Daily news - 1st May 2020

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Coronavirus frequently updated resources

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

COVID-19 Information Hub | Scottish Drugs Forum

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

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

COVID-19 resources page for people who use drugs (PWUD) and drug service providers | EMCDDA


UK news

Update on new legislation relating to controlled drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic

Three temporary emergency measures have been introduced by the UK Government into legislation (The Misuse of Drugs (Coronavirus) (Amendments Relating to the Supply of Controlled Drugs During a Pandemic etc.) Regulations 2020) | General Pharmaceutical Council, UK

The Misuse of Drugs (Coronavirus) (Amendments Relating to the Supply of Controlled Drugs During a Pandemic etc.) Regulations 2020

On April 29th, the Government is laying the Misuse of Drugs (Coronavirus) (Amendments Relating to the Supply of Controlled Drugs During a Pandemic etc.) Regulations 2020 (‘the 2020 Regulations’) in the House. These regulations enable emergency supply of controlled drugs during a pandemic and will come into force on 30 April 2020 | They work for you, UK

Coronavirus: Home secretary urged to do more to relax drug rules to help ease end-of-life suffering

On Tuesday the health secretary, Matt Hancock, announced staff in care homes and hospices would be allowed to “re-use” controlled drugs such as morphine and midazolam, with medication prescribed for one patient used for another where there is an immediate need. But the Home Office today confirmed to The Independent that it had no plans to extend the rules to the care of patients in their own homes | Independent, UK

Drug Deaths Taskforce research programme 2020: call for proposals

We are seeking research proposals to contribute to the evidence base on interventions to reduce drug-related deaths and overdose, the experience of people who are most at risk and the services which support them | Scottish Government, UK

Cannabis: Imports

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the processing time of Letters of Declaration for the import of cannabis-based products for medicinal use by the Drugs and Firearms Licensing Unit; what steps she is taking to tackle delays in that processing | They work for you, UK

Why Welsh doctors claim nicotine patches could be used for treating coronavirus

They claim it could help block Covid-19 from attacking human cells | Wales Online, UK

Tory plan for early morning booze shopping during pandemic criticised by health groups

The Scottish Conservatives believe easing the 10am law would benefit NHS staff and pensioners | Daily Record, UK

What could social distancing in post-pandemic pubs look like?

From potential city-wide open-air café bars to limited capacity and table-service only – how are pubs and bars across the globe planning to reopen under social distancing measures? | Morning Advertiser, UK

Resolv VSA newsletter

Latest news and views from the agency includeing anecdotal news that during lockdown some people are reverting to butane and other volatile substances | Resolv, UK

Hepatitis Scotland e-Bulletin

The Hepatitis Scotland e-Bulletin has previously highlighted a range of lifestyle-related areas that contribute to, or impact on, health outcomes. In times of significant worry about personal health and the impact on health decisions due to isolation, we would like to highlight some key areas which may be protective of the physical health of people affected by hepatitis C | Hepatitis Scotland, UK

Two pizzas and a spliff please: Interpol warns of lockdown drug deliveries

Common sight of food couriers on streets providing ‘perfect cover’ for home drug deliveries | Guardian, UK

Gambling Commission directs £9m to boost resilience of gambling harm treatment services during Covid-19

Millions of pounds paid by gambling operators for their regulatory failings is to be used to help charities, that provide treatment and support for people experiencing gambling harm, during the Covid-19 crisis | Gambling Commission, UK


International news

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 30 April 2020

How can substance use disorders be prevented, assessed, and managed in older people? The government department for health policy in Canada funded a set of four guidelines, tasking experts to agree how clinicians should respond to problems with alcohol, benzodiazepines, cannabis, and opioids in this neglected segment of the population | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Former police chief of Honduras accused of trafficking drugs to US

US prosecutors allege ‘El Tigre’ trafficked cocaine on behalf of Honduran president | Guardian, UK

Pubs want to reopen like restaurants - but not with alcohol cap

Pubs want to reopen at the same time as restaurants - but would 'reserve their position' if that meant restrictions on serving alcoholic drinks | Independent, Ireland

HSE spent extra €700k helping people quit smoking last year

According to freedom of information figures, it’s an increase of more than €700k on the bill for 2018 | Irish Examiner, Ireland

EMCDDA preparedness and response to a fast-moving drugs problem

Revolutionary changes, both in the extent and nature of the drugs problem, and in the world in which we live, have called for constant reflection, innovation and agility to keep pace with new developments and rethink existing routines. This is why the EMCDDA has adopted a multi-indicator approach to monitoring in its response to a fast-moving drugs problem | EMCDDA, Portugal

Europe flooded with cocaine despite coronavirus trade disruptions

Latin American drug lords have sent bumper shipments of cocaine to Europe in recent weeks, including one in a cargo of squid, even though the coronavirus epidemic has stifled legitimate transatlantic trade, senior anti-narcotics officials say | Reuters, USA

NYC Begins Home Methadone Deliveries. Will It Have Lasting Impact on the Rules?

On April 29, New York City started delivering methadone to patients isolated at home due to the coronavirus. The courier system was rolled out last week, as Filter reported, with deliveries to patients in Isolation Hotels | Filter Magazine, USA

USA sees online alcohol sales rise five-fold

Online sales of alcohol in the US have risen almost five-fold this month compared to the same period last year, as consumers who frequently drank in bars and restaurants embrace e-commerce during the coronavirus lockdown, according to Nielsen | The Drinks Business, USA

Safety of low dose cannabidiol (PDF)

Cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid derived from the Cannabis plant, is being supplied as a medicine in Australia, but often as a component of oils and extracts of cannabis. A purified product has recently been approved for treatment of certain paediatric epilepsies in the US and is under regulatory evaluation in Australia as a registered medicine | Australian Government, Australia

Australian study finds vehicle crashes are a common factor in cannabis deaths

Motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of cannabis-related deaths in Australia, and mixing marijuana with other drugs or alcohol contributes to most of these | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

Govt reveals final cannabis legislation to be voted on in referendum

Even if New Zealanders vote to legalise cannabis in this year's planned referendum, they will not be allowed to purchase edible products right away | RNZ, New Zealand

Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: World-leading public health law

The Government today released the full and final Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill that New Zealanders will be voting for at the referendum on 19 September | NZDF, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

COVID-19 surveys on substance misuse and related issues

A number of organisations have issued surveys to gather information from across different support services and individuals to assess the impact of COVID-19. We have listed some of the surveys relevant to the substance misuse sector below, and will continue to update this list as other surveys are launched | Collective Voice blog, UK

Sharon Cox: How are we assisting our most disadvantaged during Covid-19?

New collaborations between drug and alcohol services and homeless charities provide some hope, says Sharon Cox | BMJ Opinion, UK

The Importance of Quality Control on Cannabis Related Products

In this interview, Joshua Crossney talks to News-Medical Life Sciences about the recent advancements in the Cannabis industry and why quality analysis and quality control are more important now than ever for cannabis medicinal products | News Medical, USA

How Evergreen, Vancouver’s First Legal Cannabis Store, is Coping with Coronavirus

Vancouver is the epicentre of Canadian marijuana culture. It’s also the city where drug user activism is most visible, and where Canada’s first legal safe consumption site opened. Points checked in with Mike Babins, proprietor of Evergreen, Vancouver’s first legal cannabis store, to see how he, his staff, and his clients were handling this extraordinary situation | Points blog, USA

I'm Sick of Pretending: I Don't 'Get' Weed

After 15 years trying to like it, I'm ready to admit I hate it | VICE, Australia