Weekly news - 17th April 2020

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Coronavirus frequently updated resources

COVID-19 resources page for people who use drugs (PWUD) and drug service providers - International | EMCDDA

Treatment and recovery services – and COVID-19 |Collective Voice

COVID-19 and smoking: resources, research and news | BMJ

Coronavirus: information and advice hub - alcohol | Alcohol Change UK


In date order, Monday to Friday:

Coronavirus triggers UK shortage of illicit drugs

Drug treatment experts have raised concerns a drop in the supply of illicit drugs to the UK triggered by the lockdown is leading to an increase in the number of users turning to more dangerous alternatives | Guardian, UK

Coronavirus: Shoppers stock up on alcohol amid lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic has meant that British people have been forced to stay in to try to contain its spread. And many are buying more alcohol to drink at home as a result | BBC, UK

Impact of Coronavirus on Drug Purchases Survey

The purpose of this survey is to monitor changes in the UK’s drug supply – and how people buy their drugs – that may arise following lockdown restrictions because of coronavirus | Release, UK

COVID and drug markets survey - week one

Last week, we launched a survey about COVID-19 and the impact the global outbreak has had on drug markets. We’ve had a good response so far with people who take drugs and workers within support organisations taking part | Crew, UK

Online support groups for alcoholics on the rise during lockdown

Shift away from physical meetings a success apart from trolling, say organisers | Guardian, UK

Cocaine Anonymous reveal 1,000 Scots a week seek support via online meetings

The internet chat rooms were hastily convened as a response to the current Covid 19 crisis | Daily Record, UK

Gangs still forcing children into 'county lines' drug trafficking

Police taskforce head says Covid-19 lockdown has not led to fall in numbers of young drug runners | Guardian, UK

Mini-European Web Survey on Drugs (EWSD): Impact of COVID-19 on patterns of drug use, harms and drug services in the European Union

The Mini European Web Survey on Drugs: COVID-19 is part of this snapshot and is being conducted across Europe. The aim is to gather information about how patterns of drug use may have changed in Europe due to COVID-19 | Europa, Belgium

The COVID-19 emergency brings new challenges for substance misuse

Every Thursday evening, we step outside and rightfully applaud our brilliant NHS workers. It is a show of genuine respect for people who are going above and beyond in these unprecedented times, and often putting themselves at risk in order to help others. They are among the very best of us | Collective Voice blog, UK

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

This guidance outlines COVID-19 advice for commissioners and service providers involved in assisting people who are dependent on drugs or alcohol or both | PHE and DHSC, UK

Drinking during lockdown: headline findings: New research reveals how UK drinking habits have changed during lockdown

Alcohol Change UK commissioned new research from Opinium to find out whether people’s drinking habits have changed during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) lockdown | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

How much alcohol are we really drinking?

Whether it’s from boredom, stress or anxiety, the sale of alcohol has reportedly increased by 291 per cent during the coronavirus pandemic | University of Portsmouth, UK

Deaths of Blackburn 'drug users' prompt medicine warning

The men, aged 47 and 50, were from Blackburn and died earlier in April, Lancashire Police confirmed. Users in the town have been advised not to take pregabalin and diazepam tablets believed to be in circulation | BBC, UK

COVID-19 and Drug Markets Survey; Week Two Summary

It has now been two weeks since we launched our survey exploring the impact of COVID-19 on the way drugs are bought, sold and taken. It has also been 23 days since the UK government introduced measures that are described as ‘lockdown’ and a number of weeks since similar measures have been introduced in other countries | Crew, UK

Drug dealers demand 'risk' money from customers as deserted streets leave them exposed to police

[Free registration may be required] Prices for drugs are rising as drug dealers charge a premium for the risk in lockdown but police warn gangs are adapting tactics | Telegraph, UK

Statement by the UN expert on the right to health* on the protection of people who use drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic

In the current COVID-19 context, people who use drugs face unique needs and risks, due to criminalisation, stigma, discrimination, underlying health issues, social marginalisation and higher economic and social vulnerabilities, including a lack of access to adequate housing and healthcare. Treatment and harm reduction services should continue to be provided to them | OHCHR, Switzerland