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Australien. Impacts of COVID-19 and associated restrictions on people who use illicit stimulants in New South Wales: Findings from the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on travel and gathering have likely had major impacts on drug supply, use and harms and there have been significant challenges with delivery of drug treatment and harm reduction services. People who use drugs may also be at increased risk of COVID-19 transmission because of the social nature of drug procurement and use. There have been urgent calls for evidence regarding the experiences of people who use drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic to inform public health efforts. Recognising the critical need for information, the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS) project has been adapted to collect important data on people’s experiences during COVID-19. As such, this bulletin represents findings from 103 interviews undertaken in Sydney, NSW between 13 May and 23 June 2020, as part of the EDRS. (UNSW Sydney, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, September 2020)


2020 goalkeepers Report: COVID-19 - A global perspective

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, September 2020

As we write, COVID-19 has killed more than 850,000 people. It has plunged the world into a recession that is likely to get worse. And many countries are bracing for another surge in cases.

(…) In this report, we track 18 indicators included in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In recent years, the world has improved on every single one. This year, on the vast majority, we’ve regressed. 


WHO. The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator

The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is a groundbreaking global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. (WHO, 2020)


Self-Reported Alcohol, Tobacco, and Cannabis Use during COVID-19 Lockdown Measures: Results from a Web-Based Survey. 

Vanderbruggen N, Matthys F, Van Laere S, Zeeuws D, Santermans L, Van den Ameele S, Crunelle C, L

Eur Addict Res 2020. doi: 10.1159/000510822


European Drug Report 2020

COVID-19: How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting drug use, supply and services?
Drug use and harms: What are the health costs of drug use in Europe today?
Drug markets : What do the latest data tell us about drug production and trafficking trends?

These and other questions are explored in the 2020 European Drug Report, our annual overview of the drug situation in Europe, launched on 22 September. (EMCDDA, Lissabon, 22.09.2020)


USA. Cannabis Consumption Surges During Pandemic As Sleep Issues And Anxieties Mount, Says New Poll

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a nearly double-digit increase in cannabis consumption among users as well as a "massive, lasting uptick" in those turning to cannabis delivery services to deal with sleep issues and rising anxieties. These are two key findings according to a new poll conducted by California-based Ganja Goddess, an online shopping, delivery and lifestyle brand that caters to cannabis consumers statewide. (Forbes, USA, 18.09.2020)



In: Europäischer Drogenbericht 2020: KERNTHEMEN 

Europäische Beobachtungsstelle für Drogen und Drogensucht (2020), Amt für Veröffentlichungen der Europäischen Union, Luxemburg. September 2020


#CovidCrimeWatch – August - The monthly newsletter exploring existing and emerging interactions between COVID-19 and the illicit economy

(…) This month’s #CovidCrimeWatch newsletter focuses on the continued (and in some cases increasing) use of government violence against civilians and the increasing tendency of authoritarian regimes to silence opposition. Alongside August’s newsletter, the GI-TOC has published a policy brief, ‘Reforming the Response Paradigm,’ on the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as a blog on violence in Brazil. There is also a special edition of the GI-TOC’s podcast series, ‘The Impact: Coronavirus and Organized Crime,’ focusing on how COVID-19 has impacted and shaped security and organized crime in Brazil.

Finally, the GI-TOC has also published a blog exploring the impact of the pandemic on market for counterfeit goods and the ways in which new technologies can safeguard supply chains in the long term. (CovidCrimeWatch, Schweiz, 15.09.2020)


USA. ‘Covid Will Not Win’: Meet the Force Powering Brooklyn Hospital Center

During the surge of Covid-19 cases this spring that filled the Brooklyn Hospital Center’s emergency room and intensive care unit with the critically ill and the dying, the staff went in day after day, trying to save as many lives as they could. Now they are bracing for a second wave.
These portraits of the hospital staff were taken during the grueling first wave. In interviews in recent months, the workers reflected on that period — what they had lived through and how they had coped, what they had learned and how it had changed them.
From the doctors and nurses to the workers serving behind the scenes, each had a vital role to play, and each knew that playing it could be fatal. Fighting this disease required sacrifice and courage from the laundry room and the supply depot, the laboratory and the security desk — throughout the hospital, all the way to the chief executive’s office. (New York Times, USA, 11.09.2020)


Faced with today's crisis, what would Gandhi do?. 

Bang A. 

Lancet. 2020;395(10242):e114-e115. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31413-6


Kolumbien. Drug cartels kill people for breaking their COVID-19 rules in Colombia, group says 

Armed groups with ties to drug cartels are enforcing their own COVID-19 lockdown orders in Colombia, and killing people who don’t comply, a human rights organization says. (Miami Herald, USA, 15.072020)

Kolumbien. Drug cartels kill people for breaking their COVID-19 rules in Colombia, group says 

Infodemiologie: WHO will gesundheitsschädliche Informationsflut bekämpfen

Genf – Im Kampf gegen ein Virus, dass Millionen Menschen in aller Welt bedroht, gibt es eine zweite Front: die Informationsflut mit vielen falschen und missverständlichen Informationen, die das Vertrauen der Menschen in Behörden und Experten zu untergraben droht.

Die Weltgesundheitsorganisation (WHO) hat Wissenschaftler aus zahlreichen Disziplinen und Ländern zusammengebracht, die eine neue Forschungsdisziplin schaffen wollen: Infodemiologie. (aerzteblatt.de, 22.07.2020)

Infodemiologie: WHO will gesundheitsschädliche Informationsflut bekämpfen

USA. Decarceration and Crime During COVID-19

(…) Nearly every county jail that we examined reduced their population, if only slightly, between the end of February and the end of April. Over this time period, we found that the reduction in jail population was functionally unrelated to crime trends in the following months. In fact, in nearly every city explored, fewer crimes occurred between March and May in 2020 compared to the same time period in 2019, regardless of the magnitude of the difference in jail population. (ACLU – American Civil Liberty Union, USA, 27.07.2020)


Preliminary findings of the impact of COVID-19 on drugs crypto markets

Andréanne Bergeron, David Décary-Hétu, Luca Giommoni

International Journal of Drug Policy, Available online 30 July 2020, 102870, doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.102870


Incarceration Should Not Be a Death Sentence

Andrea Circle Bear, a 30-year-old indigenous woman from South Dakota, was five months pregnant when she was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for “maintaining a drug involved premise” earlier this year. Three months later, on April 28, she was declared dead. She became first female prisoner to die of COVID-19 in a federal prison in the United States. (OSF – Open Society Foundations, USA, 21.07.2020)

Incarceration Should Not Be a Death Sentence

Threatening increase in alcohol consumption in physicians quarantined due to coronavirus outbreak in Poland: the ALCOVID survey, 

Andrzej Silczuk, 

Journal of Public Health, , fdaa110, doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdaa110

Threatening increase in alcohol consumption in physicians quarantined due to coronavirus outbreak in Poland: the ALCOVID survey, 

Applications of digital technology in COVID-19 pandemic planning and response

Whitelaw, Sera et al.

The Lancet Digital Health, Volume 0, Issue 0 


Vereinte Nationen warnen vor gefälschten Schutzmasken

Wien – Die Vereinten Nationen (UN) sehen das Leben von Menschen durch den Verkauf gefälschter Coronaschutzprodukte in Gefahr. Wie das UN-Büro für Drogen- und Verbre­chensbekämpfung (UNODC) gestern mitteilte, nutzt das organisierte Verbrechen die Co­ronapandemie aus, um untaugliche Masken und andere medizinische Produkte unter die Leute zu bringen. (aerzteblatt.de, 09.07.2020)


Why we should all be more careful in drawing conclusions about how COVID-19 is changing drug markets

Giommoni L. 

[published online ahead of print, 2020 Jul 3]. Int J Drug Policy. 2020;102834. doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.102834


USA. ‘It just weighs on your psyche’: Black Americans on mental health, trauma, and resilience

Being Black in the U.S. during the dual epidemics of Covid-19 and racism is difficult. A photo essay by Crystal Milner explores that theme. (Stat, USA, 06.07.2020)


Mexiko. Coronavirus: How Mexican cartels are taking advantage of pandemic (Video)

Mexico is one of the countries most badly affected by coronavirus in Latin America. 

A months long shutdown has left many unable to work, with the government accused of not doing enough to help. 

Now, some of Mexico’s powerful drug cartels are trying to step in to fill the void. 

The BBC secured exclusive access to one cartel trying to win over the hearts and minds of Mexico’s poor. (BBC, 10.07.2020, Video, 03:22)


Mexiko. Opinion: How Mexico’s Drug Cartels Are Profiting From the Pandemic

Lockdown exacerbated addiction in the U.S., while in Mexico, cartels dig into their turfs with charity and curfews, and put violent pressure on a vulnerable government. (New York Times, USA, 07.07.2020)


Telehealth for Substance-Using Populations in the Age of Coronavirus Disease 2019: Recommendations to Enhance Adoption. 

Lin L, Fernandez AC, Bonar EE. 

JAMA Psychiatry. Published online July 01, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.1698


Questionable Paperwork Lets Fake and Faulty Masks Flood Europe

Europe’s dodgy market for “certified” COVID-19 protective equipment — Fake and substandard personal protective equipment (PPE) is being sold with a veneer of legitimacy thanks to the rise of another business: misleading compliance certificates. (OCCRP - Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, 02.06.2020)


EMCDDA. EU Drug Markets — Impact of COVID-19
(May 2020) What effect is COVID-19 having on the drug market in the EU? This joint publication from the EMCDDA and Europol analyses the impact of the pandemic on the market for the main drug types (cannabis, heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, NPS), including demand, production, trafficking and availability. It reports higher prices, local shortages and reduced purity for some drugs, while noting continued violence among suppliers and distributors. It also shows how organised crime groups remain active and resilient, by adapting transportation models, trafficking routes and concealment methods, even during the pandemic. (EMCDDA, Mai 2020)


Digital tools against COVID-19: taxonomy, ethical challenges, and navigation aid

Gasser, Urs et al.

The Lancet Digital Health, Volume 0, Issue 0 


UNO rechnet mit Zunahme des weltweiten Drogenkonsums

Wien – Die Vereinten Nationen (UNO) rechnen wegen der Coronakrise mit einer Zunahme des weltweiten Drogenkonsums. Von steigenden Arbeitslosenzahlen bis hin zu Einsparungen bei Präventionsprogrammen und weniger Drogenrazzien nannte das UN-Büro für Drogen- und Verbrechensbekämpfung (UNODC) in seinem heute in Wien veröffentlichten Weltdrogenbericht 2020 eine Vielzahl von Gründen für seine Prognose. (aerzteblatte.de, 25.06.2020)


Global Drug Survey: Alkohol aus Langeweile

Was macht die Corona-Krise mit Menschen, für die Alkohol, MDMA und weitere Drogen alltäglich sind? Erste Ergebnisse der weltweit größten Drogenumfrage zeigen einen Wandel. (zeit.de, 04.06.2020)


COVID-19 and Illicit Markets (Podcast)

The potential impact of COVID-19 on economic markets is well known and widely discussed. But what about the markets we know less about, namely illicit markets? Drug markets, policymakers and people who use drugs are facing an unprecedented situation. Join this discussion - a blend of on-the-ground narratives and broader policy perspectives - to hear how we might best respond.

Speaker(s):Naomi Burke-Shyne, Jason Eligh, Gabriel Feltran, Kasia Malinowska, Alexander Söderholm

(LSE – London School of Economics, UK, 02.06.2020, Audio, 34:00)


USA/SAMHSA. Training and Technical Assistance Related to COVID-19

SAMHSA is committed to providing regular training and technical assistance (TTA) on matters related to the mental and substance use disorder field as they deal with COVID-19.

Our TA programs are delivering great resources during this time.