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Changes in illicit drug use and markets with the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions: findings from the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System, 2016–20.

Price, O., Man, N., Bruno, R., Dietze, P., Salom, C., Lenton, S., Grigg, J., Gibbs, D., Wilson, T., Degenhardt, L., Chan, R., Thomas, N., and Peacock, A. (2021) 

Addiction, XXX, doi.org/10.1111/add.15620


UN-Bericht: Coronakrise treibt mehr Menschen zum Drogenmissbrauch

Wien – Die Coronakrise treibt einem UN-Bericht zufolge mehr Menschen zum Drogenmissbrauch. Durch die Pandemie verstärkte Faktoren für Drogensucht wie Ungleichheit, Armut und psychische Probleme würden die Lage voraussichtlich „auf Jahre hinaus“ verschlimmern, warnt das UN-Büro für Drogen- und Verbrechensbekämpfung (UNODC) in seinem Weltdrogenbericht 2021, der heute in Wien vorgestellt wurde. (aerzteblatt.de, 24.06.2021)


Open science saves lives: lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Besançon, L., Peiffer-Smadja, N., Segalas, C. et al. 

BMC Med Res Methodol 21, 117 (2021). doi.org/10.1186/s12874-021-01304-y


Mehr Fälle von Kindesmissbrauch und Rassismus während Coronapandemie

Wien – Die EU-Agentur für Grundrechte (FRA) hat als Folge der Coronapandemie beispiellose und tiefgreifende Auswirkungen auf die Menschenrechte im Jahr 2020 festgestellt. Fälle von häuslicher Gewalt und Kindesmissbrauch sowie Rassismus hätten zugenommen und besonders ohnehin gefährdete Gruppen getroffen, erklärte die Agentur heute in ihrem Jahresbericht. In Deutschland stieg die Zahl der Anrufe bei der Hotline für Betroffene von häuslicher Gewalt zwischen März und Juni des vergangenen Jahres um 20 Prozent, wie die Agentur mitteilte. (aerzteblatt.de, 09.06.2021)


Markt für illegale Drogen widerstandsfähig gegen Corona

Lissabon – Der europäische Markt für illegale Drogen hat sich als widerstandsfähig gegen Störungen durch die Coronapandemie erwiesen. Die Risiken für die öffentliche Gesundheit nahmen sogar eher noch zu, da mehr Stoffe mit teils sehr hoher Wirksamkeit und Reinheit registriert wurden, wie die EU-Drogenbeobachtungsstelle (EMCDDA) in ihrem heute in Lissabon vorgestellten Europäischen Drogenbericht 2021 betonte. (aerzteblatt.de, 09.06.2021)


Evolution of the Illegal Substances Market and Substance Users' Social Situation and Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Gaume J, Schmutz E, Daeppen JB, Zobel F.

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 May 7;18(9):4960. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18094960. PMID: 34066941; PMCID: PMC8125553.


Changes in drug use in European cities during early COVID-19 lockdowns - A snapshot from wastewater analysis. 

Been F, Emke E, Matias J, Baz-Lomba JA, Boogaerts T, Castiglioni S, Campos-Mañas M, Celma A, Covaci A, de Voogt P, Hernández F, Kasprzyk-Hordern B, Laak TT, Reid M, Salgueiro-González N, Steenbeek R, van Nuijs ALN, Zuccato E, Bijlsma L. 

Environ Int. 2021 Aug;153:106540. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2021.106540. Epub 2021 Mar 26. PMID: 33838618; PMCID: PMC7997602.


How harm reduction advocates and the tobacco industry capitalized on pandemic to promote nicotine 

Scientific papers suggesting that smokers are less likely to fall ill with COVID-19 are being discredited as links to the tobacco industry, reveals an investigation by The BMJ today. (BMJ – British Medical Journal, UK, 02.06.2021)


Changes in substance supply and use characteristics among people who use drugs (PWUD) during the COVID-19 global pandemic: A national qualitative assessment in Canada. 

Ali F, Russell C, Nafeh F, Rehm J, LeBlanc S, Elton-Marshall T. 

Int J Drug Policy. 2021 Apr 10:103237. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2021.103237. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33893026.


Adulterants in Street Drugs Tied to Increased COVID Risk - Medscape - May 12, 2021.


“The Rapidly Changing Composition of the Global Street Drug Supply and Its Effects on High-Risk Groups for COVID-19”, 

Thom Browne*, Mark S. Gold and David M. Martin, 

Current Psychopharmacology (2021) 10: 1. doi.org/10.2174/2211556010666210125124645 


Health Care Worker Strikes and the Covid Pandemic. 

Essex R, Weldon SM. 

N Engl J Med. 2021 Apr 7. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp2103327. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33826818.


Impact of COVID-19 on drug markets, use, harms and drug services in the community and prisons


Since early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the way we live, with European countries having to introduce unprecedented measures to protect public health. As with all areas of life, drug consumption, related harms and drug markets have been impacted, as have the services established to respond to drug-related problems. During the first weeks of the pandemic, the EMCDDA instigated two rapid assessment studies to identify the initial impact and implications of COVID-19.

This current study, conducted between January and March 2021, is a follow-up to the two previous assessments and aims to revisit the initial findings from the earlier studies and identify any signs of further developments in this area. The results from this study provide a first glimpse into new developments emerging both during and in response to the pandemic, and which could have important implications for the future. (EMCDDA, Lissabon, April 2021)


WHO. COVID-19 continues to disrupt essential health services in 90% of countries

Some signs of recovery emerging but major efforts required to restore and strengthen health services. (WHO, 23.04.2021)


Covid, cocaine take Europe to ‘breaking point’, says Europol

The coronavirus pandemic could fuel organised crime for years to come in Europe, a continent already at “breaking point” from an unprecedented flood of cocaine, the EU’s policing agency warned Monday (12 April). (euractiv.com, 12.04.2021)


UK. Drugs in the Time of COVID: Interim Report (April 2021)

Since the beginning of the first national coronavirus lockdown, Release has operated a public, online survey designed to monitor how people are buying their drugs. The purpose of this survey, which is open to anyone residing in the UK over the age of 18, is to determine the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic, and corresponding restrictions, have had on buying illegal substances. In the same way that the COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted all aspects of our lives, it is reasonable to expect that with lockdowns and global restrictions on movement, the drug market will also be impacted. (Release, UK, April 2021)


Lessons from the influx of preprints during the early COVID-19 pandemic

Brierley, Liam

The Lancet Planetary Health, Volume 5, Issue 3, e115 - e117 


UK. Drugs in the Time of COVID: Interim Report

Since the beginning of the first national coronavirus lockdown, Release has operated a public, online survey designed to monitor how people are buying their drugs. The purpose of this survey, which is open to anyone residing in the UK over the age of 18, is to determine the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic, and corresponding restrictions, have had on buying illegal substances. In the same way that the COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted all aspects of our lives, it is reasonable to expect that with lockdowns and global restrictions on movement, the drug market will also be impacted. (Release, UK, Februar 2021)


Coronapandemie mobilisierte Forschung

(…) Außerdem seien bis Ende November etwa 75.000 wissenschaftliche Publikationen zu COVID-19 erschienen, die meisten Beiträge seien aus den USA und China veröffentlicht worden. Auf der ganzen Welt hätten Forschungsdatenbanken und wissenschaftliche Verlage den Informationsaustausch gefördert, in dem sie etwa Bezahlschranken für Veröffentlichungen entfernten. (aerzteblatt.de, 28.01.2021)


Reducing stigma and discrimination associated with COVID-19: early stage pandemic rapid review and practical recommendations.

Gronholm PC, Nosé M, van Brakel WH, Eaton J, Ebenso B, Fiekert K, Hanna F, Milenova M, Sunkel C, Barbui C, Thornicroft G. 

Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci. 2021 Jan 28:1-23. doi: 10.1017/S2045796021000056. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33504412.


Anxiety and Panic Buying Behaviour during COVID-19 Pandemic—A Qualitative Analysis of Toilet Paper Hoarding Contents on Twitter. 

Leung J, Chung JYC, Tisdale C, Chiu V, Lim CCW, Chan G.

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(3):1127. doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031127 


Coronapandemie senkt Nachfrage nach HIV-Präexpositionsprophylaxe

Berlin – Die Nachfrage nach der Präexpositionsprophylaxe (PrEP) ist in der Coronapandemie deutlich zurückgegangen. Das zeigt eine interne Abfrage des Robert-Koch-Instituts (RKI) unter Einrichtungen, die PrEP verschreiben, wie aus einer Antwort der Bundesregierung auf eine Kleine Anfrage der FDP-Fraktion im Bundestag hervorgeht. Demnach hat die Nachfrage nach PrEP bei 76 Prozent der Zentren abgenommen. (aerzteblatt.de, 04.02.2021)


WHO. 2021 designated as the International Year of Health and Care Workers

Member States at the resumed virtual, 73rd World Health Assembly, recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of the millions of health and care workers at the forefront of the Covid-19 pandemic, unanimously designated 2021 as the International Year of Health and Care Workers (YHCW). (WHO, Genf, 11.11.2020)


UN75—Race, COVID-19, and the War on Drugs (Video)

While the 2020 U.S. elections delivered an unprecedented wave of victories for drug policy reform measures across all parts of the country, this year also brought to the forefront the most egregious aspects of the war on drugs and racial inequality, magnified through the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and too many others. Violence and police misconduct, especially against people of color, continues to be rationalized by being tied to victims’ alleged and actual involvement with drugs. At the same time, Black, Preto, and BAME communities have suffered some of the worst health related effects of COVID-19.

In this discussion we bring together UN experts on racism and discrimination, parliamentarians, journalists, and activists to look at how race, drugs, and repression affect the United States, the United Kingdom, and Brazil, and how these new, but not novel, abuses of power can be addressed effectively, through high-level policy change and tireless activism on the streets.

This event is part of UN75 Dialogues, an initiative to spark conversations on priorities for the future, obstacles to achieving them, and the role of international cooperation in making progress. (OSF – Open Society Foundations, USA, 04.12.2020, Video, 01:27:35)


Springer Nature CEO calls for greater collaboration across the research community to accelerate open science, building on lessons learnt from COVID-19

Partnership and collaboration fundamental to achieving benefits of open science, says Vrancken Peeters. (Springer Nature Group, London, 12.01.2021)


The 432-year-old manual on social distancing

BBC Future, 07.01.2021


USA. COVIDLAND – ein Kurzfilm über Hoffnung auf Überleben in einer Intensivstation

Im November und Dezember vergangenen Jahres filmte Prof. Jeffrey B. Teitler, MFA, auf der Intensivstation am Hartford Hospital in Hartford in Connecticut, vor welchen schwierigen Entscheidungen die Ärzte in der Corona-Pandemie manchmal stehen.

Teitler ist ein preisgekrönter Dokumentarfilmer und Professor am Department of Communication an der Central Connecticut State University, New Britain. Er erhielt die Erlaubnis, einige Tage die Intensivmedizinerin Dr. Megan Panico zu begleiten und schuf mit seinen Beobachtungen eine sensible Hommage über den täglichen Kampf am Krankenbett. (Medscape, 14.01.2021, Video,07:28)


Rückblick 2020: Die Welt im Griff des Virus

Aerzteblatt-online - Jahresrückblick 2020


Characterizing Weibo Social Media Posts From Wuhan, China During the Early Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Qualitative Content Analysis. 

Xu Q, Shen Z, Shah N, Cuomo R, Cai M, Brown M, Li J, Mackey T. 

JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2020 Dec 7;6(4):e24125. doi: 10.2196/24125. PMID: 33175693; PMCID: PMC7722484.


EMCDDA. EMCDDA releases study findings on the impact of COVID-19 on drug markets, use and services in the southern ENP region

The emergence of new drug trafficking routes, the reduced availability of drug-related health services and the adaptation of drug treatment protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic are among the findings highlighted today in a new EMCDDA report: Impact of COVID-19 on drug markets, drug use, drug-related harms and responses in south European Neighbourhood Policy countries. (EMCDDA, Lissabon, 22.12.2020)