Addiction News

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Impact of coronavirus on addiction

The spread of COVID-19 has already affected many elements of addiction treatment, research and policy, and will continue to do so as the situation progresses. Many websites have useful collections of links for people who use drugs and for people working in addiction. The below web-pages contain guidelines for practitioners, harm reduction advice and information and commentaries related to COVID-19.

Sources: https://www.addiction-ssa.org/useful-coronavirus-covid-19-links-19-march-2020/

https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/covid-19-resources

https://www.collectivevoice.org.uk/blog/treatment-and-recovery-services-and-covid-19/

EMCDDA reports a surge in cocaine and MDMA use across Europe

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) has reported substantial increases in cocaine and MDMA use based on wastewater analyses from several European cities. Cocaine use was highest in western and southern European cities with low levels in eastern European cities. The highest concentration of MDMA was found in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

Source: https://www.euronews.com/2020/03/12/revealed-europe-s-drugs-of-choice-are-cocaine-and-mdma

Mexico commissions approve industrial, medical and recreational cannabis

A law to legalise cannabis has been passed by three senate commissions in Mexico. The draft law will now go to the full senate where it is expected to be passed due to the ruling party’s majority. The legislation has been delayed several times and is now working to a deadline of 30 April 2020 as set by the supreme court. If passed, the law will legalise cannabis for industrial, medical and recreational purposes.

Source: https://mjbizdaily.com/mexican-senate-commissions-approve-marijuana-bill-legalizing-recreational-use/

Gambling awareness added to UK school curriculum

The UK Department of Education has added gambling awareness to the personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) curriculum for secondary schools. Lessons are due to begin in September 2020 and will cover gambling addiction and issues about gambling debt.

Source: https://www.igamingbusiness.com/news/gambling-become-compulsory-element-pshe-education

Alcohol prices increase 40% in Turkey

The price of alcoholic drinks in Turkey has increased by 40% in the past year. The increase is substantially higher than the general rate of inflation which over the period has been 12%.

Source: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/economy/turkey-inflation-rate-at-1237-in-february/1752663

US introduces new graphic health warnings for cigarettes

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has introduced a range of new graphic health warnings for cigarette packets and tobacco adverts. The new images will be introduced in June 2021 and will cover at least 50% of the front and back of cigarette packets and 20% of the area at the top of adverts. The 11 new images have been introduced following research showing that current graphic warnings had become ‘invisible’ to smokers.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/17/health/cigarette-packs-graphic-health-warnings-fda-bn/index.html

UK relaxes import rules for medical cannabis

The UK government has lifted several import restrictions for medical cannabis products in order to make them easier to access and to prevent treatment delays. The new rules mean that companies can import larger quantities of medical cannabis products than before and are permitted to hold supplies for future patients with medical cannabis prescriptions. The new regulations were implemented at the beginning of March 2020.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/faster-access-to-cannabis-based-medicines-as-import-restrictions-are-changed

US approves hemp regulations in two states and for one Indian tribe

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved plans for regulation of hemp production in Georgia, Montana and for the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe. This brings the total number of state approvals to 10 and the number of tribal approvals to 12. The limit on the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of such crops remains at 0.3%.

Source: https://www.marijuanamoment.net/usda-approves-hemp-plans-for-georgia-and-montana/

Paraguay issues first medical cannabis licenses

Paraguay has issued its first licences to produce medical cannabis. The National Anti-Drug Secretariat (SENAD) said that five licences for cannabis producers are now available. Applicants will have to produce plans for transport, ensuring good practices, export, industrialisation and disposal. Once licenced, those companies will, by law, have to donate 2% of their production to the Ministry of Health.

Source: https://medicalcannabisnews.com/en/paraguay-issues-first-licenses-to-produce-medical-cannabis/

Tokyo to ban smoking in public places

In preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, the city of Tokyo has implemented strict bans on smoking in public places. Since 2018, Japan has banned smoking in most indoor public places, but the legislation had several exceptions. The city-wide ban will now remove these exceptions, including those for smaller cafés and bars. Smoking will only be permitted in rooms that are separate from the main area of any business. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has insisted since 1988 that Olympic cities be ‘tobacco free’. 

Source: https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/news/tokyo-will-ban-most-indoor-smoking-starting-in-april-2020