Drink and Drugs News DDN April 2020 (1) | Page 5

News DDN EVERY DAY All the news, updated daily www.drinkanddrugsnews.com Local News We’ll get through this, pledge activists A comprehensive advice sheet for people who use drugs during the coronavirus outbreak has been prepared by EuroNPUD, INPUD and Respect Drug User Rights. ‘We can do it!’ states the COVID-19: Advice for people who use drugs leaflet. ‘People who use drugs have dealt with very serious viruses before.’ The document, work on which was led by EuroNPUD project manager Mat Southwell, includes essential COVID-19-related harm reduction advice, as well as wider health information around the virus. It also contains guidance on successfully managing opioid substitution therapy during the crisis, including what to say to prescribing services. People who use drugs should also prepare for disruption to the supply chain, it warns, as restrictions on movement make it more difficult to transport and distribute drugs. ‘If you can afford to, keep a reserve or source some opioid medications in case Cautious welcome for public health grant THE PUBLIC HEALTH GRANT 2020- 21 has been set at £3.279bn, an increase of £145m on the 2019-20 figure. Health organisations and local authorities had been calling on the government to announce the new allocation, particularly in light of the coronavirus outbreak. ‘It is welcome that the government has taken a positive step forward after year upon year of deep cuts to local public health,’ said president of the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH), Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy. While local authorities now had ‘the certainty the ADPH has been calling for since December’ the reality on the ground was that the allocations would not ‘reverse the staff and services lost overnight, whether that be in relation to early years interventions, sexual health services, drug and alcohol treatment or WWW.DRINKANDDRUGSNEWS.COM your supply is cut,’ it advises. People should also be planning how they would manage a rapid detox or full withdrawal should that become necessary, it states. Readers are also encouraged to network with peers to look out for others and share planning and advocacy strategies, as well as reinforcing the importance of maintaining respect during the crisis period. ‘Be patient and thankful even if services are slower, limiting numbers allowed in buildings at any one time and if staff are wearing masks and gloves,’ the document says. ‘This is part of keeping essential services running.’ Download the leaflet at www.drinkanddrugsnews.com/wp- content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19- EuroNPUD-UK.pdf MOVING FORWARD The Forward Trust has been awarded the contract to deliver primary mental health services in five prisons, as well as substance misuse services at HMP The Mount and HMP Chelmsford. The new contracts marked ‘an exciting time of expansion’, said Forward, ‘allowing us to support more people with a wider range of issues’. Lax labelling Allocations will not reverse the staff and services lost 'overnight'. Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy capacity to prepare for outbreaks like coronavirus,’ she stated. Long-term investment in public health at local level was now essential to reduce inequalities, reduce pressure on the NHS and maintain a ‘resilient health protection system’, she said. Public health grants to local authorities: 2020 to 2021 at www.gov.uk RESEARCH by the Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA) has found that 70 per cent of alcohol products on sale still do not carry the updated CMO drinking guidelines, despite them being introduced four years ago (DDN, February 2016, page 4). Almost a quarter contained ‘misleading, out- of-date’ health information, it states. Drinks companies are only required by law to show the strength of alcohol (ABV) and the container’s volume on the labelling, with additional information such as health risks and nutritional information included voluntarily. This is in ‘stark contrast to the mandatory labelling requirements for all other food and drink products, many of which are less harmful to health’, says the report. ‘These new data show alcohol companies continue to keep the public in the dark,’ said chief executive of the Institute of Alcohol Studies, Katherine Severi. ‘At worst, this can lead to drinkers unknowingly raising their chances of cancer, heart disease and many more conditions.’ Alcohol Health Alliance interim research findings on alcohol labelling at ahauk.org CULTURAL CAPITAL WDP has joined forces with award-winning Chester-based cultural centre Storyhouse. Service users will be able to access its wide range of cultural events and facilities and ‘benefit from positive new social opportunities with their friends and family’, said WDP chair Yasmin Batliwala. LIFELONG RECOVERY Delphi Medical is expanding its psychosocial addiction recovery services into HMP Garth and HMP Wymott to deliver ‘emotional, social and lifelong’ recovery. ‘We will work closely with the prisons and their wider communities, and work hard to ensure the success of our new service,’ said community lead Emma Knape. APRIL 2020 • DRINK AND DRUGS NEWS • 5