Daily news - 16th March 2020

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UK news

Treatment and recovery services – and COVID-19

Collective Voice will be doing everything it can over the coming weeks and months to support the sector at this challenging time. We will be updating this page when new relevant guidance emerges so please keep checking back | Collective Voice, UK

Rough sleepers and drug users not getting coronavirus advice

Charities say vulnerable people at risk as shelters turn away some who may be infectious | Guardian, UK

'I'm going to operate a drugs fix room from a van'

A former drug worker has said he is launching a mobile "fix room", where addicts can take drugs under supervision, even though he faces being arrested | BBC, UK

Victoria Derbyshire show - 13/03/2020

Watch from 52 minutes in. Interview with Peter Krykant, a former drug user who wants to open an unnofficial DCR in Scotland | BBC, UK

Sober Spring is your three-month break from alcohol, running from 20 March to 20 June

We'll send you emails each week throughout Sober Spring with tips, stories from sober influencers and experts and much more, plus keep you in the loop about our campaigns and Alcohol Change UK's work going forward | Alcohol Change UK, UK

Powerlifting Is One of the Only Sports Where Steroids Are Allowed

We met up with British powerlifters who compete in one of the rare sports where performance-enhancing drugs are allowed | VICE, UK

The pain of trying to get medical cannabis to ease chronic illness

The UK government has admitted it knows the benefits, yet products are still extremely rare and difficult to obtain by those suffering from the likes of MS, Crohn’s, epilepsy, and more | Dazed Digital, UK

Spice: The soup kitchen on the drugs frontline

As I arrive at St Patrick's soup kitchen in north Belfast, it is clear the team are under pressure | BBC, UK

More Than My Past campaign calls on government to take recovery seriously

The Forward Trust’s More Than My Past campaign has asked Government to fund initiatives that are proven to be successful in helping people move beyond addiction and offending – starting with investment in recovery communities in every town in the UK | Forward Trust, UK

The Forward Trust wins major new contract to deliver primary mental health and substance misuse services

The Forward Trust is delighted to announce that they have been awarded the contract to deliver primary mental health services in five prisons: HMP The Mount, HMP Chelmsford, HMP Highpoint, HMP Hollesley Bay and HMP Warren Hill, as well as substance misuse services in HMP The Mount | Forward Trust, UK

Betway to pay £11.6m for failings linked to 'VIP' customers

Online gambling business Betway is to pay £11.6m, alongside implementing a package of measures, for a series of social responsibility and money laundering failings linked to dealings with seven of its high spending customers | Gambling Commission, UK


International news

Coronavirus: Pubs asked to close by Irish government

The Irish government has called on pubs and bars to close from Sunday to help tackle coronavirus | BBC, UK

One for the road? Canada province considers decriminalizing drunk driving

Alberta officials suggest major changes, saying the current system punishes people but they ‘continue to drive impaired’ | Guardian, UK

DrugNet Ireland (PDF)

Drugnet Ireland is the Health Research Board's quarterly drug and alcohol research and policy newsletter.  It provides summaries and analysis of recent publications and policy developments and well as overviews of particular issues relating to the drug and alcohol situation Ireland | HRB, Ireland

We've got the power: Women, adolescent girls and the HIV response (PDF)

This report shows how the HIV epidemic holds a mirror up to inequalities and injustices, and how the gaps in rights and services for women and girls are exacerbating the epidemic | UNAIDS, USA

COVID-19: Potential Implications for Individuals with Substance Use Disorders

As people across the U.S. and the rest of the world contend with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the research community should be alert to the possibility that it could hit some populations with substance use disorders (SUDs) particularly hard. Because it attacks the lungs, the coronavirus that causes  COVID-19 could be an especially serious threat to those who smoke tobacco or marijuana or who vape | NIDA, USA

Coronavirus and Marijuana: Street Weed Dealers Spy an Opportunity

Can you still get high during a quarantine? Sure — but someone has to make sure the supply keeps running even in tough times | MEL, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

Duncan Selbie's Friday message - 13 March 2020

The Chancellor announced £262m of new funding to expand drug and alcohol treatment for people experiencing rough sleeping or at risk of experiencing rough sleeping to be allocated to local authorities through Public Health England over the next 4 years | PHE Blog, UK

It breaks my heart to see vulnerable patients leave hospital without a support system in place

I wish I could say we'll get the life of an alcoholic patient back on track, but the help he needs in the community isn't there | i news, UK

What does coronavirus (COVID-19) mean in regard to chemsex?

What should our messages be for our patients, clients, friends and communities who engage in chemsex? | David Stuart blog, UK

Alcoholics Anonymous – the evidence

Does mutual aid work? If you are a member of a mutual aid group that you believe is keeping you sober or drug-free, then it’s pretty much assured you will say ‘yes’. That’s understandably not good enough for researchers and some others | Recovery Review blog, UK

Death and Politics

It’s not just opioids that are ripping into the lives of working-class Americans. It’s a political system that disserves them | Democracy, USA