Daily news - 6th 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

People more likely to choose a non-alcoholic drink when availability is greater

People are more likely to choose non-alcoholic drinks if more of those drinks are available than alcoholic alternatives, a University of Bristol-led online experiment published today [6 May] in BMC Public Health has shown. These results could pave the way for increasing the availability of non-alcoholic options in pub and bars | University of Bristol, UK

Lord Advocate gives reassurance that naloxone supply can expand

On Sunday at a media briefing in Edinburgh, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman announced that “the Lord Advocate has confirmed that – for the duration of this crisis – it would not be in the public interest to prosecute any individual – working for a service registered with the Scottish Government – who supplies naloxone in an emergency, to save a life” | SDF, UK

Introducing SURE Recovery - video

A short introduction to the SURE Recovery app including different ways to use it | KCL, UK

Don’t tell me what to do!

Focus is on the section of last week’s matrix cell release which explored probably the most well-evidenced way clinicians and counsellors can obstruct the progress of substance use patients: directing through advice and warnings | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Smokers: are you smoking more or less during the coronavirus outbreak?

We would like to hear from smokers about their tobacco consumption during the pandemic | Guardian, UK

Cumbrian drug and alcohol charity offers new helpline for people 'in crisis'

A Cumbrian charity which helps those fighting drug and alcohol addiction has set up a new helpline to ensure people who need their support can still access it during the lockdown | ITV, UK

Coronavirus: Spirits firm turns to hand sanitisers after sales evaporate

The British Honey Company has made £500,000 from sales of its alcohol sanitiser since its end-of-March launch | BBC, UK


International news

Legalising cannabis: what will New Zealanders be asked to vote on in September?

More than 50% of voters must say yes to the proposed changes for parliament to consider the changes | Guardian, UK

Do you use street tablets? (PDF)

This factsheet is part of the Ana Liffey Drug Project’s ‘Do you use street tablets?’ campaign. It is aimed at people who use street tablets and those who provide drug, or other support services, to people who use street tablets. It has been produced with the support of North Inner City Drug and Alcohol Task Force and is aimed in particular at Dublin’s North Inner City | Ana Liffey Drug Project, Ireland

Increase in darknet market activity for cannabis as users stock up for lockdown

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted on our daily lives, including our behaviour as consumers. Just as we have seen online shopping for other goods increase during lockdowns, will we see a similar shift when it comes to illicit drugs? | EMCDDA, Portugal

EMCDDA special report: COVID-19 and drugs – Drug supply via darknet markets

This report is a rapid and preliminary analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on selected online markets. Three relatively large darknet markets were reviewed for the purposes of this study, selected because of their importance to the EU market and because they could be accessed to provide information necessary to comment on activity levels | EMCDDA, Portugal

Boosters – (Not so) New Drugs in Poland

The members of Drugreporter’s video advocacy network produced a movie about the new generation of synthetic drugs that conquered Poland in 2008 – and are still popular | Drug Reporter, Hungary

Coronavirus drug survey

The aim of the study is to determine how the consumption of psychoactive substances has changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (“corona crisis”). In the Corona Drug Survey (CDS), we investigate how the current situation affects the subjective experience and use of psychoactive substances. We also want to find out whether there are differences between substances | University of Berlin, Germany

Genetic study ties higher alcohol consumption to increased stroke and PAD risk

Using genetic analysis, researchers found higher alcohol consumption increased risks for stroke and peripheral artery disease (PAD). Studies using genetic analysis don't rely on observational data, which often use self-reported data and could be subject to unreported risk factors | Science Daily, USA

Financial incentives boost doctor training in opioid treatment medication

A new study shows that a financial incentive can dramatically increase the number of emergency department physicians trained to prescribe a potentially life-saving medication that prevents patients from fatal opioid overdose | Medical Xpress, USA

Laws that punish pregnant drug abusers aren't working, new study finds

A new study co-authored by a University of Central Florida researcher shows that laws that punish substance use during pregnancy actually do more harm than good | Medical Xpress, USA

Researchers develop chemistry needed to create marijuana breathalyzer

Chemists report the key chemical discovery necessary for the creation of a small, electronic marijuana breathalyzer | Science Daily, USA

Inside the mind of a teenager: Misconceptions of the nicotine strength in JUULs among high school students

This week, ASHES reviews an article by Meghan Morean and her colleagues looking at teenagers' beliefs regarding the strength of nicotine in JUULs, before and after learning information about the actual nicotine content of JUULs | BASIS, USA

“Disturbing”—Cannabis Policing Meets Social Distancing Enforcement

On May 2, photos of New Yorkers congregating in some of the most affluent neighborhoods and parks in the city were uploaded online. Meanwhile, images of two cannabis policing incidents by the New York Police Department that put on full display the drug war’s counter-productivity and brutality sparked outrage on Twitter | Filter Magazine, USA

Canada’s Safe-Supply Vending Machines Project Is Even More Important Now

Due to the drastic increase in opioid–involved overdoses, British Columbia declared a public health emergency in 2016. Fentanyl was in town, contributing to thousands of deaths. The nationwide overdose crisis killed about 11 Canadians a day between January 2016 and September 2019 | Filter Magazine, USA

Vaping among Canadian teens doubles in 2 years, new research shows

Higher nicotine content in Canada compared with U.K. is blamed for rising use | CBC News, Canada

'Not convinced': CBD e-cigarette ban to be put to public

Opponents and proponents of vaping will have a chance to lobby Melbourne City Council before it decides whether to ban e-cigarettes from smoke-free areas | Age, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

The Provision of Needle and Syringe Programmes During the Covid-19 Lockdown

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many services are unable to operate at full capacity and pharmacies are facing unprecedented demand. Service users need the most basic of harm reduction services more than ever. Across NHS SMPA we are striving to support our service users by providing needle and syringe programmes in a number of innovative ways | NHSSMPA blog, UK

GDS Corona Conversations - with Kirsten Horsburgh from Scottish Drugs Forum - video

Kirsten Horsburgh is the National Naloxone Coordinator for Scottish Drugs Forum. She is an expert in preventing drug-related deaths. Based in Glasgow Kristen talks about how Scotland has responded to Covid-19 and describes innovative practice including postal naloxone and e-learning for saving lives | Global Drug Survey, UK

‘Lessons to be learned from the past’

From Spanish Flu to world wars, nothing has affected the great British pub as much as Covid-19 but is there something to be learned from how the trade coped during previous setbacks? | Morning Advertiser, UK

Redesigning Addiction and Recovery Services in a COVID-19 World

It is abundantly clear that COVID-19 will result in fundamental changes in how societies around the world function. We can all sense this demarcation of a fundamental change in our own lives and communities. It will take years to fully understand all of the ramifications of how this will impact our lives and all of our societal institutions, but it is not too early to consider what this crisis can teach us the importance of addressing substance use in a comprehensive, long term, recovery focused model | Recovery Review blog, USA

Blaming Black Vice

A week and a half ago, we noted that 40,000 Americans had died from COVID-19. Now that number is over 70,000. It’s a frightening time, but we’re trying to record history as it happens. Today contributing editor Dr. David A. Guba, Jr., of Bard Early College in Baltimore, discusses the long history of blaming alcohol and drug use–vice–on minority communities in times of crisis | Points blog, USA