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UK. Covid-19 and addiction—a secret burden during this pandemic

We’re all in this together, we hear, we read, we tell ourselves as we fumble our way through these extraordinary times. 

Yet how we manage the days that lie ahead will depend not just on our individual circumstances but also on our own personal histories, the life experiences that have made us who we are. 

Sadly many people, like me, will find ourselves with an added battle on our hands. A shameful and secret burden that we’ve carried for so long, and which may have even lightened over time, has reappeared with a vengeance, stoked by the fear and loneliness in which it so often thrives. Addiction. (British Medical Journal, Opinion, 21.04.2020)

https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2020/04/21/covid-19-and-addiction-a-secret-burden-during-this-pandemic

USA/Mexiko. Flow of Meth and Heroin into U.S. Has Slowed During Coronavirus Pandemic

The flow of heroin, meth and other illegal drugs into the United States has slowed during the coronavirus pandemic, the acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration told The Wall Street Journal. Supplies of meth have been hardest hit. (drugfree.org, USA, 23.04.2020)

https://drugfree.org/learn/drug-and-alcohol-news/flow-of-meth-and-heroin-into-u-s-has-slowed-during-coronavirus-pandemic

Special Report: Peruvian coca farmers to Paris pushers, coronavirus upends global narcotics trade

RIO DE JANEIRO/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Countries around the world have spent billions of dollars bailing out businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Peru’s coca farmers, who grow the bushy plant used to make cocaine, say they want help, too. (Reuters, 22.04.2020)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-latam-narcotics-sp-idUSKCN2242ZI

How the Illicit Drug Trade Is Adapting to the Coronavirus Pandemic

(WPR – World Politics Review, USA, 20.04.2020)

https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/28696/how-the-illicit-drug-trade-is-adapting-to-the-coronavirus-pandemic

IDPC Survey on COVID-19 

The International Drug Policy Consortium's Secretariat is seeking to support our membership, and civil society colleagues, to document this rapidly evolving situation, as well as gain a shared understanding of both the challenges that are emerging for our organisations and the communities that we represent or serve. The information provided can also help to inform potential collective action that we can take as the drug policy reform movement to respond to this emerging crisis. (IDPC, UK, 08.04.2020)

https://idpc.net/alerts/2020/04/idpc-survey-on-covid-19

UK. COVID-19 & the impact on the drugs market

Release is setting up a network of people across the UK to provide information on what is going on in the drugs market in light of the Coronavirus. (Release, UK, April 2020)

https://www.release.org.uk/covid-19-impact-drugs-market

UK. COVID-19 and Drug Markets – week three update

The UK has been on lockdown for over three weeks now, with an additional three week extension of the restrictions just announced. Our survey into the way COVID-19 has impacted the way drugs are bought, sold and taken is also now in its third week. (Crew, UK, 22.04.2020)

https://www.crew.scot/covid-drug-markets-survey-week-three/

UK. It's stockpiling, but not as you know it. Why coronavirus is making people hoard illegal drugs

London (CNN)It's not just toilet roll that people are panic buying. Some illegal drug users are reportedly stockpiling their substance of choice as restrictions intended to stop the spread of coronavirus disrupt the international supply chain.

And the consequences could be devastating, with experts concerned that people will adopt riskier habits, substitute unfamiliar drugs or enter withdrawal, which can be dangerous if unmanaged. Since heavy users often have other health problems, this could mean increased strain on services that are already near breaking point. (CNN, 05.04.2020)

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/05/uk/illegal-drug-shortage-coronavirus-gbr-intl/index.html

LOCKDOWN SURVEY - PLEASE PARTICIPATE
Ist Eure Versorgung gesichert oder seht ihr Preisschwankungen und -anstiege, Engpässe und schlechtere Drogenqualität? Konsumiert ihr in Zeiten der Ausgangsbeschränkungen weniger oder sogar mehr als zuvor? Wie fühlt ihr euch? 
Helft uns, das zu ermitteln und euch künftig noch geeignetere Infos zukommen zu lassen, indem ihr JETZT AN DER UMFRAGENREIHE ZU LOCKDOWN UND KONSUM teilnehmt, die wir zusammen mit unseren europäischen Partner*innen Crew, Modus Vivendi ASBL, Pipapo, The Loop und anderen starten. (Sonar, Berlin, 24.04.2020)

https://www.facebook.com/sonar.berlin/posts/655150688615506

The doctors facing deportation while fighting coronavirus (Audio)

The Take explores the hardships many non-white doctors in the US and in the UK are facing while on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. (Al Jazeera, 17.04.2020, Podcast, 18:45) https://www.aljazeera.com/podcasts/thetake/2020/04/doctors-facing-deportation-fighting-coronavirus-200417141705958.html

Time to let non-violent drug offenders out of jail 

Outdated criminal and correctional laws are threatening the lives of over 1.6 million people incarcerated for non-violent offences. Countries are failing to meet their basic needs and rights. They are also depriving societies of a vital workforce. By releasing people incarcerated for non-violent offences in order to control the Covid-19 pandemic in prisons, authorities in very different parts of the world are implicitly admitting that the drug sentences were unnecessarily harsh and disproportionate, and that many incarcerated people could have lived through better alternatives than prison to pay their duty to society -- if any. (Bangkok Post, Thailand, 18,04.2020)

https://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/1902315/time-to-let-non-violent-drug-offenders-out-of-jail

Schweiz. BRIEFING PAPER: Covid-19-Pandemie und illegale Drogen: Lagebeurteilung, Szenarien und Empfehlungen

Sucht Schweiz, Veröffentlichung: 17. April 2020

https://coronavirus.suchtschweiz.ch/briefing-paper-illegale-drogen

Europa. EMCDDA: Mini-European Web Survey on Drugs (EWSD): Impact of COVID-19 on patterns of drug use, harms and drug services in the European Union

INTRODUCTION AND CONSENT

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 across Europe and subsequent national responses to contain and mitigate the epidemic (self-isolation, quarantine, confinement, lockdowns), information has emerged about unprecedented challenges for services providing care to people who use drugs in the community and in prisons. Anecdotal information also indicates that there may have be changes in drug use patterns and in how people are obtaining their drugs. Understanding and sharing information on the consequences of COVID-19 and national response measures on harms deriving from the lack of access to care and how services have adapted as a response may help services improve their responses. (EMCDDA EU survey, April 2020)

https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/Mini-EWSD-COVID-19

UK. Coronavirus triggers UK shortage of illicit drugs 

Experts concerned heroin users will turn to more dangerous fentanyl. (The Guardian, UK, 12.04.2020)

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/apr/12/coronavirus-triggers-uk-shortage-of-illicit-drugs

SOMALIA: Khat traders, farmers take a hit amid coronavirus pandemic

Somali government has banned international flights over COVID-19 fears, affecting imports of the stimulant from Kenya. (Al Jazeera, 31.03.2020)

https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/khat-traders-farmers-hit-coronavirus-pandemic-200331064458024.html

Lockdowns around the world bring rise in domestic violence

Activists say pattern of increasing abuse is repeated in countries from Brazil to Germany, China to Greece. (The Guardian, UK, 28.03.2020)

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/mar/28/lockdowns-world-rise-domestic-violence

Ian Hamilton: What will covid-19 mean for the illegal drug market and people dependent upon it?

March 31, 2020

BMJ Opinion

https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2020/03/31/ian-hamilton-covid-19-mean-illegal-drug-market-people-dependent/

USA. The Coronavirus Crisis: Opioid Addiction Is 'A Disease Of Isolation,' So Pandemic Puts Recovery At Risk

(…) "We consider addiction a disease of isolation," says Dr. Marvin Seppala, chief medical officer at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. "Now we're isolating all these people and expecting them to pick up the phone, get on line, that sort of thing — and it may not work out as well." (NPR – National Public Radio, USA, 27.03.2020)

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/03/27/820806440/opioid-addiction-is-a-disease-of-isolation-so-pandemic-puts-recovery-at-risk

Stages of drug market change during disaster: Hurricane Katrina and reformulation of the New Orleans drug market.

Dunlap E, Graves J, Benoit E.

Int J Drug Policy. 2012 Nov;23(6):473-80. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2012.04.003.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3459295/

Niederlande. Weed Back on Sale in Coffee Shops Even as Amsterdam Locks Down

When legal shops were told to shut, street dealers jumped in - Mayors fearing crime asked that stores be allowed to sell. (Bloomberg 18.03.2020)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-18/pot-stores-are-open-again-even-as-the-netherlands-locks-down

USA/Mexiko. Coronavirus Is Leading to Shortages of Fentanyl And Meth

The pandemic has slowed the production and export of chemicals from China to Mexico, for onward smuggling into the U.S. (Vice, USA, 19.03.2020)

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/wxek4m/coronavirus-is-leading-to-shortages-of-fentanyl-and-meth