Daily news - 31st March 2020

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Coronavirus frequently updated resources

Treatment and recovery services – and COVID-19 |Collective Voice

Society for the Study of Addiction useful coronavirus links | SSA

DDN coronavirus advice links |DDN

COVID-19 and smoking: resources, research and news | BMJ

Coronavirus: information and advice hub - alcohol | Alcohol Change UK




UK news

COVID-19 & the impact on the drugs market

Release is setting up a network of people across the UK to provide information on what is going on in the drugs market in light of the Coronavirus | Release, UK

Introducing GDS Corona Conversations - video

GDS Corona Conversations is a series of video interviews with experts around the world on how the current COVID19 pandemic is having an effect on people who use drugs. These experts include drug policy analyst, harm reduction workers, frontline health care professionals and of course users themselves | Global Drug Survey, UK

False claim: UK’s National Health Service (NHS) bans alcohol consumption and sales in effort to combat Covid-19

An image shared by UK social media users (example here) claims that a strict ban on the consumption, sale and purchase of alcohol has been issued “with immediate effect” by the UK's National Health Service (NHS). The claim is made in an apparent text statement, entitled “Coronavirus: public information” which carries the HM Government logo and NHS logo at the top. This document is not authentic | Reuters, UK

March 2020. IAS Newsletter

March 2020 edition of Alcohol Alert, the Institute of Alcohol Studies newsletter, covering the latest updates on UK alcohol policy matters | IAS, UK

Screening of zebrafish identifies gene involved in human nicotine addiction

Researchers at Queen Mary University of London have shown that zebrafish can provide genetic clues to smoking, a complex human behaviour | Medical Xpress, UK

Volteface Long Read: An Insight into Drug Testing Facilities in the Netherlands

In the run-up to Lowlands last year, a Dutch festival with a lineup packed full of the likes of Tame Impala, New Order and Live Electronic Godfather Paul Kalkbrenner, Lara Smit visits the Jellinek drug-testing facility in Utrecht with a key question:  Does Government Funded Drug-Testing in the Netherlands Prevent Deaths? | Volte Face, UK



International news

Coronavirus World: Which countries have banned alcohol while in lockdown?

All parts of the UK are now on ’emergency footing’ as the coronavirus outbreak continues to take hold across the world | Metro, UK

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

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

What Happens When You Mix Xanax and Alcohol?

The combo can be relaxing and euphoric. But it can also cause memory loss, disorientation and even seizures | VICE, UK

Timeline: 25 years of monitoring — selected events from the EMCDDA’s international cooperation history

Follow the timeline and take a walk through some of the key moments in the EMCDDA's 25 years of international cooperation | EMCDDA, Portugal

Smoking, vaping and hospitalization for COVID-19

The study presents an analysis of the current smoking prevalence among hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in China, compared to the population smoking prevalence in China (52.1% in males and 2.7% in females). | Qeios, USA

E-cigarettes more effective than counseling alone for smoking cessation

Vaping significantly improved quit rate and reduced number of daily cigarettes at 12 weeks | EurekAlert, USA

The World Pushes Back Against E-Cigarettes and Juul

Facing ire at home, the e-cigarette giant counted on international expansion to offset losses in the U.S., but the regulatory response abroad has been even worse | NYTimes, USA

Saliva test for cannabis could someday help identify impaired drivers (video)

In the U.S., those who consume alcohol and drive are often subjected to roadside stops, breathalyzer tests and stiff penalties if their blood alcohol content exceeds certain limits | EurekAlert, USA

Study sheds light on common adverse reactions to cannabis

Coughing fits, anxiety and paranoia are three of the most common adverse reactions to cannabis, according to a recent study by Washington State University researchers | News Medical, USA

People Are Still Using Cannabis During The Pandemic. How Are They Getting It?

“We’re considered an 'essential service,'” one dealer told BuzzFeed News. “Which is a mixed blessing because I have to pay for my divorce and rent but I’m immunocompromised.” | Buzzfeed, USA

Baltimore Harm Reduction Grapples With the Crisis

Last week, Baltimore City Councilmember Leon Pinkett saw the usual scene surrounding West Baltimore’s Pennsylvania Ave. and North Ave. The underground economy was functioning as usual, with dealing out in the open, the way it has been for decades | Filter Magazine, USA

What Zoom Can Mean for Quarantined Chemsex Participants

University lectures, business meetings and friendships are increasingly being uploaded to the video conferencing platform Zoom amid lockdowns in response to the coronavirus pandemic | Filter Magazine, USA

Nigeria Is Crying Out for Vapes That Smokers Can Afford

To state the obvious, smoking kills. Tobacco smoking is the world’s leading preventable cause of premature death. Here in Nigeria, there are at least 11 million smokers, and despite declining prevalence, a fast-growing population means that the actual number of smokers is on the rise | Filter magazine, USA

COVID-19 Harm Reduction Resources

As two public health crises collide, we’re gathering insight and guidance on best practices for people who use drugs and healthcare providers | CDPC, Canada

National Opioid Pharmacotherapy Statistics Annual Data collection 2019

On a snapshot day in 2019, over 50,000 clients received pharmacotherapy treatment for their opioid dependence at 2,940 dosing points across Australia. There were 3,395 authorised prescribers of opioid pharmacotherapy drugs | AIHW, Australia

More Australians seeking opioid treatments

There has been an 11 per cent increase over the past decade of people seeking pharmacotherapy like methadone treatment, new research shows | Canberra Times, Australia

Life saving overdose-reversing drug still not being accessed

Despite now being available over the counter, take-home naloxone programs designed to be used by potential overdose witnesses to prevent opioid-related harms, are not being bought in increased numbers, according to the authors of research published online today by the Medical Journal of Australia | Medical Xpress, Australia

Pharmacological Treatment of Methamphetamine/Amphetamine Dependence: A Systematic Review

[Open access] We systematically reviewed the peer-reviewed literature via the electronic databases PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL and SCOPUS for randomised controlled trials reported in the English language examining a pharmacological treatment for AMPH/MA dependence or use disorder | Springer Link, Australia

Study finds driverless cars reduce drunk driving, but increase binge drinking

New Curtin research has found the introduction of driverless vehicles on our roads is likely to reduce drink-driving rates but could lead to greater levels of binge drinking | Medical Xpress, Australia

Legal recreational use of marijuana backed by more than half of Kiwis

The majority of people would now vote to legalise recreational cannabis use, a new poll paid for by a medicinal cannabis research company indicates | Stuff, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

It's (virtual) happy hour again

Does alcohol have an essential psychological function during isolation? Emma Davies and James Morris on the arguments | The Psychologist, UK

What it's like to be a recovering alcoholic during coronavirus

[Free registration may be required] Catherine Renton has been sober for over three years. However, life in self-isolation means that she is starting to feel the strain | Telegraph, UK

COVID-19 and smoking: A systematic review of the evidence

Given the gap in the evidence, we conducted a systematic review of studies on COVID-19 that included information on patients’ smoking status to evaluate the association between smoking and COVID-19 outcomes including the severity of the disease, the need for mechanical ventilation, the need for intensive care unit (ICU) hospitalization and death | TID editorial, Greece