the bottle shop

‘Get them laughing to get them drinking’ seems to be the motto of the alcohol industry according to an analysis of alcohol ads displayed across a range of media types in Australia | George Institute, Australia

Drug Foundation stands by ad campaign after being labelled 'misleading'

The Drug Foundation is defending a campaign that's being labelled "misleading". The ad, which encourages people to vote "yes" in the upcoming cannabis referendum, mentions "medicinal treatment" | NZHerald, New Zealand



Blogs, comment and opinion

Supervised Dispensing after COVID-19

Following the relaxations to the way in which opiate substitute treatment has been subscribed and delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic - as a sector we now have a challenge: “How do we incorporate the lessons learned from the changes to supervised dispensary during the pandemic?  And can we move towards a fully risk based, individualised dispensing system?” | NHS Substance Misuse Provider Alliance blog, UK

The Vital Importance of the Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist role within Addiction Services

The role of the Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist is uniquely commissioned in the NHS and is an indisputable asset when it comes to the successful and efficient running of addiction treatment services and providing support across primary as well as secondary physical and mental healthcare services, as highlighted in the current treatment system in Bristol | NHS Substance Misuse Provider Alliance blog, UK

Too much alcohol can cause similar effects to dementia – and the two are often confused

In the UK, 21% of people are drinking more alcohol than they did before the pandemic, according to a recent survey. This follows a reported 31% increase in alcohol sales at the start of lockdown | Conversation, UK

Dion: 'When I heard my album sober, I thought "Wow – heroin didn't touch it"'

He was a street-tough doo-wopper, then a wayward cult legend. Now at 80, Dion is embracing the blues – and his status as one of the last rock’n’rollers standing | Guardian, UK

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties call for urgent drug policy review

The details of the proposed programme for government between Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party have been published. While the deal is not over the line just yet, it includes a provision for convening a Citizens’ Assembly to ‘consider matters relating to drug use’ | HotPress, Ireland




And finally...

A Street Cat Named Bob: Stray who inspired series of books dies

James Bowen met Bob in 2007 during his battle with drug addiction when he found the cat abandoned and injured and decided to look after him | BBC, UK