Daily news - 28th May 2020

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Coronavirus frequently updated resources

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

NRS Publication Schedule Changes - Deaths by cause in 2019 - delay in publication of statistics

National Records of Scotland (NRS) has had to delay publishing its statistics of the causes of the deaths that were registered in 2019, including the numbers of deaths due to (for example) drugs, alcohol and suicide | National Records of Scotland, UK

Drugs at schools - national trend is bucked in North Yorkshire despite concerns over 'edibles'

More than 2,600 cases involving drugs on school grounds were reported to police in England and Wales between 2016 and 2019, an increase of 27.5 per cent according to data released by police under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act | Northern Echo, UK

FREE WEBINAR: Depot buprenorphine in criminal justice settings

Thursday 28th May at 6pm - 7pm. This webinar will consider challenges and the opportunities related to prescribing depot buprenorphine in criminal justice settings | SMMGP, UK

Drug Science Podcasts

In these podcasts, Professor Nutt explores the actual harms and potential benefits of various drugs, challenging myths surrounding classification and legislation, and exploring the societal impact of poorly informed drug policy | Drug Science, UK

170 kilos of heroin seized by Border Force at Heathrow

More than 170 kilos of heroin has been stopped from being smuggled into the UK by Border Force officers | Home Office, Border Force, National Crime Agency, and Chris Philp MP, UK


International news

Cocaine and Guinea-Bissau: How Africa's 'narco-state' is trying to kick its habit

Concern is mounting that Guinea-Bissau's efforts to stem the flow of drugs to Europe and the US have suffered a setback after a military-backed president took office, writes journalist Ricci Shyrock | BBC, UK

EMCDDA webinar: Prevention of drug-related problems in the time of COVID-19: what can we learn?

4th June, 13.00 -14.00. The EMCDDA is offering a new series of webinars around the theme of COVID-19. The purpose of the webinars is to help those working in the drugs field understand how drug users, and those supporting them, are coping with the pandemic and to share knowledge and experience | EMCDDA, Portugal

Nordic countries struggle with a severe drug overdose problem

Despite the fact that the Nordic countries are often seen as ideal in practically every global ranking of quality of life and social equality, the number of drug-related deaths in these countries are among the highest in Europe | Medical Xpress, USA

Federal Government Approves Methadone Deliveries During Pandemic

New York City launched a methadone delivery program last month so that patients won't have to leave home during the pandemic to get their next dose. Methadone, a highly regulated medication for opioid addiction, has to be taken every day, otherwise patients risk a painful withdrawal | npr, USA

Study suggests nation's health care providers need more education on medical cannabis

As the public's demand for medical cannabis or cannabinoid therapies grows, health care professionals in the United States are ill-prepared to answer their patients' questions... | Medical Xpress, USA

Reducing neighborhood crime: Place management of alcohol outlets

Recent research from the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation and the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health suggests that neighborhood crime may be reduced by enhancing "place management" resources in and around off-premise alcohol sales outlets, particularly at small and independent stores | Medical Xpress, USA

People are buying lots of booze, but global alcohol sales are still tanking

People are buying a lot of booze, but it's not enough to prevent an overall downturn that will take the industry several years to recover | CNN, USA

Get Ready for Pharmaceutical-Grade Magic Mushroom Pills

As magic mushrooms make the shift from recreational drug to mental health treatment, patients won’t be eating caps and stems, but a synthetic product made in a lab—one that can be patented and profited from | VICE, USA

As a Fentanyl User, I Know How Much We Need a Safe Supply

The odor of burning vinegar associated with the transdermal fentanyl patch will probably always be one of my favourite smells. To get the fentanyl from the patch, you need to do a chemical abstraction. Vinegar is not the safest method but I always found it the most effective | Filter Magazine, USA

Painkiller packs cut down to size as opioid crackdown intensifies

The drugs have become household names in Australia: oxycodone, codeine, morphine and tramadol | Age, Australia

Drug driving laws in Australia: What are they and why do they matter?

Laws concerning the detection and sanctioning of drug driving are one of the newest and most contested additions to the drug policy landscape. A thorough understanding of the drug driving laws is important to inform policy debates. This bulletin outlines the drug driving laws as of January 2020 in Australia – the first country to introduce Roadside Drug Testing laws | UNSW, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

GDS Corona Conversations - with Ian Hamilton, Senior Lecturer in Addiction and Mental Health from UK - video

Ian Hamilton is an Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer in Addiction and Mental Health at the University of York, UK. Ian has worked in the field of mental health and addiction for over 20 years. In this extensive interview he asks a simple question ‘why don’t we do assertive reach for people with complex substance use problems like we do in the field of mental health?’ | Global Drug Survey, UK

Embracing New Technology and Social Media to Prevent Homelessness: How COVID-19 is impacting on support workers in the criminal justice system

In this post, Stan Burridge, Director of Expert Focus (a user-led consultancy), reports on how COVID-19 is impacting on workers who support people leaving prison to find accommodation and resettle in the community... | KCL blog, UK

High Time for the Left to Debate Drugs Policy

On this day in 1971, Britain adopted the Misuse of Drugs Act. Almost 50 years later, it's time to look beyond prohibition – but the solution won't be found in a for-profit recreational drugs industry | Tribune Magazine, UK

Changing your drinking in lockdown: be kind to yourself

For Sober Spring, Alcohol Change UK's Chief Executive Dr Richard Piper considers what's really happening to the UK's drinking in lockdown, and offers advice to those seeking to make a change | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

Innovative strategies to support physical distancing among individuals with active addiction

To date, over 4 million people globally have been infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), resulting in more than 250 000 deaths. Populations at particular risk include many of the most vulnerable sectors of society: incarcerated people, those residing in long-term care, minorities, and people with substance use disorders | Lancet comment, Canada

How Should We Regulate the Way Young People Are Introduced to Alcohol?

Globally, alcohol is the leading risk factor for death and disability in the population aged 15–49 years, accounting for almost 10% of deaths | Journal of Adolescent Health editorial, Australia