Daily news - 23rd March 2020


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Coronavirus resources

Note from PHE

Drug and alcohol treatment staff are included in the definition, released by the government of key workers whose children can – if they cannot be kept safe at home – continue to attend school.

If there are problems obtaining supplies of essential personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitising gel, you can call the NHS supply disruption number: 0800 915 9964.

PHE is working with DHSC and others to try to mitigate the impact of community pharmacy policy changes and closures, which are restricting or ending the availability of supervised consumption of OST. Most services already have contingency plans to move people off supervised consumption but these plans now need to be accelerated.

Treatment and recovery services – and COVID-19

Regularly updated page collating guidance and resources on the virus relating to people who use drugs and services | Collective Voice, UK

Useful coronavirus (COVID-19) links

Here is a list of links to information about coronavirus including national guidance, information for treatment services, harm reduction advice for people who use drugs, online courses and news and opinion | SSA, UK

 

 

UK news

COVID-19 Guidance for key worker parents

The government has published guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provision during the COVID-19 epidemic. This means that children of designated “key workers” will be allowed to continue attending school. If you are encountering issues with your school over the key worker designation then please get in touch with us. We are drafting a template letter for you to use | Collective Voice, UK

ACMD public evidence gathering: request for written evidence

Forms for members of the public to provide written evidence on young people’s drug use and naloxone provision | ACMD, UK

Routine inspections suspended in response to coronavirus outbreak

We have written to all registered health and social care providers about how we are adapting our regulatory approach in response to the coronavirus outbreak | CQC, UK

Stopping Smoking: Guide

The health benefits of stopping smoking start within hours of putting out the last cigarette.  Using a combination of medication and behavioural support can substantially increase the chances of successfully quitting | ASH, UK

'Urgent' investment needed to tackle problem drug use in Edinburgh

Drug service chief calls for more money to deal with increasing problem | Edinburgh News, UK

New emergency support fund announced to help community and voluntary organisations

Our members the Greater London Authority and the City Bridge Trust have contributed £1m each to launch a new fund to support London’s voluntary sector. This is an initial contribution and we are working with funders from across sectors to bring more money together in response to community need | London Funders, UK

Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund

Through the Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund, we will support local charities and community organisations across Tyne & Wear and Northumberland in two stages: response, then recovery. In the response stage, we will get extra money to organisations that we know are supporting older people and other vulnerable groups affected by the COVID-19 outbreak | Community Foundation, UK

NCVO resources now available without a subscription

In an effort to support charities NCVO have removed the paywall from all of their member-only advice & guidance | NCVO, UK

Alcohol aisles stripped bare after Boris Johnson closes pubs in fight against coronavirus

Alcohol aisles have been stripped bare in supermarkets after Boris Johnson closed down pubs in wake of the coronavirus outbreak | Metro, UK

Drug Dealers Say Coronavirus Is Already Affecting Supply and Demand

"Prices on an ounce [of weed] have gone up from £160 to £240." | VICE, UK

Major operation ends after drug dealer sentenced

A major police operation into drug dealing across the south of England has ended after a prisoner extradited from Thailand was sentenced | BBC, UK

Drug dealers 'delivered crack cocaine to mental health hospital'

Drug dealers delivered crack cocaine to vulnerable patients at a mental health hospital, the BBC has been told | BBC, UK

 

International news

Harm Reduction Must Go On: Position of European Harm Reduction Networks on COVID-19

The Correlation European Harm Reduction Network and the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association published a joint position on the continuity of harm reduction services during the COVID-19 crisis | Drug Reporter, Hungary

Syringe Services and Harm Reduction Provider Operations During the COVID-19 Outbreak (PDF)

COVID-19, an illness caused by a newly identified type of coronavirus, can cause a respiratory infection and lead to health problems. It’s usually mild and most people recover quickly if they have it, but it can be very serious for people with stressed immune systems or underlying conditions or older adults, so it’s important to stay informed | Harm Reduction Coalition, USA

Safer Drug Use During the COVID-19 Outbreak (PDF)

COVID-19, an illness caused by a newly identified type of coronavirus, can cause a respiratory infection and lead to health problems. It’s usually mild and most people recover quickly if they have it, but it can be very serious for people with stressed immune systems or underlying conditions or older adults, so it’s important to stay informed | Harm Reduction Coalition, USA

Supervised Drug Use Will Move Online Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

One man bought enough weed to roll 3,500 joints while an Airbnb host has started a grow-op to make up for lost bookings due to COVID-19 | VICE, USA

Sobering new data on drinking and driving: 15% of US alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities involve alcohol under the legal limit

A new study found that motor vehicle crashes involving drivers with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) below the legal limit of 0.08 percent accounted for 15% of alcohol-involved crash deaths in the United States. Of these deaths, 55% of fatalities were individuals other than the drinking driver, and these crashes were more likely to result in youth fatalities compared with crashes above the legal BAC limit | Science Daily, USA

COVID-19 (coronavirus) sector updates

The Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association (VAADA) is aware and monitoring the COVID-19 virus (coronavirus) spreading throughout Australia and globally | Vaada, Australia

Pharmacological Treatment of Methamphetamine/Amphetamine Dependence: A Systematic Review

No pharmacotherapy yielded convincing results for the treatment of AMPH/MA dependence; mostly studies were underpowered and had low treatment completion rates. However, there were positive signals from several agents that warrant further investigation in larger scale studies; agonist therapies show promise | Springer Open, Australia

 

Blogs, comment and opinion

Covid-19: The role of smoking cessation during respiratory virus epidemics

So far, public health efforts have tended to emphasise key health behaviours such as covering one’s mouth when coughing, hand washing, social distancing, and reduced hand-to-hand contact. However, the role of tobacco smoking in the spread and exacerbation of covid-19 has received little attention to-date | BMJ opinion, UK

Coronavirus: top tips on alcohol and mental health

This is a stressful time for lots of us in the UK and around the world, and in times of stress we can find ourselves drinking more often or more heavily | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

Sobriety bracelets: The new ‘must have’ criminal justice accessory?

Dr Laura Bainbridge discusses the implications of UK politicians tagging on to the South Dakota model of enforced sobriety | IAS blog, UK

Psychedelics in Palliative Care

Drugs that foster feelings of uplift and connection can be therapeutic for many conditions in many phases of life | Scientific American opinion, USA

 

 

 

 

And finally...

Coronavirus kindness: Pub delivers beer barrel to regular punter

A pub landlord who closed his doors to comply with social distancing measures has delivered a barrel of beer to one of his regulars | BBC, UK