Daily news - 29th 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

Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services in England - April 2019 to December 2019

This quarterly report presents results from the monitoring of the NHS Stop Smoking Services in England during the period April 2019 to December 2019 | NHS Digital, UK

Users of high-potency cannabis four times more likely to report associated problems

Users of high-potency cannabis are four times more likely to report associated problems, and twice as likely to report anxiety disorder, than users of lower-potency strains, according to new research from the University of Bristol | University of Bristol, UK

Association of the Covid-19 lockdown with smoking, drinking, and attempts to quit in England: an analysis of 2019-2020 data

[Preprint] In England, prevalence of high-risk drinking but not smoking has increased since the Covid-19 lockdown. Smokers and high-risk drinkers are more likely than before lockdown to report trying to quit smoking or reduce their alcohol consumption, and rates of smoking cessation are higher | Medrxiv, UK

Minimum Unit Pricing

What is the Scottish Government’s response to the latest report on the impact of minimum unit pricing? | They work for you, UK

How many drinkers should be in treatment? An Effectiveness Bank hot topic

What proportion of England’s problem drinkers are in treatment, how far does that fall short of the number who *should* be – and how do we judge ‘should’? Depending on where you draw the line, performance ranges from abysmal to excellent. Asks whether austerity-driven public service funding cuts have obstructed routes into treatment, decreasing the extent to which treatment is meeting the needs of the alcohol-dependent population | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Using mobile telephones to deliver Contingency Management interventions

Contingency management (CM) has a long history of application in both basic and clinical research and a strong theoretical background in behavioural sciences and operant conditioning | SSA, UK

Vape stores among those to re-open for business on 15 June when lockdown eases

Vape shops will be allowed to re-open for business on 15 June following three months of closure under the UK lockdown legislation | Convenience Store, UK

Webinar: Planning for Supervised Injecting Facilities

Thu, June 4, 2020 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM BST. This webinar will enable participants to discuss and plan progress towards opening supervised injecting facilities (AKA drug consumption rooms) in the UK | University of Kent, UK

Anyone's Child: Activist Training Webinar

Thursday 18th June @ 6.00-7.00pm. We are running an activist training webinar on Zoom for those wishing to develop their knowledge and campaigning skills around drug policy reform | J Slater, UK

From the archives: The death and life of the great British pub

Across the country, pubs are being shuttered at an alarming rate – scooped up by developers and ransacked for profit – changing the face of neighbourhoods and turning our beloved locals into estate agents, betting shops, and luxury flats. This is the story of how one pub fought back | Guardian, UK


International news

US relaxes rules for opioid substitutes during lockdowns

Trump administration makes it easier for addicts to obtain methadone and other treatment drugs | Financial Times, UK

'Cannabis college': Five universities to offer first ever online marijuana courses, seeing opportunity amid coronavirus

Marijuana dispensaries have been deemed 'essential' businesses during the Covid-19 crisis | Independent, UK

Worshippers at an Iron Age Jewish temple in Israel dating back more than 2,700 years smoked cannabis 'to stimulate ecstasy as part of cultic ceremonies'

Analysis of material on two Iron Age altars, discovered at the entrance to a shrine in Israel, were found to contain cannabis, as well as frankincense | Mail Online, UK

Mid West Regional Drugs & Alcohol Forum: Small Grants 2020

The Mid West Regional Drugs & Alcohol Forum invites applications for once-off Small Grant funding from Community, Cultural, and Voluntary groups that are not eligible for funding from another source. Projects must be based in the Mid-West area (Clare, Limerick City & County and North Tipperary) | Active Link, Ireland

World No Tobacco Day 2020

The global campaign will debunk myths and expose devious tactics employed by these industries. It will provide young people with the knowledge required to easily detect industry manipulation and equip them with the tools to rebuff such tactics, thereby empowering young people to stand up against them | WHO, Switzerland

EU countries to propose excise tax for e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products

EU member states will ask the European Commission this week to place novel tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products under the EU Tobacco Excise Directive, meaning they would be taxed just like traditional tobacco products...| Euractiv, Belgium

New Zealand: referendum on cannabis legalisation to take place in September 2020

Following an agreement made in 2017 between the ruling coalition parties in New Zealand, it has been announced that a referendum on legalising the recreational use of cannabis will be held together with the next general election, on 19 September 2020 | EMCDDA, Portugal

Impact of a health system's three-pronged strategy to address the opioid epidemic

United States has been facing a serious problem of drug abuse and addiction, and has seen around 700,000 deaths within a span of 20 years (1999 to 2017) due to drug overdose | EurekAlert, USA

What is the link between childhood adversity and binge drinking during pregnancy?

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) (e.g., abuse and neglect, domestic violence, household dysfunction) can have profound and lasting impacts on health and well-being | BASIS, USA

How South Africa’s Coronavirus Tobacco Prohibition Backfired

For weeks, you couldn’t walk your dog in South Africa. You couldn’t go to the store. You couldn’t jog for exercise—and, when you eventually could, you had a three-hour window to do so | Filter Magazine, USA

More Canadians are dying of drug overdoses — and coronavirus is to blame

According to new data from across the country, opioid overdoses have increased since social distancing measures began in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the wake of the outbreak, support programs have been more difficult to access by people suffering from opioid addiction | Global News, Canada

Drug Offences and the Death Penalty in Malaysia: Fair Trial Rights and Ramifications (PDF)

This report considers whether Malaysian death penalty trials for drug-related offences comply with fair trial guarantees, and whether accused persons are provided with the high level of procedural fairness and access to justice required | HRI, ADPAN and Monash University, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Commentary on Witkiewitz et al . (2020): WHO risk drinking classification system is promising in clinical trials, but needs to be tested in other patient groups

The article by Witkiewitz et al examines whether patients from two different clinical trials with different severities of alcohol dependence could achieve similar reductions in the World Health Organization (WHO) four‐level classification of risk drinking | Addiction commetary, UK

SHAD Interview: “A Small Distinction with a Big Difference: Prohibiting “Drugs” but Not Alcohol, from the Conquest to Constitutional Law,” with José Domingo Schievenini

Editor’s Note: We’re continuing our series of interviews with the authors of the newest edition of the Social History of Alcohol and Drugs, ADHS’s journal, published by the University of Chicago Press. Today we feature Dr. José Domingo Schievenini | Points blog, USA


And finally...

Cognac bottle, labelled one of world's oldest, sells for £118,000

The spirit dates back to 1762 and has been stored in a family cellar for the past 140 years. It should still taste good, Sotheby's auction house said | BBC, UK