Daily news - 23rd 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

Government urged to end deadlock over medical cannabis prescriptions for severely epileptic children

Families left struggling to afford private medicines as access on NHS 'totally blocked' | Independent, UK

Medical cannabis in the UK: From principle to practice

[Open access] In the UK, medical cannabis was approved in November 2018, leading many patients to believe that the medicine would now be available on the NHS. Yet, to date, there have been only 12 NHS prescriptions and less than 60 prescriptions in total. In marked contrast, a recent patient survey by the Centre for Medical Cannabis (Couch, 2020) found 1.4 m people are using illicit cannabis for medical problems | Journal of Psychopharmacology, UK

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

[Open access] 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 | The Lancet, UK

Covid-19: how worried should smokers be? – podcast

With reports that there are lower rates of smokers being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 in France and trials to test whether nicotine patches can reduce the severity of infection, but also data showing that smokers are more likely to contract the disease and develop severe symptoms, what’s actually going here? | Guardian, UK

Unusual Times EP03: Drugs in lockdown - audio

Tom is furloughed and says 'every day is a Saturday'. Harry is back living with his Mum. Adam explores how their drug use has changed and speaks to harm prevention experts | BBC, UK

Recovery Street Film Festival

The 2020 Recovery Street Film Festival moves online. This year we are inviting anyone who is directly or indirectly affected by addiction (individuals, family members, friends, professionals) to make a 60 second film on the theme of ‘Isolation’. | RSFF, UK

Launch of the Drug Science Medical Psychedelics Working Group - free event

Drug Science is proud to be launching the 'Medical Psychedelics Working Group'. Please join us in celebrating its launch on the 14th of July | Drug Science, UK

Forget-me-not: drug law reform is needed more than ever - video

The Anyone's Child campaign group is asking politicians to reform our drug laws and put safety and social justice at the heart of the policy. Under social distancing requirements, this year we have put together a film from our own homes rather than march on parliament | Anyone's Child, UK



International news

France: Alcohol Advertising Ban Wins Case in High-Court

In France, the so called “Loi Evin” or the Evin Law strictly regulates alcohol marketing and largely bans alcohol advertising. Nevertheless, despite the legal repercussions Big Alcohol continues to break the law or attempts to circumvent it. Recently a landmark case against such a breach of the Evin Law was won in the French High-Court | Movendi International, UK

The end of vaping in Australia: Nearly all imports of e-cigarettes and refills will be BANNED from next week

E-cigarette users and retailers had turned to buying the products from overseas after their sale in Australia was previously banned | Mail Online, UK

Commission on Narcotic Drugs - Special event - streamed live on Friday 26th June

A special commemorative event of the sixty-third session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, devoted to the United Nations International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, will be held virtually on Friday, 26 June 2020, starting at 2:00 p.m., Vienna Time (CEST). On this occasion, the World Drug Report 2020 will be launched, followed by a discussion on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world drug situation | UNODC, Austria

EMCDDA webinar: COVID-19 and drug supply via darknet markets

Weds 1st July. 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

Study analyzes the economic behavior of cocaine-dependent schizophrenia patients

A study conducted by Spanish and French universities analyzes the economic behavior of people with schizophrenia or antisocial personality disorder who also consume cocaine | News Medical, USA

Combined Pharmacotherapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adults With Alcohol or Substance Use Disorders

This systemic review and meta-analysis including 30 studies found that combined cognitive behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy was associated with increased benefit compared with usual care and pharmacotherapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy did not perform better than another evidence-based modality in this context or as an add-on to combined usual care and pharmacotherapy | JAMA Network, USA

Assessment of Incorporation of Lessons From Tobacco Control in City and County Laws Regulating Legal Marijuana in California

This cross-sectional study of all 539 California cities and counties found that jurisdictions differed widely in how they regulated marijuana and that key public health recommendations and lessons from tobacco control have generally not been adopted, although local innovation is emerging | JAMA Network, USA

Recreational pot laws may boost traffic deaths, studies say

Laws legalizing recreational marijuana may lead to more traffic deaths, two new studies suggest, although questions remain about how they might influence driving habits | Medical Xpress, USA

Pleasure, Delayed: This Juneteenth Should Include Freedom to Use Drugs

This year, Juneteenth is taking its rightful place as a more meaningful celebration of freedom than July 4 ever could be | Filter Magazine, USA

Prescription monitoring may curb inappropriate drug use, but what happens to those denied a script?

Restricting access to high-risk medications via a real-time prescription monitoring program such as Victoria's SafeScript may help reduce inappropriate use, but integrated mental health and drug treatment services may be necessary to offset the risk of increased mortality... | Medical Xpress, Australia

Vapers launch fighting fund to challenge Therapeutic Goods Administration’s ban on nicotine e-cigarettes

WA’s vapers are going on the attack over a looming ban on the importation of e-cigarettes containing vaporiser nicotine and nicotine refills into Australia | West Australian, Australia

UK MPs call for gambling ad ban, drawing on Deakin research

An influential group of UK MPs and peers has called for a complete ban on all gambling advertising in the UK, citing the work of Deakin University’s gambling expert Professor Samantha Thomas in their report | Deakin University, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

How gangs adapted to coronavirus – and why we may see a surge in violence as lockdown lifts

As lockdown loomed, most people rushed to buy toilet paper and paracetamol, openly voicing fears of falling ill. But “ill” for addicted drug users has a different meaning. It means to suffer withdrawal symptoms due to missing a regular hit of either heroin or crack cocaine | Conversation, UK

How Culture Can Influence a Psychedelic Experience

It is clear that expectations and beliefs can shape a psychedelic experience. Your ‘set’ (or mindset) is one of the vital components – along with your external setting – that can steer your psychedelic journey in a certain direction, colour it with a certain emotional tone and significance | Sam Wolffe blog, UK