Daily news - 27th March 2020

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UK news

Coronavirus advice

Updated. 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

New Guidance for COVID-19 and people with alcohol related problems (PDF)

SHAAP has today issued new recommendations for services supporting people with alcohol-related problems, including ADPs, Commissioners, Alcohol Service Managers, Community Services and Mutual Aid and Support Groups, to enable them to reduce risks and ensure continued support in the COVID-19 context | SHAAP, UK

Heroin injection associated with respiratory disorder

A single case study of an individual with longstanding heroin addiction has shown heroin-induced slow and ineffective breathing, as well as apnoea, in research from the NIHR Maudsley BRC | KCL, UK

Coronavirus: Doctors call for lower speed limits and higher alcohol prices to reduce strain on NHS

Open letter suggests ways to reduce demand for emergency services | Independent, UK

Standard Operating Procedure for using evidence in ACMD reports

A document developed by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to outline the governing process for preparing evidence-based advice | ACMD, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Labelling

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he is taking steps to ensure that labels on alcoholic drinks inform consumers of the Chief Medical Officer's advice not to drink more than 14 units a week | They work for you, UK

Six evacuated after Stirchley 'cannabis factory' fire

West Midlands Fire Service was called to the Pershore Road in Stirchley, Birmingham, in the early hours of Thursday after the fire started in a flat above a restaurant | BBC, UK


International news

Alcohol is ‘unhelpful coping strategy’ for coronavirus lockdown, WHO says

Expert fears shift to home drinking may fuel increases in violence, fires and dependence | Independent, UK

US indicts Nicolás Maduro and other top Venezuelan leaders for drug trafficking

The US has charged the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, and 14 members of his inner circle with drug trafficking, “narco-terrorism”, corruption and money laundering, and offered a $15m reward for information leading to Maduro’s capture and prosecution | Guardian, UK

Mayor causes uproar as cannabis pen spotted on her counter in coronavirus tweet

'Hey I think it's cool you have a weed pen. Everyone should have if they want. Not cool that you arrest people for it' | Independent, UK

COVID-19 prevention and control among people who use drugs

All people have the right to health, even in countries under lockdown or where a state of emergency has been declared. This includes access to life-saving HIV harm reduction services and programmes in the community, as well as health care services in prisons | UNODC, Switzerland

No exceptions with COVID-19: “Everyone has the right to life-saving interventions” – UN experts say

The COVID-19 crisis cannot be solved with public health and emergency measures only; all other human rights must be addressed too, UN human rights experts* said today | OHCHR, Switzerland

Coronavirus Has Closed Vape Shops, but Left Cigarettes Readily Available

Owners of vape shops argue that their stores are just as "essential" as the businesses that sell cigarettes | VICE, UK

You're Socially Isolating. Is Now a Good Time to Trip on Psychedelics?

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many people at home, alone. Psychedelics are one way to travel without going anywhere | VICE, USA

A New Jersey Drug Market Falls Silent Amid the Pandemic

There’s an eerie calm as I step off the bus on the corner of Broadway and Straight in Paterson, New Jersey. Just a couple of weeks ago, the drug market at this intersection, where I copped drugs myself in the past, was in robust health | Filter Magazine, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

How coronavirus is changing the market for illegal drugs

The illicit drug market in the UK turns over more than £10 billion tax-free a year. Unlike the wider economy, we have limited intelligence about how it operates. But like the wider economy, it is certainly not immune to the disruption being caused by the COVID-19 virus | Conversation, UK

Without managed release of prisoners, UK prisons will become a coronavirus death trap

Extraordinary measures are being taken by the UK government to tackle Covid-19 which, by its own admission, would not normally be expected outside of wartime. As the Chancellor of the Exchequer has acknowledged, ‘this is not a time for ideology and orthodoxy’. Emergency measures are rightly being taken to prioritise protecting health and saving lives | Transform blog, UK

UKCIA blog - Cannabis use and covid

The Covid-19 virus is certainly bringing some changes to the way we live and some of these changes are things we’ll just have to get used to. Welcome to the new normal. What does this all mean for the way people consume cannabis? | UKCIA, UK

COVID-19 and Homelessness

Helping services in the homelessness sector respond during the pandemic | Homeless link, UK

Regulating Vaping — Policies, Possibilities, and Perils

Federal and state governments have implemented numerous policies to combat the growth of vaping | NEJM, USA

Coronavirus: it’s tempting to drink your worries away but there are healthier ways to manage stress and keep your drinking in check

Bottle shops remain on the list of essential services allowed to stay open and Australians are stocking up on alcohol | Conversation, Australia