Daily news - 29th 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

ACMD public evidence gathering: request for written evidence

Update: The period for written submissions has been extended to Wednesday 30 September 2020. Forms for members of the public to provide written evidence on young people’s drug use and naloxone provision | ACMD, UK

Drinking alone: COVID-19, lockdown, and alcohol-related harm

[Open access] Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has, it is frequently said, changed everything. But to appreciate its effects fully, one must not only look at the ways in which clinical services have been reorganised to cope with the flood of patients with COVID-19, or even at the public health measures aimed at flattening the epidemic curve | Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol, UK

Ian Willmore obituary

My friend Ian Willmore, who has died aged 61 of a heart attack, spent much of his life in and around politics – including as a trades union researcher, an assistant to the Labour MP Michael Meacher, a councillor and parliamentary candidate, and as a PR person and professional campaigner for pressure groups such as Friends of the Earth and ASH. At the latter he played a key role in the successful campaign to ban smoking in public places | Guardian, UK

Scottish Borders community police team seize £1m drugs

The so-called community action team (CAT) project, involving Police Scotland and Scottish Borders Council, began in 2018 | BBC, UK

Laughing gas arrests after 1,800 canisters found in car

Police stopped a vehicle on Furnace Way, Swansea, arresting a 16-year-old youth, and two other men, aged 21 and 22, on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of a psychoactive substance | BBC, UK

Tynemouth beach litter prompts alcohol ban petition

Nearly 5,000 people have signed a petition calling for an alcohol ban on North Tyneside's beaches following a spate of littering and disorder | BBC, UK


International news

Greg Hunt delays ban on liquid nicotine imports after backlash from Coalition MPs

The federal health minister had signed off on a regulation to ban imports from 1 July but prohibition will now not come into force until 2021 | Guardian, UK

South Africa tobacco ban greeted with cigarette smuggling boom

With tobacco sales banned in effort to curb coronavirus, illegal trade has surged on border with Zimbabwe | Guardian, UK

First comparison of dangers of tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes and waterpipes

Smoking and vaping, whether by means of tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes or waterpipes, stiffens the arteries, causes inflammation and damages DNA, leading to a variety of health problems, according to a study published today in the European Heart Journal | Medical Xpress, France

EMCDDA and Europol join EU institutions in dialogue on the impact of COVID-19 on the world drug situation

On the occasion of International day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking, the EMCDDA and Europol are joining representatives of the EU institutions today in providing the European perspective on the impact of COVID-19 on the world drug situation | EMCDDA, Portugal

ISSDP-UNODC Webinar: A Scientific Look at the 2020 World Drug Report

An overview of the 2020 World Drug Report by Angela Me (Chief Research and Trend Analysis Branch, UNODC) and an ISSDP panel of experts. This webinar will run twice on 2nd July. The first will take place at 09.00 BST (08.00 UTC/10.00 CET). The second will take place at 18.00 BST (17.00 UTC/10.00 PST) | ISSDP/UNODC, Austria

Support, Don’t Punish 2020: A Global Day of Action Against the Drug War

Friday, June 26 marks the Support, Don’t Punish 2020 Global Day of Action—an annual show of international solidarity against the global drug war | Filter Magazine, USA

Medical pot may help many battle insomnia, pain and stress: Study

More and more U.S. states are allowing marijuana to be taken as medicine, and a new study suggests that users do indeed feel better | Medical Xpress, USA

RIP Lester Grinspoon, Who Encouraged Americans To Reconsider Demonized Drugs

For half a century, Grinspoon tirelessly advocated a more rational and tolerant approach to marijuana and other psychoactive substances | Reason, USA

Pandemic leads to rise in Canada fatal drug overdoses

A homeless Canadian with a drug addiction, Luc Laplante has lost three friends—Dave, Emily and Pat—to opioid overdoses in the last three months of the coronavirus pandemic | Medical Xpress, Canada

Cannabis pandemic sales uptick not enough to save struggling sector

Canadian cannabis sales soared at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but not enough to bolster a sector in the throes of reorganization only two years after the drug was legalized | Medical Xpress, Canada

Growing majority of Kiwis support legalising cannabis, new poll finds

A growing majority of New Zealanders support legalising cannabis for personal use, according to a new poll just three months from a national referendum | NZ Herald, New Zealand



Blogs, comment and opinion

Duncan Selbie's Friday message

People sleeping rough, particularly those with drug and alcohol misuse problems, often have difficulty accessing healthcare and face a revolving door where they are in and out of services. It is therefore welcome news that the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government has confirmed that a further £16 million of planned spending on drug and alcohol support for homeless people is being brought forward to this year, and is in addition to the £7 million already available | PHE blog, UK

Vaping is not a safer alternative to smoking when it comes to Covid-19

It all used to be so easy. Smoking is bad for you, the best smoker is a quit smoker, but if you can’t quit then vaping appears to be a safer option than smoking | Nursing in Practice, 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, UK

Coronavirus is taking English pubs back in time

The announcement by Boris Johnson, the UK prime minister, that pubs in England will be allowed to resume trading from July 4 was greeted with rousing cheers from some. But having a pint in the pandemic era will be slightly different | Conversation, UK

Points Bookshelf: Killer High: A History of War in Six Drugs

In Killer High: A History of War in Six Drugs, Peter Andreas, a professor of international studies at Brown University, probes the “symbiotic relationship between drugs and war,” or “how drugs made war and war made drugs.” | Points blog, USA

Smoke and mirrors: The big money behind Australia’s vaping ban

Next week, with a new financial year underway, the Morrison government will request the Governor-General to prohibit the importation of e-cigarettes containing vaporiser nicotine and nicotine-containing refills for e-cigarettes unless on prescription from a doctor | Australian, Australia

Reforming cannabis laws is a complex challenge, but New Zealand’s history of drug reform holds important lessons

In less than three months, New Zealanders will vote in the world’s first national referendum on a comprehensive proposal to legalise the recreational use of cannabis | Conversation, New Zealand