Addiction News

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Bibliography on COVID-19 and Addiction

This downloadable document lists articles found in PubMed from searches on 14 May 2020 involving addiction-related topics and COVID-19. It is updated weekly and all publications prior to January 2020 have been removed.  The headings and search phrases are provided and results are organised into 1) research reports, 2) reviews and 3) editorials, commentaries, and letters.  Download the document here: /files/download/documents/14 May Covid-19 bibliography.docx

Addiction treatment registrations rise in Punjab during COVID-19 pandemic

Over 86,000 new people have registered to receive addiction treatment in the Indian state of Punjab since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 500,000 people were treated across Punjab’s 198 Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) clinics and de-addiction centres in the year up to 6th May 2020.

Source: https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/covid-19-blessings-over-5-lakh-drug-addicts-treated-in-punjab-83453

​Teenage vaping rates three times higher in Yorkshire than in London

Figures released by the NHS suggest that rates of teenage vaping vary by region and are higher in the north than in the south of England. Around 6% of 15-year-olds in the northwest of England said they vaped weekly, compared with 10% of teenagers in Yorkshire and 3% of teenagers in London.

Source: https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2020-05-04/underage-vaping-spikes-in-north-of-england

UK gambling adverts stop during COVID-19 lockdown

The UK Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has announced that television and radio adverts for gambling will cease during COVID-19 lock-down. The BGC represents 90% of the UK’s betting companies and said that pre-booked advertising slots would either be cancelled or used to promote safe gambling messages.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/apr/27/uk-betting-firms-to-stop-advertising-on-tv-and-radio-during-lockdown

Smoking declines in north-east England during COVID-19 lock-down

YouGov’s international ‘Covid Tracker’ has been used to estimate that 120,000 people in the north-east of England reduced their cigarette consumption and that almost 27,000 attempted to quit smoking due to COVID-19. Conversely, around 14% of those using the tracker said COVID-19 made them less likely to quit smoking. Public Health England (PHE) commented that the north-east of England has historically had higher rates of smoking than other parts of England and that any reduction in smoking is a positive step in minimising the risks associated with COVID-19.

Source: https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/18421235.smokers-quitting-covid-19/

Namibia bans strong alcohol and reports increased smuggling during COVID-19 lock-down

Namibia has banned sales of all drinks that contain over 3% alcohol content to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Since the ban’s implementation, the Namibian police have reported high levels of alcohol smuggling, particularly in relation to spirits coming in from neighbouring Zambia.

Source: https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/alcohol-smuggling-jumps-in-namibia-amid-coronavirus-crackdown-2020-04-28

Kenyan town, Machakos, bans alcohol sales

The governor of Machakos has introduced a ban on all alcohol sales and distribution. The ban is aimed at preventing alcohol consumption in bars that have continued to operate in contravention of COVID-19 lock-down restrictions. Alcohol-based medical products are exempt from the ban.

Source: https://allafrica.com/stories/202004220731.html

UK rise in problematic alcohol consumption during COVID-19 lockdown

Alcohol services in the UK have reported increased alcohol consumption among people with existing alcohol use disorders. This rise has been linked to people feeling less supported and more anxious during social isolation.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/may/03/problem-drinking-soars-under-uk-lockdown-say-addiction-experts

Report on illicit drug cultivation, trafficking and consumption during COVID-19

A report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has outlined global changes in drug cultivation, transport and consumption patterns. Many substances traditionally transported by air, such as methamphetamines, or by land, such as heroin, have been increasingly transported by sea to avoid detection. The report also highlights issues related to drug cultivation, including shortages of labour for the opium poppy harvest in Afghanistan and difficulties obtaining gasoline for coca processing in Columbia.

Source: https://www.unodc.org/unodc/press/releases/2020/May/covid-19-is-changing-the-route-of-illicit-drug-flows--says-unodc-report.html

Scotland funds naloxone and Buvidal during COVID-19

The Scottish Health Secretary has announced £2 million in funding to support addiction treatment provision during the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of the funding will be used to increase the availability of the overdose reversal drug naloxone. Additionally, prisoners in Scotland will be able to move from methadone to longer-acting opiate substitution treatments, such as Buvidal – a prolonged-release injection of buprenorphine.

Source: https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/18423728.coronavirus-scotland-overdose-reversal-drug-now-widely-available-pandemic/