Daily news - 19th 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

COVID-19: guidance for commissioners and providers of services for people who use drugs or alcohol

Updated information on symptoms | PHE, UK

Coronavirus: Alcoholics Anonymous sees rise in lockdown calls

Alcoholics Anonymous said there has been a 300% increase in enquiries, and it is providing addicts with video call meetings and remote one-on-one support | BBC, UK

Alcohol-fuelled crime offenders may have to wear ‘sobriety tags’

Offenders who commit “alcohol-fuelled” crimes can be required to wear “sobriety tags” and banned from drinking under legislation that comes into force in England and Wales on Tuesday | Guardian, UK

Coronavirus: Can nicotine replacement products help combat Covid-19?

The three hospital consultants had already written in the British Medical Journal for investigations to be "urgently considered" to see if patches can help the body stop Covid-19 | BBC, UK

Responding to mental health and isolation in the pandemic - SDF COVID-19 Webinar - video

SDF's fourth free COVID-19 webinar focused on mental health among people who use substances during the pandemic | SDF, UK

Prenatal alcohol exposure and risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in offspring: A retrospective analysis of the millennium cohort study

To investigate the relationship between prenatal maternal alcohol consumption and the risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ) score and abnormal hyperactivity score in seven-year-old children | Science Direct, UK

Coronavirus: Is this the pub of the future for enjoying a post-lockdown pint?

The revamped layout, guided by social distancing rules, sees the reinvention of the snug with tables separated by glazed screens | Sky News, UK

Donated Hand Gel

Reacting to the high demand for hand sanitiser, an artisan distillery in Bristol has been making and distributing free home-made sanitiser for charities and organisations supporting vulnerable people during lockdown | BDP, UK

Health behaviours during the Covid pandemic - survey

We want to understand physical activity and diet, as well as the use and changes to the use of tobacco (e.g. cigarettes), nicotine (e.g. e-cigarettes) and alcohol consumption during the coronavirus  pandemic (Covid-19). We also want to understand how we could create or provide support that may help people to make changes to their behaviours and therefore their health | UCL, UK

Bournemouth drug dealer given community order for gang role

A man who sold heroin and cocaine to local addicts as his part in a "highly organised" drug-dealing gang has been given a 12-month community order | BBC, UK

Paddleboarder swims to fetch drugs bags for police

A paddleboarder has been commended by police for swimming in the sea to help them retrieve some suspected cannabis | BBC, UK


International news

The war on drugs is a war on human rights

One of the most appalling aspects of the war on drugs is that it can legitimise not just human rights abuses, but a complete rejection of human rights as a principle. The degree to which this perverse reality has been normalised was made clear in a recent statement by the Cambodian Ministry of the Interior, responding to a new report from Amnesty International | Talking Drugs, UK

South-east Asia's biggest synthetic drugs raid: 200m meth tablets found in Myanmar

Thousands of litres of methyl fentanyl point to ‘unprecedented’ production of opioids in so-called Golden Triangle area | Guardian, UK

Retention of patients in opioid substitution treatment: A systematic review

Retention in opioid substitution (OST) treatment is associated with substantial reductions in all cause and overdose mortality. This systematic review aims to identify both protective factors supporting retention in OST, and risk factors for treatment dropout | PLOS One, Ireland

EMCDDA webinar: How is COVID-19 shaping the future of drug services in Europe?

This second webinar takes place on 20 May. The webinars will give a voice to key professionals working in the drugs field and will allow for discussion on emerging challenges. The sessions, chaired by EMCDDA staff members, are open to EMCDDA employees, the Reitox network and professionals working in the domain | EMCDDA, Portugal

CND decision on international control of two fentanyl analogues enters into force - remaining decisions will enter into force in November 2020

The decision adopted by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) during its 63nd Session from 2 to 6 March 2020 to add Crotonylfentanyl and Valerylfentanyl to Schedule I of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, was communicated by the Secretary-General on 7th of May 2020 to all States Members of the United Nations... | UNODC, Austria

Drug-User Groups Innovate to Reduce the Risks of Using While Isolated

As COVID-19 continues to paralyze much of the world, people who use drugs wrestle with a collision of public health emergencies. Combining the overdose crisis, HIV and hepatitis C epidemics, chronic homelessness and mass incarceration with social distancing rules has created an especially noxious syndemic | Filter Magazine, USA

Indiana Syringe Exchange May Shut Down Next Month Amid Prosecutor’s Opposition

Asyringe exchange in Wayne County, Indiana could close in June if lawmakers don’t renew the program. Although local health officials are pushing to keep it open and say it’s doing its job well, the local prosecutor claims it fuels illegal activity and syringe litter | Filter Magazine, USA

Canada Quietly Lifts Ban on Peer Injection Assistance at Safe Consumption Sites

On March 1, the Canadian harm reduction movement enjoyed a quiet win. Health Canada, the country’s national health agency, permitted all safe consumption sites (SCS, also known as overdose prevention sites) in the country to consider supporting peer injection assistance | Filter Magazine, USA

Revive. A fatal overdose, a stunning coincidence, and a mother’s long quest to heal

The phone rang, piercing the lonely quiet of Joy Fishman’s Manhattan apartment. It was October 2003, and Joy was watching TV and waiting for her husband to come home. She glanced at the caller ID. 305. Miami-Dade County. Her heart raced. At this hour, after 9 p.m. on a Tuesday, it had to be about her son, Jonathan | Atavist, USA

Rona Ambrose, Canada's former health minister, joins e-cigarette company Juul's board of directors

In 2014, Ambrose urged Canadians not to use e-cigarettes until more studies were done | CBC News, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

It’s time to admit it: Drug dealers should be considered essential workers

If there’s one thing living in and writing about the dope game for over a decade has taught me, it’s that the ‘cure’ we now have for addiction is worse than the disease | Independent voices, UK

Mental Health Awareness Week: mental health and alcohol

Managing your drinking is a key part of looking after your mental health, so for this year's Mental Health Awareness Week we've brought together stories, tips and information about alcohol and mental health | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

A mountain of opportunity

Mel Brain, Head of Housing Strategy & Partnerships Cornwall Council, outlines the steps taken within Cornwall to provide accommodation for rough sleepers during the crisis and the opportunity to implement lasting system change | MEAM blog, UK

Confronting the coronavirus: South Africa’s response

It seems the South African Government, now more than ever, is willing to consider a re-evaluation of the liquor regulatory environment | IAS blog, UK