Weekly news - 3rd July 2020

Weekly subscribe button

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


In date order, Monday to Friday:

ACMD public evidence gathering: request for written evidence

Update: The period for written submissions has been extended to Wednesday 30 September 2020. Forms for members of the public to provide written evidence on young people’s drug use and naloxone provision | ACMD, UK

Duncan Selbie's Friday message

People sleeping rough, particularly those with drug and alcohol misuse problems, often have difficulty accessing healthcare and face a revolving door where they are in and out of services. It is therefore welcome news that the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government has confirmed that a further £16 million of planned spending on drug and alcohol support for homeless people is being brought forward to this year, and is in addition to the £7 million already available | PHE blog, UK

Fall in use of 'party drugs' as more Britons turn to alcohol in lockdown

European-wide survey finds that drug users in UK are turning away from ‘stimulants’ such as cocaine and ecstasy | Guardian, UK

Families in Lockdown: The effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on the family and friends of someone with an alcohol, drug or gambling problem (pdf)

In April, 241 people coping with a friend or family member’s alcohol, drug or gambling problem responded to an online survey by Adfam which sought to understand how some of their usual daily challenges associated with addiction- fear, domestic abuse, isolation, loneliness and mental stress – might be being further exacerbated by COVID-19 and the lockdown measures imposed from March 2020. The survey also asked family members and friends about what kind of support they would benefit from going forwards | Adfam, UK

Alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 lockdown (PDF)

In addition to ongoing research with data collection, a number of surveys have been set up specifically on the issue of drinking during the pandemic. This briefing summarises the emerging evidence base on changes in UK alcohol consumption during the lockdown, by bringing together findings from different sources | IAS, UK

Reducing hepatitis C among people who inject drugs: evidence for policy makers 

A new PolicyBristol briefing brings together evidence from a range of research projects investigating strategies to reduce hepatitis C transmission among people who inject drugs | NIHR HPRU, UK

National drug and alcohol treatment waiting times

This release by Public Health Scotland reports on the waiting times for people accessing drug and alcohol treatment services between January and March 2020. It contains information on the number of people seen for treatment, types of treatment accessed, and length of time waited | Public Health Scotland, UK

COVID-19 Survey Report 1: Health & Rights of People who Use Drugs in a COVID-19 Environment

The data presented is a brief overview and summary of initial data from the first 3 weeks of the online survey, collected between the 8th May - 31st May 2020 across all six languages of the survey | INPUD, UK

Addiction Services in Northern Ireland

This report provides an overview of the scale of alcohol and drug addiction in Northern Ireland, the structures and systems in place within the health sector for tackling addiction, and the challenges faced by those accessing addiction services | Northern Ireland Audit Office, Ireland

Alcohol pricing in the WHO European Region: update report on the evidence and recommended policy actions (2020)

This report summarizes the current evidence base for alcohol pricing policies and considers how this compares to current policies in place across the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region. Intended as a resource for governments and implementers, the report highlights challenges to effective pricing policies and provides recommendations for policy actions on alcohol pricing in the WHO European Region | WHO, Denmark

Growing numbers of alcohol-related hospital admissions linked to local spending cuts

A new study by King’s College London has shown an association between increases in alcohol related hospital admissions and decreases in spending on alcohol services since they came under the responsibility of local authorities in 2012 | KCL, UK

Anger at NHS failure to prescribe cannabis oil medicines

No new NHS prescriptions in England for full-extract cannabis oil since legalisation 18 months ago | Guardian, UK

A&E doctors plead with England's pub-goers not to get 'plastered'

Fears over NHS being stretched and the spread of Covid-19 ahead of ‘Super Saturday’ | Guardian, UK

Scottish schools Adoledscent lifestyle and substance use survey (SALSUS) 2018: Mental Wellbeing Summary Report (PDF)

Almost two thirds (63%) of all pupils surveyed had a normal overall score on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), while 18% had a borderline score, and a fifth (20%) had an abnormal score. Since 2010, the proportion of pupils with borderline or abnormal scores has continually risen, while the proportion of pupils with normal scores has fallen | Scottish Government, UK

Saving Lives in the time of COVID-19 Case Study of Harm Reduction, Homelessness and Drug Use in Dublin, Ireland (PDF)

Dublin has outperformed even best-case scenarios for COVID-19 mortality among homeless and drug using populations.... The overarching lesson is that when government policy is well coordinated and underpinned by a science-driven and fundamentally pragmatic approach, lives are saved. Within this, the importance of strategic clarity and delivery, housing, lowered thresholds to methadone provision, Benzodiazepine (BZD) provision and Naloxone availability were key determinants of policy success | LSE, UK

Press release: Government launches second phase of independent review into drug misuse

Updated from yesterday with links to the terms of reference and call for evidence. Also, the closing date for responses to the call for evidence has been corrected to 6 August | Department of Health and Social Care and Jo Churchill MP, UK

Open consultation: Independent review of drugs: call for evidence, part 2

An independent review into the use and supply of illicit drugs, seeking views on how to reduce harm to individuals and society. This consultation closes at
11:59pm on 6 August 2020 | Department of Health and Social Care, UK

Pubs delaying reopening on 'Super Saturday' amid fears of alcohol-fuelled mayhem

And one boozer in Bristol will hold off welcoming back punters after discovering birds nest and eggs in garden | Independent, UK