A- A A+

Do interruptions to the continuity of methadone maintenance treatment in specialist addiction settings increase the risk of drug‐related poisoning deaths? A retrospective cohort study. 

Durand, L., O'Driscoll, D., Boland, F., Keenan, E., Ryan, B. K., Barry, J., Bennett, K., Fahey, T., and Cousins, G. (2020) 

Addiction, 115: 1867– 1877. doi.org/10.1111/add.15004. 


CYP2D6 Expression in Veterans Experiencing Opioid Overdose: A Postmortem Review. 

Boyle J, Stock CJ. 

Pharmgenomics Pers Med. 2020;13:289-293. Published 2020 Aug 11. doi:10.2147/PGPM.S261424


African Americans now Outpace Whites in Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths: A Comparison of Temporal Trends from 1999-2018 

Furr-Holden D, Milam AJ, Wang L, Sadler R. 

[published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 27]. Addiction. 2020;10.1111/add.15233.



Training to reduce emergency responders’ perceived overdose risk from contact with fentanyl: early evidence of success. 

Winograd, R.P., Phillips, S., Wood, C.A. et al.

Harm Reduct J 17, 58 (2020). doi.org/10.1186/s12954-020-00402-2


Bielefeld. Klinikum Bielefeld will sich mit Angehörigen von totem Patienten einigen 

Das Klinikum Bielefeld will sich außergerichtlich mit den Angehörigen eines verstorbenen Patienten einigen. Das bestätigte ein Kliniksprecher. Die Medikamente des jungen Mannes waren verwechselt worden. (…) Nach Angaben der Bielefelder Klinik hatte der 26-jährige Patient durch eine Verwechselung ein falsches Medikament bekommen, und zwar eine hohe Dosis der Ersatzdroge Methadon. (WDR, 04.09.2020)


Todesfall in Klinik nach Patientenverwechselung

Bielefeld – Ein Patient des Klinikums Bielefeld ist nach Verabreichung eines nicht für ihn bestimmten Medikaments verstorben. Das Mittel sei nicht für den 26 Jahre alten Mann gedacht gewesen, sondern für seinen Zimmernachbarn, einen Krebspatienten, sagte ein Krankenhaussprecher heute. (aerzteblatt.de, 26.08.2020)


USA: Drogentod wird häufig als plötzlicher Herztod fehlgedeutet

San Francisco – Mehr als ein Sechstel aller plötzlichen Herztodesfälle außerhalb einer Klinik konnte in einer prospektiven Kohortenstudie in den Annals of Internal Medicine (2020; DOI: 10.7326/M20-0977) auf eine Überdosis Drogen zurückgeführt werden. (aerzteblatt.de, 03.09.2020)


Kanada. Hundreds of pairs of shoes tied to Burrard Bridge to mark International Overdose Awareness Day

"Logan Williams, age 16. Someone's son," among the hundreds of notes attached to shoes tied to the bridge. (Vancouver Sun, Kanada, 31.08.2020)


Bielefeld. Todesfall in Bielefelder Klinik: Falsches Medikament verabreicht – was tun bei Opioidvergiftung?

Der Patient des Klinikums Bielefeld, der nach Verabreichung eines falschen Medikaments gestorben ist, soll nach Angaben der Staatsanwaltschaft Methadon erhalten haben. (Deutsche Apotheker Zeitung, 27.08.2020)


31. August: International Overdose Awareness Day


Nonfatal Drug and Polydrug Overdoses Treated in Emergency Departments — 29 States, 2018–2019. 

Liu S, Scholl L, Hoots B, Seth P. 

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:1149–1155. doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6934a1


Post‐mortem toxicological analyses of blood samples from 107 patients receiving opioid agonist treatment: substances detected and pooled opioid and benzodiazepine concentrations. 

Bech, A. B., Clausen, T., Waal, H., Vindenes, V., Edvardsen, H. E., Frost, J., and Skeie, I. (2020) 

Addiction, doi.org/10.1111/add.15211.

Post‐mortem toxicological analyses of blood samples from 107 patients receiving opioid agonist treatment: substances detected and pooled opioid and benzodiazepine concentrations. 

UK-Schottland. Welcome to the Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce

Every drug related death in Scotland is an avoidable tragedy. Even worse, the numbers are rising.

How can we stop this trend and save those most at risk?

The Drugs Deaths Taskforce was established in July 2019 by the Minister for Public Health and Sport, supported by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice.

This website is intended to provide a window on the work of the Taskforce in urgently developing the programme of actions to meet the Scotland’s unique challenge, ensuring that the evidence of what would work most effectively is continually assessed and acted upon, and that stakeholders amongst the critical agencies involved in the challenge are engaged in the coordinated application of best practice. (Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce, Schottland, Juli 2020)

UK-Schottland. Welcome to the Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce

USA. In Shadow of Pandemic, U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths Resurge to Record

Drug deaths in America, which fell for the first time in 25 years in 2018, rose to record numbers in 2019 and are continuing to climb, a resurgence that is being complicated and perhaps worsened by the coronavirus pandemic. (New York Times, USA, 15.07.2020)


USA. Physicians’ progress toward ending the nation’s drug overdose and death epidemic

The American Medical Association’s Opioid Task Force report (PDF) released today shows a dramatic increase in fatalities involving illicit opioids, stimulants (e.g. methamphetamine), heroin and cocaine and a similarly dramatic drop in the use of prescription opioids- (AMA – American Medical Association, USA, August 2020)


USA. Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts

Recent improvements in timeliness and data quality have prompted a re-evaluation of the length of time that data quality requirements have had to be met for states to be included in “Figure 2. 12 Month-ending Provisional Number of Drug Overdose Deaths by Drug or Drug Class.”  As a result of this re-evaluation, trends for additional states are presented in Figure 2. Additional states will be added as they meet data quality and timeliness requirements. Please see the Technical Notes of the dashboard for more information. (CDC - National Center for Health Statistics, 05.07.2020)

USA. Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts

Kanada. I Cannot Stand to See Another Deadly Month Go By in British Columbia

On July 16, the British Columbia Coroners Service released its monthly overdose fatality report. The impact of the lost lives will linger long after the headlines fade: 175 people died of illicit-drug overdoses in British Columbia in the month of June. That’s the highest monthly death toll here since the province declared the overdose crisis a public health emergency in April 2016. (Filter, USA, 21.07.2020)

Kanada. I Cannot Stand to See Another Deadly Month Go By in British Columbia

Methadone‐related deaths among youth and young adults in Sweden 2006–15.

Fugelstad, A., Bremberg, S., Hjelmström, P., and Thiblin, I. (2020) 

Addiction, doi.org/10.1111/add.15152.


Kanada. Pandemic leads to rise in Canada fatal drug overdoses

(…) The Ontario coroner estimates fatal overdoses have shot up by 25 percent in the last three months. In British Columbia, deaths increased by 40 percent over the same period last year. (MedicalXpress, USA, 28.06.2020)


USA. 'Opioid overdoses are skyrocketing': as Covid-19 sweeps across US an old epidemic returns 

The pandemic is creating the social conditions – no jobs, isolation, despair – that helped enable the opioid crisis to emerge in the first place. Now it’s back. (The Guardian, UK, 09.07.2020)


Causes of hospital admission and mortality among 6683 people who use heroin: A cohort study comparing relative and absolute risks. 

Lewer D, Tweed EJ, Aldridge RW, Morley KI. 

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2019;204:107525. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.06.027


Post-Mortem Toxicology: A Systematic Review of Death Cases Involving Synthetic Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists. 

Giorgetti A, Busardò FP, Tittarelli R, Auwärter V, Giorgetti R. 

Front Psychiatry. 2020;11:464. Published 2020 May 25. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00464


National Hospital Care Survey Demonstration Projects: Opioid-involved Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths. 

Spencer MR, Flagg LA, Jackson G, DeFrances C, Hedegaard H. 

Natl Health Stat Report. 2020;(141):1-19. 


Scotland's 2009-2015 methadone-prescription cohort: quintiles for daily-dose of prescribed methadone and risk of methadone-specific death

Gao L, Robertson JR, Bird SM. 

[published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 12]. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2020;10.1111/bcp.14432.



Fatal poisoning in drug addicts in the Nordic countries in 2017 

Simonsen KW, Kriikku P, Thelander G, et al. 

[published online ahead of print, 2020 May 20]. Forensic Sci Int. 2020;313:110343. doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2020.110343



USA. 'How are we going to keep people alive?' Behind the pandemic, overdoses are rising across West Virginia

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, so does the drug epidemic.

In May 2020, paramedics across West Virginia responded to 923 calls about people suspected of suffering an overdose, a nearly 50% increase over last May and 200 calls more than in any other month in the last two years, according to data from the West Virginia Office of Drug Control Policy. Emergency room visits for potential overdoses statewide increased last month to 663, which is also the highest number for the last two years. (Charleston Gazette Mail 20.06.2020)


USA. As opioids flooded tribal lands across the U.S., overdose deaths skyrocketed

In Oklahoma, with 38 Native American tribes, the deluge of pain pills rivaled hard-hit Appalachia. (Washington Post, 29.06.2020)


USA. As opioids flooded tribal lands across the U.S., overdose deaths skyrocketed

In Oklahoma, with 38 Native American tribes, the deluge of pain pills rivaled hard-hit Appalachia. (Washington Post, 29.06.2020)


Predictors of Overdose Death Among High-Risk Emergency Department Patients With Substance-Related Encounters: A Data Linkage Cohort Study.

Krawczyk N, Eisenberg M, Schneider KE, et al. 

Ann Emerg Med. 2020;75(1):1‐12. doi:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2019.07.014


Regional Differences in the Drugs Most Frequently Involved in Drug Overdose Deaths: United States, 2017. 

Hedegaard H, Bastian BA, Trinidad JP, Spencer MR, Warner M. 

Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2019;68(12):1‐16.