Weekly news - 20th March 2020


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In date order, Monday to Friday:

Treatment and recovery services – and COVID-19

Collective Voice will be doing everything it can over the coming weeks and months to support the sector at this challenging time. We will be updating this page when new relevant guidance emerges so please keep checking back | Collective Voice, UK

'I'm going to operate a drugs fix room from a van'

A former drug worker has said he is launching a mobile "fix room", where addicts can take drugs under supervision, even though he faces being arrested | BBC, UK

Sober Spring is your three-month break from alcohol, running from 20 March to 20 June

We'll send you emails each week throughout Sober Spring with tips, stories from sober influencers and experts and much more, plus keep you in the loop about our campaigns and Alcohol Change UK's work going forward | Alcohol Change UK, UK

Powerlifting Is One of the Only Sports Where Steroids Are Allowed

We met up with British powerlifters who compete in one of the rare sports where performance-enhancing drugs are allowed | VICE, UK

COVID-19: guidance for hostel or day centre providers of services for people experiencing rough sleeping

This guidance will assist staff and employers in addressing coronavirus (COVID-19), in a hostel or day centre environment. This guidance may be updated in line with the changing situation | PHE, UK

£3.2 million emergency support for rough sleepers during coronavirus outbreak

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announces £3.2 million emergency funding to help rough sleepers to self-isolate | Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and The Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, UK

Dame Carol Black's independent review of drugs - Early Day Motion

That this House acknowledges the importance of Professor Dame Carol Black's informative and insightful Independent Review of Drugs; notes that her research reveals that while the cost to society of illegal drugs is estimated at £20 billion per year, only £600 million is spent on treatment and prevention... | UK Parliament, UK

Drug Treatment and Coronavirus/COVID19

As you are all aware, this virus is rapidly spreading and affecting people with underlying health conditions – that is practically everyone who attends a drug treatment clinic. Many people who use drug treatment services have COPD, and that means this virus can hit you harder | Release blog, UK

Ian Hamilton: Covid-19—are we rationing who we care about?

Certain vulnerable groups risk being left behind in our response to the covid-19 outbreak, says Ian Hamilton | BMJ opinion, UK

Is dual use of nicotine products and cigarettes associated with smoking reduction and cessation behaviours? A prospective study in England

Dual use of e-cigarettes is associated with a greater reduction in cigarette consumption than dual use of OTC NRT. It may discourage a small proportion of users from making a quit attempt compared with dual OTC NRT use but it does not appear to undermine use of evidence-based cessation aids | BMJ Open, UK

The Lancet Psychiatry: Single dose of psychoactive component in cannabis could induce psychotic, depressive, and anxiety symptoms in healthy people

In addition, the review found no consistent evidence that cannabidiol (CBD) moderates the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC - the psychoactive component of cannabis) in healthy volunteers | EurekAlert, UK

On the A-Gender: Community Monitoring Tool for Gender-Responsive Harm Reduction Services for Women who Use Drugs

Worldwide, women who use drugs are vastly underserved within health and social services and programmes. National and international research, services, guidelines, and training programmes are either gender-neutral or male-focused | INPUD, UK

Coronavirus and heroin supplies, what are the implications? Dr Owen Bowden-Jones talks to the SSA

How do you think COVID-19 (coronavirus) might affect people who use drugs? | SSA, UK

Benzodiazepines and opioids: reminder of risk of potentially fatal respiratory depression

Benzodiazepines and opioids can both cause respiratory depression, which can be fatal if not recognised in time. Only prescribe together if there is no alternative and closely monitor patients for signs of respiratory depression | MHRA, UK

Rough sleepers must be treated as vulnerable group, warn charities

Leading homelessness charities have written to the Prime Minister calling for those sleeping rough to be recognised as a vulnerable group as the coronavirus outbreak takes hold | ITV, UK

Guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provision

Critical sector for COVID-19 response: Key public services - This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting | Cabinet Office and DfE, UK

Guidance on contingency planning for people who use drugs and COVID-19

Guidance has been produced on contingency planning for people who use drugs and COVID-19 and has been shared with all Alcohol and Drug Partnerships and all drug services in Scotland | SDF, UK

Alcohol-specific hospital admissions

Directly age and sex standardised admission rate for alcohol-specific conditions per 100,000 registered patients, 95% confidence intervals | NHS Digital, UK

Maternal smoking at delivery

The percentage of women who were smokers at the time of delivery, out of the number of maternities, 95% confidence intervals | NHS Digital, UK