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USA. The CDC has always been an apolitical island. That’s left it defenseless against Trump

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the country’s top public health agency, is being kicked around by the White House. And it doesn’t have much power to kick back. (Stat, USA, 13.07.2020)


EMCDDA and Europol join EU institutions in dialogue on the impact of COVID-19 on the world drug situation 

On the occasion of International day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking, the EMCDDA and Europol are joining representatives of the EU institutions today in providing the European perspective on the impact of COVID-19 on the world drug situation. The panel discussion will conclude a special event of the United Nations’ Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) and is co-sponsored by the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)(1). (EMCDDA, Lissabon, 26.06.2020)


Compulsory drug detention and rehabilitation centres in Asia and the Pacific in the context of COVID-19 

Against the backdrop of COVID-19, recalling the 2012 Joint Statement on compulsory drug detention and rehabilitation centres1 and the 2020 Joint Statement on COVID-19
in prisons and other closed settings2, United Nations entities urgently appeal to Member States to permanently close compulsory drug detention and rehabilitation centres and implement voluntary, evidence-informed and rights-based health and social services in the community as an important measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 and to facilitate the recovery and reintegration of those in the centres back into their families and communities. (UNODC, WHO, ILO, WFP, UNAIDS u.a., 01.06.2020)


USA. Post-coronavirus pandemic, methadone should be just as easy to get

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, addiction medicine has been transformed and expanded. The reforms must remain after the emergency ends. (Boston Globe, USA, 24.05.2020)


USA. Federal Government Approves Methadone Deliveries During Pandemic

New York City launched a methadone delivery program last month so that patients won't have to leave home during the pandemic to get their next dose. Methadone, a highly regulated medication for opioid addiction, has to be taken every day, otherwise patients risk a painful withdrawal. (npr – National Public Radio, USA, 27.05.2020)


Ärzteschaft. COVID-19 und Klima: Die Krise als Chance begreifen

Berlin – Weltweit fordern Ärzte gemeinsam mit anderen Gesundheits­berufen die Sicherung der essenziellen Lebensgrundlagen auf dem Planeten. 350 Gesundheitsorganisati­onen, die nach eigenen Angaben rund 40 Millionen Beschäftigte der Gesundheitssysteme in 90 Ländern vertreten, haben dazu einen Brief an die Regierungschefs der 20 reichsten Industrienationen (G20) unterschrieben. (aerzteblatt.de, 27.05.2020)


Europa. Where are the ECDC and the EU-wide responses in the COVID-19 pandemic?

Jordana, Jacint et al.

The Lancet, Volume 0, Issue 0 


Will the Pandemic Lead to Better Treatment for Drug Users?

Harm-reduction advocates hope new emergency rules for medication-assisted treatment will foster broader reforms after the Covid-19 crisis. (The Nation, USA, 06.05.2020)


Can a virus undermine human rights?

Nay, Olivier

The Lancet Public Health, Volume 5, Issue 5, e238 - e239 


Russland. Russian NGO Accused of “Narco-Propaganda” Over COVID-19 Advocacy For People Who Use Drugs

The Andrey Rylkov Foundation has closed its website amidst government accusations of “narco-propaganda”. The following statement outlines ongoing threats faced by the  foundation and calls for support to continue to make essential live-saving health and human rights services available to people who use drugs. (Talkin Drugs, UK, 21.04.2020)


Global call to action for inclusion of migrants and refugees in the COVID-19 response

Orcutt, Miriam et al.

The Lancet, Volume 0, Issue 0 



The COVID-19 crisis has, very quickly, highlighted a range of critical risks faced by both people who use drugs problematically and the providers of substance use services. Many in the drug policy and harm reduction community have moved swiftly to propose ways to address these issues in both the short and medium term. It has been encouraging to see that the UNODC has also sought to very clearly assert the needs and rights of people who are facing both an acute health risk and the additional effects of stigma and marginalisation.

As part of this effort, Transform and Release submitted a joint response to a call from the Treasury Committee to advise on how dedicated COVID-19 funding might best be spent. 

This briefing summarises that response, and sets out some of the interventions we think are needed to help alleviate the risks. It can be read alongside our recent blogs which discuss specific issues and principles in more detail. (Transform / Release, UK, 09.04.2020)


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)


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

USA. Vast Coalition Issues Demands for Far-Reaching MAT Reform

Harm reduction organizations, providers, experts and advocates from across the US are calling on government agencies to eliminate the notoriously burdensome restrictions imposed on medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder—a move they say would mitigate the dual crises of overdose and coronavirus. (Filter, USA, 16.04.2020)


UN. Statement by the UN expert on the right to health* on the protection of people who use drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic 

In the current COVID-19 context, people who use drugs face unique needs and risks, due to criminalisation, stigma, discrimination, underlying health issues, social marginalisation and higher economic and social vulnerabilities, including a lack of access to adequate housing and healthcare. Treatment and harm reduction services should continue to be provided to them. (United Nations, The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Genf/Schweiz, 16.04.2020)


USA. Intubated Patients Need Fentanyl. The DEA Had Recently Cut Production.

As the pandemic sweeps the country, overwhelming intensive care units with patients in need of emergency respiration, medical-grade fentanyl is urgently needed. But supply is limited by reductions in production that were mandated by the the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in recent years, raising concerns among healthcare workers, manufacturers and federal agencies. (Filter, USA, 14.04.2020)


INPUD. GDS Corona Conversations - with Judy Chang from INPUD (Video)

To kick off the second week of GDS Corona Conversations Adam speaks with Judy Chang, Executive Director of INPUD - International Network of People who Use Drugs. (GDS – Global Drugs Survey, 06.04.2020, Video. 33:28)


Amnesty International. Cornoavirus und Menschenrechte

Das Virus «COVID-19» betrifft uns alle, weltweit. Es sorgt für viel Leid und verunsichert die Menschen. Es bringt aber auch Menschen zusammen − wenn auch nicht physisch, so doch durch viel Solidarität und gegenseitige Unterstützung. Auf dieser Seite erhalten Sie Mitteilungen von Amnesty International, Recherchen und Publikationen mit Bezug zur weltweiten Pandemie, über die menschenrechtlichen Auswirkungen. (Amnesty International


Kanada. Calls for safer opioid supply grow as COVID-19 pandemic compounds overdose crisis

Physicians and harm reduction workers say the need for a safer opioid supply as a way to curb overdose deaths is even more urgent now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Globalnews, 21.03.2020)




Kanada. Safe supply of opioids needed ‘right away’ to avoid overwhelming hospitals in COVID-19 pandemic: Vancouver Mayor 

British Columbia is under pressure to ensure that opioid addicts have a safe supply of the drug to prevent the province’s hospitals from being overwhelmed with victims of two simultaneous health crises: overdoses and the COVID-19 pandemic. (The Globe and Mail, Kanada, 25.03.2020)


COVID-19 battle during the toughest sanctions against Iran

Takian, Amirhossein et al.

The Lancet, Volume 395, Issue 10229, 1035 - 1036 


UNODC. COVID-19 prevention and control among people who use drugs 

All people have the right to health, even in countries under lockdown or where a state of emergency has been declared. This includes access to life-saving HIV harm reduction services and programmes in the community, as well as health care services in prisons | UNODC, Switzerland


UNODC. COVID-19 prevention and control among people who use drugs 

All people have the right to health, even in countries under lockdown or where a state of emergency has been declared. This includes access to life-saving HIV harm reduction services and programmes in the community, as well as health care services in prisons | UNODC, Switzerland


No exceptions with COVID-19: “Everyone has the right to life-saving interventions” – UN experts say 

The COVID-19 crisis cannot be solved with public health and emergency measures only; all other human rights must be addressed too, UN human rights experts* said today ( OHCHR- Office oft he High Commissioner for Human Rights, Schweiz, 26.03.2020)


USA. Covid-19 will worsen the opioid overdose crisis if we don’t prepare now

In cities across the country, morning is peak time at almost any opioid treatment program. The line stretches from the front counter to the back door as patients wait to get their daily dose of methadone. It’s an absolutely essential gathering, but one that runs counter to containing the Covid-19 outbreak.

Efforts by health systems and governments to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the disease, have revealed gaping cracks in our nation’s public health and safety net infrastructure. The virus appears to have an outsized effect on vulnerable Americans. We have already seen in a Seattle nursing home how quickly the virus travels in close quarters. It is likely to do the same among the homeless and those who are incarcerated. Missing from the national discussion has been another vulnerable group: patients like ours with opioid use disorder. (Stat News, USA, 17.03.2020)


USA. Good News: The Federal Government Just Made It a Whole Lot Easier to Access Opioid Addiction Treatment

No more daily trips to the methadone clinic. Mother Jones, USA, 17.03.2020)