Daily news - 26th March 2020

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UK news

Cabinet Office issues guidance on public procurement

The government has issued two policy notes on public procurement during the COVID-19 crisis that are highly relevant to substance misuse services. The guidance sets out important measures that can be taken by commissioning authorities to ensure vital services can continue without interruption, or be postponed where appropriate | Collective Voice, UK

COVID-19: Statements from the sector

Links to statements from those operating in the sector such as treatment services | Collective Voice, UK

COVID-19 – Information flyer for people who inject drugs

An information flyer has been designed which contains advice for people who inject drugs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak | SDF, UK

Risks from coronavirus (COVID-19) - advice to smokers from Dr Nick Hopkinson - video

With medical experts increasingly advising people who smoke that they may face increased risks from the coronavirus (COVID-19), Dr Nick Hopkinson gives his advice for smokers to quit as soon as they possibly can | NHS, UK

Off-licences added to essential businesses list by UK government

Other shops that sell alcohol, including within breweries, can stay open during Covid-19 crisis | Guardian, UK

Coronavirus: Pubs holding lock-ins risk losing licences

Pubs that flout government instructions to close during the coronavirus pandemic risk losing their licences, a police chief has warned | BBC, UK

New Hepatitis C cases down by almost 70 per cent in HIV positive men

New cases of hepatitis C amongst HIV positive men in London and Brighton have fallen by nearly 70 per cent in recent years | Imperial College London, UK

Prescribing heroin: John Marks, the Merseyside clinics, and lessons from history

[Open access] The prescribing of heroin has a long and contentious history as a method for treating people with heroin problems. This paper revisits a controversial ‘experiment’ with heroin prescribing in Northwest England between 1982 and 1995, led by the psychiatrist Dr. John Marks | IJDP, UK

SSA tea-break videos: Contingency management

Over the next few weeks we will regularly post videos from addiction conferences in 2019. Many of you now working from home will be missing those conversations that happen by chance in kitchens, stairwells or over coffee, where you get a glimpse into other people’s research. These conversations help us feel connected to the wider addiction research community and can provide welcome new perspectives on our own research | SSA, UK



International news

EMCDDA publishes update on the implications of COVID-19 for people who use drugs and for drug service providers

What specific risks are people who use drugs (PWUD) likely to face during the COVID-19 pandemic? What services will they need? How will professionals working with this group need to adapt on the frontline? These are among the questions raised in a new EMCDDA update published today | EMCDDA, Portugal

COVID-19 and people who use drugs

The situation regarding responses to the COVID-19 outbreak is rapidly evolving. Up-to-date information can be found in the guidelines prepared by national public health sources and the regular updates from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) | EMCDDA, Portugal

Halt on French local authority's alcohol ban during lockdown

The Préfet of the Aisne département in north east France on Monday announced that the sale of all alcohol to be consumed off the premises was banned during the coronavirus lockdown | The Local, France

Guidance for PeopleWho Use Substances on COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

Be aware that some early symptoms of withdrawal and COVID-19 infection aresimilar. These include fever and muscle soreness. If symptoms include apersistent cough, it could be COVID-19 | Yale University, USA

'A crisis within a crisis': Addicts at risk as drug support groups close, adapt

Coronavirus is forcing support groups for millions of addicts around the world to shut, leaving many to struggle alone at a time of isolation and anxiety and heightening their risk of relapse | Reuters, USA

Incidence and Lethality of Suicidal Overdoses by Drug Class

In this cross-sectional study of state censuses and national samples that included 421 466 medically identified suicidal drug overdoses, the risk that an overdose would be fatal was highest if an opioid or barbiturate was involved. Lethality increased with age, whereas youth overdoses often involved toxins with low lethality | JAMA Open, USA

Accurate and informative labeling of CBD products is a critical public health issue

Despite CBD being a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drug, it is increasingly being added to food, beverages, and nutritional supplements, often with misleading labeling or marketing claims, according to an article published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research... | News Medical, USA

COVID-19 infection likely worse for vapers, smokers

Smokers and vapers who get COVID-19 can probably expect a more severe infection, health experts warn | Medical Xpress, USA

People Who Take Opioid Painkillers Are Getting Screwed Thanks to Coronavirus

Quarantined people have to go out to get their prescriptions and can't get a backup supply | VICE, USA

It Took a Pandemic to Improve Some People’s Access to Opioid Addiction Meds

“I’m great! I’m having so much fun!” Bill Kinkle tells me on the phone | Filter Magazine, USA

What is preventing treatment providers from conducting regular screens for problem gambling? Let's ask them!

Today's review is part of our month-long Special Series on Community Approaches to Addiction. During this Special Series, The BASIS features innovative, community-based addiction interventions that are delivered outside the doctor's office | BASIS, USA

A Canadian Province Doesn’t Want Meth Users at Safe Consumption Sites

In Alberta, Canada, a committee for the provincial Ministry of Health expressed opposition to the province’s legal safe consumption sites (SCS) serving people who use methamphetamine, sparking outrage among harm reductionists | Filter Magazine, USA

Supervised injection sites short protective equipment amid outbreak

‘That’s a big problem because they’re right there on the front line,’ says Denise Brooks, executive director of Hamilton Urban Core Community Health Centre | Hamilton Spectator, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Supporting you through the coronavirus pandemic

Collective Voice will be doing everything it can over the coming weeks and months to support the sector at this challenging time. We know that you’re facing unprecedented pressures and will have major concerns about how to keep services running, provide proper care and look after your hard-working teams | Collective Voice blog, UK

Drug-Related Violence In The UK

This is the fourth in a series of posts based on perhaps the most important drug-related report of the current century, Dame Carol Black’s Review of Drugs . Today’s post looks at the section from that report dedicated to drug-related violence within the UK | Russell Webster, UK

Want to Know if a New Drug Crisis Is Growing? Check the Wastewater

Few people foresaw how quickly fentanyl would displace heroin, doubling or tripling opioid overdose deaths in some pockets of the United States from 2013 to 2017. But we could have been warned—if only we'd checked our wastewater | RAND blog, UK