Weekly news - 8th May 2020

Weekly subscribe button

Coronavirus frequently updated resources

NEW: 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:

Coronavirus crisis could increase users' drug habits – report

Addiction expert says lockdown will be ‘tipping crisis’ for some recreational users | Guardian, UK

More than 300,000 UK smokers may have quit owing to Covid-19 fears

Health groups welcome survey suggesting many have quit, are trying to or have cut down |Guardian, UK

Problem drinking soars under UK lockdown, say addiction experts

Cuts in support services and Covid anxiety are pushing people back to the bottle | Guardian, UK

Government confirms allocations of £1.6 billion funding boost for councils

Individual councils in England have funding allocations confirmed following Local Government Secretary’s announcement of £1.6 billion in additional funding | Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and The Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, UK

Coronavirus: Increase in support for Scottish drug users

Prisoners on daily methadone prescriptions are to be switched to a weekly or monthly alternative to aid social isolation in jails | BBC, UK

Drug Deaths Taskforce research programme 2020: call for proposals

We are seeking research proposals to contribute to the evidence base on interventions to reduce drug-related deaths and overdose, the experience of people who are most at risk and the services which support them | Scottish Government, UK

Coronavirus: Calls to charity double as children struggle in lockdown with alcoholic parents

Sky News has seen emails from children whose parents have relapsed after years of sobriety and report struggling mentally | ITV, UK

Global Drug Survey - Special COVID edition

We want to better understand how COVID-19 is affecting your daily life, your relationships, your mental health and wellbeing, as well as your use of alcohol and other drugs. Participation in the survey will take about 15 minutes if you only drink alcohol, and another 10 minutes if you use other drugs | Global Drug Survey, UK

Ian Hamilton: Loosening regulations on controlled drugs during the covid-19 pandemic

Bureaucracy is preventing timely and adequate access to controlled drugs during the pandemic, says Ian Hamilton | BMJ Opinion, UK

Supporting the sector during COVID-19: Collective Voice re-launches “Making a Difference Together” Slack community

The systems we work in are large and complex, with lots of different organisations, each with their own approach, tools and priorities. Too often it can feel like we are trapped within our corner of that system and that collaboration with colleagues and peers across the field is simply too hard. Yet we are all united by a single goal – we want to work together to bring about positive change for people who have drug or alcohol problems | Collective Voice blog, UK

Drugs Law and Practice

Brief Guidance Notes for Hostels, Hotels and other Accommodation Providers | KFx, UK

DDN May 2020

We've had to change our plan for this issue several times this month as your news and survival tips have been coming in. The good thing is, it’s not just about business as usual – it’s become about being better than usual. Not only are we hearing about swift action to keep essential services maintained – we’re also learning about new, enhanced versions of outreach, where service users are an essential part of developing and maintaining the model | DDN, UK

PHE priorities in health and social care: 2020 to 2021

Letter from health minister Jo Churchill confirming Public Health England’s (PHE) role and priorities for the financial year 2020 to 2021 | PHE, UK

Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: information for providers

We're making changes to the way we work during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. They include how we do our job and support providers to keep people safe. They also affect how people communicate with us, or send us applications or information | CQC, UK

Dame Louise Casey to spearhead government taskforce on rough sleeping during pandemic

A specialist taskforce has been created to lead the next phase of the Government’s support for rough sleepers during the pandemic | Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and The Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, UK

Underage vaping spikes in the north of England

More than a fifth of 15-year-olds in Yorkshire and the Humber vape, according to NHS figures that suggest a stark north-south divide in underage vaping | Bureau of Investigative Journalism, UK

People more likely to choose a non-alcoholic drink when availability is greater

People are more likely to choose non-alcoholic drinks if more of those drinks are available than alcoholic alternatives, a University of Bristol-led online experiment published today [6 May] in BMC Public Health has shown. These results could pave the way for increasing the availability of non-alcoholic options in pub and bars | University of Bristol, UK

Lord Advocate gives reassurance that naloxone supply can expand

On Sunday at a media briefing in Edinburgh, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman announced that “the Lord Advocate has confirmed that – for the duration of this crisis – it would not be in the public interest to prosecute any individual – working for a service registered with the Scottish Government – who supplies naloxone in an emergency, to save a life” | SDF, UK

EMCDDA special report: COVID-19 and drugs – Drug supply via darknet markets

This report is a rapid and preliminary analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on selected online markets. Three relatively large darknet markets were reviewed for the purposes of this study, selected because of their importance to the EU market and because they could be accessed to provide information necessary to comment on activity levels | EMCDDA, Portugal

The Provision of Needle and Syringe Programmes During the Covid-19 Lockdown

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many services are unable to operate at full capacity and pharmacies are facing unprecedented demand. Service users need the most basic of harm reduction services more than ever. Across NHS SMPA we are striving to support our service users by providing needle and syringe programmes in a number of innovative ways | NHSSMPA blog, UK

COVID -19 and drug markets survey: Month one month study

We’ve put together a one month summary report from our COVID-19 and Drug Markets survey to showcase the results so far. We hope that the report will help you to understand some of the changes to the drugs market as well as the issues facing people who take drugs and the services that support them | CREW, UK

COVID-19: information on stopping drinking for people dependent on alcohol

Advice on stopping drinking for people dependent on alcohol | PHE, UK

60% of people are less likely to access health services during lockdown

60% of people are less likely to access non-emergency health services due to the current coronavirus restrictions, according to research released today by drug, alcohol and mental health charity We Are With You | We Are With You, UK

Response to the ACMD recommendation: Epidyolex

A letter from the Minister of State for Fire and Policing to the ACMD, in response to the recommendation to Schedule Epidyolex | ACMD, UK

COVID-19 and addiction: webinars, podcasts and online discussions

In these unprecedented times there is a need to learn about the emerging evidence on COVID-19. Listed below are upcoming and recorded webinars, podcasts, and discussions on COVID-19 from organisations working in the addictions sector | SSA, UK

COVID19: UK Home Secretary Urged To Allow Pharmacists To Dispense Controlled Drugs

More than 50 drug policy, public health and harm reduction experts have signed an open letter urging the UK Home Secretary to trigger legislation that is contained in the recently amended Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001. Such actions would allow additional flexibilities during the covid-19 pandemic pertaining to OST prescriptions such as methadone, benefitting patients and health care staff alike | Talking Drugs, UK

Minimum unit pricing (MUP) in Scotland: what we know so far (PDF)

Minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol was introduced in Scotland on 1 May 2018. MUP sets a floor price per unit, currently 50p, below which it is illegal to sell alcohol. This briefing collates some of the various sources of evidence that have been publicly released so far and assesses how useful they are in telling us what impact MUP has had | IAS, UK

Benzodiazepine use and prescribing during the pandemic - SDF COVID-19 Webinar - video

High rates of ‘street’ benzodiazepines has been a feature of problem drug use in Scotland for decades. The issue of whether and how to prescribe benzodiazepines has been long discussed but the COVD-19 pandemic has thrown these issues into stark relief | SDF, UK

The Scots doctor and her 'cure' for drug addiction

Scottish surgeon Dr Meg Patterson thought she had a cure for drug addiction but the technique she pioneered in the mid-1970s was never taken seriously. However, interest in it is growing in the US | BBC, UK

Heads Up: The UK Is Banning Menthol Cigarettes in Two Weeks

Say goodbye to ever feeling like you're in Year 10 again. | VICE, UK

Drug dealers posing as joggers and NHS staff in Covid-19 lockdown

Some using fake hospital ID badges to avoid police detection, say crime experts | Guardian, UK