Daily news - 20th March 2020

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UK news

Guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provision

Critical sector for COVID-19 response: Key public services - This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting | Cabinet Office and DfE, UK

Coronavirus advice

In light of the current situation we thought it would be useful to collate as much information, advice, and useful resources as possible | DDN, UK

Guidance on contingency planning for people who use drugs and COVID-19

Guidance has been produced on contingency planning for people who use drugs and COVID-19 and has been shared with all Alcohol and Drug Partnerships and all drug services in Scotland | SDF, UK

Alcohol-specific hospital admissions

Directly age and sex standardised admission rate for alcohol-specific conditions per 100,000 registered patients, 95% confidence intervals | NHS Digital, UK

Emergency admissions for alcohol related liver disease

Directly age and sex standardised rate of emergency admissions for alcohol related liver disease in adults aged 19 years and older, per 100,000 registered patients, 95% confidence intervals | NHS Digital, UK

Maternal smoking at delivery

The percentage of women who were smokers at the time of delivery, out of the number of maternities, 95% confidence intervals | NHS Digital, UK

Measuring the impact of the Capital Card®, a novel form of contingency management, on substance misuse treatment outcomes: A retrospective evaluation

The Capital Card, developed by WDP, is a digital innovation which acts as a form of contingency management, and aims to significantly improve service user outcomes. WDP is a substance misuse treatment provider commissioned by local authorities across the UK to support service users and their families affected by addiction | PLOS ONE, UK

National drug treatment monitoring system dataset guidelines

Updated. Reference documents for collecting and inputting data, for use with the national drug treatment monitoring system (NDTMS) | PHE, UK

NDTMS: community combined review forms

Updated. Combined Review Forms (CRF) for community treatment services to use for Core Dataset P (CDS-P), from April 2020 onwards | PHE, UK

Mary Berry left furious after her image was used on Cannabis oil products

The former Great British Bake-Off judge, 85 has been left bewildered after phoney traders have continued to sell cannabis oil products using her name and image | Mirror, UK

140,000 tablets seized in PSNI drugs operation

BBC News NI cameras have been following the PSNI during a number of operations to tackle the sale of illicit prescription medicines | BBC, UK

Wiltshire woman jailed for smuggling crystal meth in dolls

A woman who helped smuggle crystal meth with a street value of nearly £1m into the UK disguised as dolls and coffee beans has been jailed | BBC, UK


International news

Deaths of despair: why America’s medical industry explains working-class suicides

A system based on corporate pursuit of profit sets the US apart from other countries, fleecing the poor to give to the rich | Guardian, UK

New Data Show Significant Changes in Drug Overdose Deaths

Overall decline in opioid-involved drug overdose deaths – but more deaths from synthetic opioids other than methadone | CDC, USA

Coronavirus Is Leading to Shortages of Fentanyl And Meth

The pandemic has slowed the production and export of chemicals from China to Mexico, for onward smuggling into the U.S | VICE, USA

How Harm Reduction Is Responding to the Pandemic

In the two weeks since the first coronavirus cases were confirmed in New York City, the harm reduction landscape here has been rewritten | Filter Magazine, USA

Populations most at risk of opiate addiction

Researchers found that white males ages 30 to 39 were most at risk of fatal overdoses in Ohio. The study also identified 12 clusters in the state where overdose rates were highest | Science Daily, USA

Opioid withdrawal increases health risks for people who inject drugs

New study from the Keck School of Medicine of USC shows opioid withdrawal is associated with needle sharing and overdose | EurekAlert, USA

Cannabis Dispensaries To Reopen In San Francisco, Deemed To Provide “Essential Services”

Great news for the legal cannabis industry amid this trying coronavirus outbreak crisis. After a brief closure, San Francisco dispensaries were given the greenlight earlier this week to reopen via an emergency edict by Mayor London Breed | Forbes, USA

E-cigarette users had substances linked to bladder cancer in urine, review finds

An analysis of evidence from multiple scientific studies found six substances that have a strong link to bladder cancer in the urine of people who had used electronic cigarettes and sometimes other tobacco products, researchers from the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and NYU Langone Health reported | EurekAlert, USA

More Consistency Needed in Application of Harm Reduction Principles in Australia

Although smoke-free nicotine products are encouraged by public health bodies in other countries as a tobacco harm reduction measure, they remain largely illegal in Australia, finds Frost & Sullivan | Cision, Australia

Exploring opioid overdose incidence in a cohort of people who inject drugs

Opioid overdose is a significant public health issue, with people who inject drugs (PWID) a key risk group. However, there is little contemporary information on opioid overdose incidence in Australia and limited evidence of the impact of factors affecting incidence among PWID | NDARC, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Drug and alcohol addiction and recovery in the age of coronavirus

Drug users are being encouraged to stock up on needles and Narcan and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are getting canceled — this is the world of addiction in the coronavirus pandemic | Detroit Free Press, USA