Daily news - 11th May 2020

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Coronavirus frequently updated resources

NEW: COVID-19 and addiction: webinars, podcasts and online discussions | SSA

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

Why you might be drinking too much during lockdown

Confined to our homes with little else to do, it is tempting to turn to the bottle for entertainment, but rather than making us feel better, it may be doing us harm | BBC Future, UK

Fears as Government prepares to roll out alternative to methadone

Drug charities have said they will be closely monitoring plans announced by the Scottish Government to switch some methadone users in prisons on to a weekly or monthly alternative, after raising concerns with officials | National, UK

Alcohol industry searches for spirited recovery

Pubs and restaurants will look to China as an indication of how they might operate in the future – if they survive lockdown | Telegraph, UK

Carmarthen cannabis farm worth £100,000 found

The farm in Picton Place was found on Monday and included 100 "fully matured" plants, Dyfed-Powys Police said | BBC, UK


International news

Welcome to #GFN20

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to meet in person. Yet this is a critical time in nicotine science, policy and tobacco harm reduction. We did not want to miss the opportunity GFN gives us to share the latest research, discuss ideas and solutions, and spark debate.  We are therefore bringing you an alternative, online GFN20, free to access and open to all | GFN, UK

Gangs take bigger risks to smuggle drugs into lockdown Britain

Consignments are being moved in bulk across borders as Covid-19 cuts off normal routes, say police | Guardian, UK

Coronavirus creates problems and opportunities for world's drug traffickers

United Nations report finds that price of narcotics has gone up after smuggling routes disrupted by COVID-19 lockdowns | Telegraph, UK

Man charged after cocaine seized from fake medical supplies van

Cocaine worth more than £25m has been seized from a vehicle claiming to be taking medical supplies to a hospital | BBC, UK

The Russian Federation Leads the Charge Against Legally Regulated Markets for Non-Medical Adult Use - video

Video Explainer: The Russian Federation Leads the Charge Against Legally Regulated Markets for Non-Medical Adult Use | GDPO, UK

How Stigma Created Japan’s Hidden Drug Problem

There's extreme social shame around doing drugs, and yet the underground drug scene is thriving in Tokyo | VICE, UK

COVID-19 is changing the route of illicit drug flows, says UNODC report

Measures implemented by governments to curb the COVID-19 pandemic have led to drug trafficking routes by air being disrupted, along with drastic reduction or increased interdiction in trafficking routes over land. Some drug supply chains have been interrupted and traffickers are looking for alternative routes, including maritime routes, depending on the types of drugs smuggled. These are some of the findings from a report on drug market trends during COVID-19, launched today by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime | UNODC, Austria

A possible way to silence alcohol-related memory cues to prevent relapse in alcoholics

A team of researchers at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, has found a possible way to silence alcohol-related memory cues to prevent relapse in alcoholics. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes their experiments with alcohol and test mice and what they learned from them | Medical Xpress, USA

The History of Inhalant Use in Mexico City, 1960–1980

This essay introduces the primary consumers and drugs of Mexico City’s drug culture between 1960 and 1980: children and industrial chemicals | The Social History of Alcohol and Drugs, UK

Police had 'no idea' about strip search laws, watchdog finds

The NSW police watchdog has found officers who unlawfully strip searched children at music festivals, an Aboriginal boy on the street, and other victims of illegal procedures, didn't understand the law and lacked the training to abide by it | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

NSW Police watchdog finds strip searches of four teenagers at music festivals were 'unlawful'

A police strip search which left a 16-year-old girl "completely humiliated" at a Byron Bay music festival was unlawful, the NSW Police watchdog has found | abc.net.au, Australia




Blogs, comment and opinion

Coronavirus is exacerbating inequality, even among drug users as supplies dry up

These supply and demand changes have a very real impact on individuals and those around them | Independent, UK

The two faces of the tobacco industry during the COVID-19 pandemic

Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020, the world’s major tobacco companies have geared their CSR efforts to present themselves as allies of public health in the fight against the virus | BMJ, UK

Decriminalization Doesn’t End the Drug War: A Talk with DanceSafe’s Mitchell Gomez

Mitchell Gomez is the executive director of DanceSafe, a peer-based, harm reduction nonprofit organization that promotes health and safety within the electronic music community | Lucid News, USA

How People Find Pot: A Global Perspective

Today’s post comes from contributing editor Dr. Stefano Tijerina, a lecturer in management and Chris Kobrack Research Fellow in Canandian Business History at the University’s of Maine’s Business School. He continues our exploration of drugs under quarantine, exploring how the marijuana market functions in the US and abroad during a global pandemic | Points blog, USA

Michelle Dickinson: How will we measure cannabis intoxication if legalised?

The number of countries that have changed their laws around marijuana for medicinal and recreational use is growing. New Zealand is about to enter this debate with a referendum on the legalisation of the drug | NZHerald, New Zealand