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Why are drug-related deaths among women increasing in Scotland? A mixed-methods analysis of possible explanations,

Emily J. Tweed, Rebekah G. Miller, Joe Schofield, Lee Barnsdale & Catriona Matheson (2020) 

Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, DOI: 10.1080/09687637.2020.1856786


Causes, Nature and Toxicology of Fentanyl-Associated Deaths: A Systematic Review of Deaths Reported in Peer-Reviewed Literature. 

Cheema E, McGuinness K, Hadi MA, Paudyal V, Elnaem MH, Alhifany AA, Elrggal ME, Al Hamid A. 

J Pain Res. 2020 Dec 7;13:3281-3294. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S280462. PMID: 33324089; PMCID: PMC7732170.


Objective Structured Clinical Examination Skill Station Is Effective for Assessing Acute Opioid Overdose Resuscitation. 

Abrams MP, Klapheke M. 

Cureus. 2020 Nov 16;12(11):e11511. doi: 10.7759/cureus.11511. PMID: 33354455; PMCID: PMC7744215.


Increase in Fatal Drug Overdoses Across the United States Driven by Synthetic Opioids Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Distributed via the CDC Health Alert Network, CDCHAN-00438, 17.12.2020

USA. National Roadmap on State-Level Efforts to End the Nation’s Drug Overdose Epidemic

Leading-Edge Practices and Next Steps to Remove Barriers to Evidence-Based Patient Care. (AMA – American Medical Asociation, DECEMBER 2020)


Immer noch sterben viele Menschen an den Folgen opioidhaltiger Drogen

Berlin – 2019 verstarben 1.398 Menschen an den Folgen des Konsums illegaler Drogen. Für fast die Hälfte der Fälle sind Opioidvergiftungen ursächlich. Das gab heute die Deutsche Beobachtungsstelle für Drogen und Drogensucht (DBDD) in ihren jährlichen Bericht bekannt, der einen vollständigen Überblick über das Konsumverhalten in der Altersgruppe der 12-bis 64-Jährigen bietet. (aerzteblatt.de, 09.12.2020)


Polysubstance Involvement in Opioid Overdose Deaths in Adolescents and Young Adults, 1999-2018. 

Lim JK, Earlywine JJ, Bagley SM, Marshall BDL, Hadland SE. 

JAMA Pediatr. Published online November 23, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.5035


Deaths of despair: cause-specific mortality and socioeconomic inequalities in cause-specific mortality among young men in Scotland. 

Allik, M., Brown, D., Dundas, R. et al.

Int J Equity Health 19, 215 (2020). doi.org/10.1186/s12939-020-01329-7


"It's an emotional roller coaster… But sometimes it's fucking awesome": Meaning and motivation of work for peers in overdose response environments in British Columbia. 

Pauly BB, Mamdani Z, Mesley L, McKenzie S, Cameron F, Edwards D, Howell A, Knott M, Scott T, Seguin R, Greer AM, Buxton JA. 

Int J Drug Policy. 2020 Nov 9;88:103015. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.103015. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33176249.


The Opioid-overdose Reduction Continuum of Care Approach (ORCCA): Evidence-based practices in the HEALing Communities Study. 

Winhusen T, Walley A, Fanucchi LC, Hunt T, Lyons M, Lofwall M, Brown JL, Freeman PR, Nunes E, Beers D, Saitz R, Stambaugh L, Oga EA, Herron N, Baker T, Cook CD, Roberts MF, Alford DP, Starrels JL, Chandler RK. 

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2020 Oct 4;217:108325. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.108325. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33091842; PMCID: PMC7533113.


Mitigation Strategies to Reduce Opioid-Related Morbidity and Mortality in the US. 

Ballreich J, Mansour O, Hu E, Chingcuanco F, Pollack HA, Dowdy DW, Alexander GC. Modeling 

JAMA Netw Open. 2020 Nov 2;3(11):e2023677. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.23677. PMID: 33146732; PMCID: PMC7643029.


USA. Street Fentanyl Surges In Western U.S., Leading To Thousands Of Deaths

(…) “Chinese chemical companies quickly adapted by selling their product to "middle man" drug cartels in Mexico. “They're sending precursor chemicals directly to cartels in Mexico to produce the fentanyl along with the fentanyl in pills," Donahue said.
Once they got into the fentanyl trade, Mexican cartels used their existing drug routes and street markets in Western cities to push the new product. Their motives are simple: Fentanyl is deadly, but it's also cheap and easy to make and ship. It's also highly addictive, making it far more profitable than heroin or cocaine.” (NPR – National Public Radio, USA, 17.11.2020)


USA. Nora's Blog: Rising Stimulant Deaths Show that We Face More than Just an Opioid Crisis 

Although we often talk about individual drugs and drug use disorders in isolation, the reality is that many people use drugs in combination and also die from them in combination. Although deaths from opioids continue to command the public’s attention, an alarming increase in deaths involving the stimulant drugs methamphetamine and cocaine are a stark illustration that we no longer face just an opioid crisis. We face a complex and ever-evolving addiction and overdose crisis characterized by shifting use and availability of different substances and use of multiple drugs (and drug classes) together. (Dr. Nora Volkow, NIDA, USA, 12.11.2020)


Fentanyl panic goes viral: The spread of misinformation about overdose risk from casual contact with fentanyl in mainstream and social media. 

Beletsky L, Seymour S, Kang S, Siegel Z, Sinha MS, Marino R, Dave A, Freifeld C. 

Int J Drug Policy. 2020 Sep 16;86:102951. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.102951. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32949901; PMCID: PMC7492952.


Increase in drug overdose deaths involving cocaine: United States, 2009–2018. 

Hedegaard H, Spencer MR, Garnett MF. 

NCHS Data Brief, no 384. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2020. 


Global burden of 369 diseases and injuries in 204 countries and territories, 1990–2019: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019

Vos, Theo et al.

The Lancet, Volume 396, Issue 10258, 1204 - 1222 

(…) Although most diseases showed a pattern of stable or slowly changing rates of death and disability over the study period, there are some notable exceptions. Deaths due to drug use disorders have risen sharply over the past decade. In 2019, more than half of all global overdose deaths occurred in the USA. Liberal prescribing of high-dose opioids, inadequate provision of opioid substitution therapy, and the lacing of street drugs with highly potent opioids such as fentanyl are considered major contributors to this public health crisis.


Hostility, compassion and role reversal in West Virginia’s long opioid overdose emergency.

Ondocsin, J., Mars, S.G., Howe, M. et al. 

Harm Reduct J 17, 74 (2020). doi.org/10.1186/s12954-020-00416-w


UK. Drug deaths have hit record high in England and Wales, says ONS

Figures for 2019 surpass 2018’s record level, with rise affecting women more severely. (The Guardian, UK, 14.10.2020)


Kanada. Getting to Tomorrow: Ending the Overdose Crisis (Video)

Realizing solutions to the overdose crisis by bringing communities together to find shared meaning, understanding, and purpose, with the goal of advancing a public health and human rights approach to drug policy. gettingtotomorrow.ca (Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, 05.10.2020, Video, 07:52)


Increase in drug overdose deaths involving cocaine: United States, 2009–2018. 

Hedegaard H, Spencer MR, Garnett MF.

NCHS Data Brief, no 384. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2020. 


A life‐course theory exploration of opioid‐related maternal mortality in the United States. 

Cleveland, L. M., McGlothen‐Bell, K., Scott, L. A., and Recto, P. (2020)

Addiction, 115: 2079– 2088. doi.org/10.1111/add.15054


Postmortem 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. 


Trends in Mortality From Drug Poisonings, Suicide, and Alcohol-Induced Deaths in the United States From 2000 to 2017. 

Shiels MS, Tatalovich Z, Chen Y, et al. 

JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(9):e2016217. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.16217


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)