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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)

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-06-pandemic-canada-fatal-drug-overdoses.html

TAKING BACK WHAT’S OURS! – Episode 1. The Netherlands, Belgium and France

Drugreporter and INPUD presents the first episode of a 10 chapter long series documenting how people who use drugs around the world have organised and formed collectives and unions to protect and defend the health and human rights of their community. The first episode uncovers he history of the movement in the Netherlands, and how it inspired activists in Belgium and France. (Drug Reporter, Ungarn, 06.07.2020)

https://drogriporter.hu/en/taking-back-whats-ours-1-the-netherlands-belgium-france/

COVID-19: a multifaceted threat to refugee camps

Burki, Talha

The Lancet Microbe, Volume 1, Issue 3, e110 

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanmic/article/PIIS2666-5247(20)30072-0/fulltext

USA. Coronavirus cases trickle into addiction treatment centers; some workers worry 

State posts names of addiction treatment, methadone, mental health facilities with COVID-19 cases online. (Orange County Register, USA, 25.06.2020)

https://www.ocregister.com/2020/06/25/coronavirus-cases-trickle-into-addiction-treatment-centers-some-workers-worry/

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)

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/09/coronavirus-pandemic-us-opioids-crisis

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)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/national/investigations/native-american-opioid-overdose-deaths

Irland. Saving Lives in the time of COVID-19 

Case Study of Harm Reduction, Homelessness and Drug Use in Dublin, Ireland 

July, 2020 

Austin O’Carroll, Tony Duffin and John Collins 

https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/32291/1/Harm-Reduction-in-the-time-of-COVID19.pdf

Kanada, Downtown Eastside march for safe supply of drugs to take place Tuesday

With last month being the deadliest for drug overdoses in years with more than 170 dead in the city, Vancouver activists rallied and marched through the Downtown Eastside, the epicenter of hard drug use in the city, to demand access to a safe supply of drugs for users. While acknowledging federal and provincial government efforts to ease access to such drugs, lockdowns related to the coronavirus pandemic have resulted in interruptions to the drug supply and led to the local manufacture of substitutes cut with more dangerous and toxic ingredients. The rally was led by the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU). (The Province, Kanada, 23.06.2020)

https://theprovince.com/news/local-news/downtown-eastside-march-for-safe-supply-of-drugs-to-take-place-tuesday/wcm/3e7e7b81-ac84-4949-9ef2-fde0b663d21c

INPUD. COVID-19 Survey Report 1: Health & Rights of People who Use Drugs in a COVID-19 Environment

The data presented below (…) is a brief overview and summary of initial data from the first 3 weeks of the online survey, collected between the 8th May - 31st May 2020 across all six languages of the survey. Data analysis was conducted using automatically generated Survey Monkey data summary reports for the quantitative results and a qualitative thematic analysis approach to identify the key themes within each language version and the collated data set. Data collection is ongoing and further data analysis and reports will be produced in due course. This data report is designed to provide a brief overview of the data collected and some of the key emerging issues. For this reason, not all available data is included in the analysis below. (INPUD - The International Network of People who Use Drugs, 01.07.2020) 

https://www.inpud.net/en/covid-19-survey-report-1-health-rights-people-who-use-drugs-covid-19-environment

EMCDDA Trendspotter briefing: impact of COVID-19 on patterns of drug use and drug-related harms in Europe

(June 2020) Since the start of 2020, European countries have been experiencing an unprecedented public health threat with the emergence of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). In order to investigate the effects and implications of this pandemic for people who use drugs in Europe, the EMCDDA instigated a mixed-method trendspotter study to investigate the current situation. This briefing provides a snapshot of the state of play with respect to the impact of COVID-19 on drug consumption patterns and drug-related harms during the early stages of the pandemic. (EMCDDA, Juni 2020)

https://www.emcdda.europa.eu/system/files/publications/13130/EMCDDA-Trendspotter-Covid-19-Wave-2_1.pdf

UK. Supervised Dispensing after COVID-19

Following the relaxations to the way in which opiate substitute treatment has been subscribed and delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic - as a sector we now have a challenge:

“How do we incorporate the lessons learned from the changes to supervised dispensary during the pandemic?  And can we move towards a fully risk based, individualised dispensing system?” (NHS Substance Misuse Provider Alliance blog, UK, Juni 2020)

https://nhssmpa.org/blog/dispensing-after-covid-19

USA (Arizona). How Stavros 24-7 Clinics Handle the Pandemic

When the pandemic hit the epicenter of New York City in mid-March, Nicholas Stavros’ 24-7 clinics across the country were already preparing. “We got in front of this right away,” said Mr. Stavros, CEO of Community Medical Services (CMS), based in Scottsdale, Arizona. (atforum.com, USA, 27.05.2020)

https://atforum.com/2020/05/how-stavros-24-7-clinics-handle-the-pandemic/

USA. SF gives methadone, alcohol, cannabis to some addicts and homeless isolating from coronavirus in hotels

The city health department confirmed Wednesday that it is providing alcohol, tobacco, medical cannabis and other substances in an effort to prevent a handful of people quarantined or isolating in city-leased hotels from going outside to get the substances themselves. The hotel residents are receiving opioid maintenance medications such as methadone, delivered by methadone clinics. The city says it is using harm reduction to keep these people inside and curb the spread of the coronavirus. (San Francisco Chronicle, USA, 06.05.2020)

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/SF-providing-medications-alcohol-cannabis-to-15251350.php

USA. Treating an opioid epidemic during the coronavirus pandemic: University Hospitals pivots peer-support program to telehealth

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Back in March, University Hospitals was on the verge of rolling out a peer-support program at UH Parma Medical Center, where people recovering from opioid addiction could offer guidance to patients with substance use disorder. Then the coronavirus pandemic struck.

The hospital system suddenly faced a question health care providers across the U.S. have been dealing with throughout the COVID-19 crisis: How do you continue treating the opioid epidemic during a global pandemic? (cleveland.com, 30.05.2020)

https://www.cleveland.com/healthfit/2020/05/treating-an-opioid-epidemic-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic-university-hospitals-pivots-peer-support-program-to-telehealth.html

Kanada. Dr. Bonnie Henry has a bold prescription for B.C.’s other public health crisis

British Columbia has wrestled down the coronavirus pandemic better than most places, and much of the credit has rightly gone to Bonnie Henry, the province’s Provincial Health Officer.

(…)

But as B.C. succeeds against one public health threat, the province continues its long struggle against another. Thousands of British Columbians have died, and are still dying, of drug overdoses.

It’s been four years since a provincial health emergency was declared. Last year, the situation appeared to be improving, but this spring saw a brutal reversal. In March, illicit drug toxicity killed 112 people. In April, 117 died. That death toll exceeds the 165 people in B.C. who have died of COVID-19. (Globe and Mail, Kanada, 03.06.2020)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/article-dr-bonnie-henry-has-a-bold-prescription-for-bcs-other-public/

Treating Patients With Opioid Use Disorder in Their Homes: An Emerging Treatment Model.

Uscher-Pines L, Huskamp HA, Mehrotra A. 

JAMA. Published online May 27, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.3940

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2766674

USA. The Treatment of Substance Use Disorders and Addiction During COVID-19 (ACMT-ASAM)

As the leader in developing clinical guidelines and standards in addiction medicine, ASAM takes its responsibility very seriously. Many providers and programs are urgently working to mitigate risks related to COVID-19. From May through August 2020, the American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) recurring "3rd Friday Addiction Toxicology Case Conference" series is co-hosted by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). The co-hosted series will be an interactive discussion of addiction toxicology cases and will feature ASAM and ACMT members, as well as guest experts. This series of sessions provides a comprehensive overview of COVID-19 resources and focuses on challenging cases to inform your practices during the pandemic. 

https://elearning.asam.org/products/the-treatment-of-substance-use-disorders-and-addiction-during-covid-19-series-acmt-asam-collaboration#tab-product_tab_overview

Indien. How India Introduced Methadone Take-Homes in the Pandemic

“Dear Helen, You will be pleased to know that during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown we in India have also started the practice of take-home methadone.”

It was one of the most welcome emails I’ve received recently. It came from Dr. Atul Ambekar—a professor and researcher at the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, and at the Department of Psychiatry of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi. (Filter, USA, 01.06.2020)

https://filtermag.org/india-methadone-coronavirus/

Kanada. Harm reduction: how homeless people are getting their drugs during a COVID quarantine

A Nova Scotia family doctor says we need to have uncomfortable but important conversations around harm reduction initiatives that support homeless populations, especially those in quarantine. (Halifax Examiner, Kanada, 21.05.2020)

https://www.halifaxexaminer.ca/featured/harm-reduction-how-homeless-people-are-getting-their-drugs-during-a-covid-quarantine/

USA. Drug-User Groups Innovate to Reduce the Risks of Using While Isolated 

As COVID-19 continues to paralyze much of the world, people who use drugs wrestle with a collision of public health emergencies. Combining the overdose crisis, HIV and hepatitis C epidemics, chronic homelessness and mass incarceration with social distancing rules has created an especially noxious syndemic, (Filter Magazine, USA, 18.05.2020)

https://filtermag.org/drugs-coronavirus-innovation/

Portugal. STORIES FROM THE FRONTLINES - Portugal

Involving peers is key to respond to the crisis - Stories from the Frontlines live video with Portuguese harm reducers Our guests today are Adriana Curado (GATS), Rui Coimbra Morais (CASO) and José Queiroz (APDES). Moderator: Peter Sarosi. (Drug Reporter, Ungarn, 22.05.2020, Video, 56:51))

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oUgxAlHf3c

Norwegen. STORIES FROM THE FRONTLINES - Norway

Our guests today are Arild Knutsen from the Association for Humane Drug Policies and Øystein Bruun Ericson, project coordinator for the Norwegian take home naloxone project, also City of Oslo, Agency for Social and Welfare Services, Competence Centre Moderator: Peter Sarosi. (Drug Reporter, Ungarn, 22.05.2020, Video, 33:14)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czX6naACMkY

USA. Changes In Opioid Supply Create New Risks As Stay-At-Home Rules Ease 

There is no national data yet on the pandemic's impact on drug supply and overdose rates in the United States, but experts in addiction and law enforcement say availability and prices of illegal drugs have changed in different areas of the country. And as drug users adjust to new patterns of use, that's creating a patchwork of new overdose risk as well. (NPR – National Public Radio, USA, 18.05.2020)

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/05/18/854729610/changes-in-opioid-supply-create-new-risks-as-stay-at-home-rules-ease

Schottland. Charity brings drug treatments to addicts' doors in lockdown

Support workers in Edinburgh making contactless deliveries of methadone to vulnerable clients. (The Guardian, UK, 17.05.2020)

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/may/17/charity-brings-drug-treatments-to-addicts-doors-in-lockdown

USA. NYC Begins Home Methadone Deliveries. Will It Have Lasting Impact on the Rules?

On April 29, New York City started delivering methadone to patients isolated at home due to the coronavirus. The courier system was rolled out last week, as Filter reported, with deliveries to patients in Isolation Hotels. The aim is to reduce both the spread of the virus and the prospect of methadone patients unable to pick up doses seeking risky alternatives. (Filter, USA, 30.04.2020)

https://filtermag.org/new-york-home-methadone-delivery/

USA. The Coronavirus Pandemic Disrupts Opioid Addiction Treatments In Philadelphiahia The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted treatment of opioid addiction, as Philadelphia rehabs have closed. But there is hope in the increased use of telemedicine and Narcan for overdoses. (NPR – National Public Radio, USA, 11.05.2020)

https://www.npr.org/2020/05/11/854115372/the-coronavirus-pandemic-disrupts-opioid-addiction-treatments-in-philadelphia

Challenges in maintaining treatment services for people who use drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dunlop A, Lokuge B, Masters D, Sequeira M, Saul P, Dunlop G, Ryan J, Hall M, Ezard N, Haber P, Lintzeris N, Maher L.

Harm Reduct J. 2020 May 6;17(1):26. doi: 10.1186/s12954-020-00370-7.

https://harmreductionjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12954-020-00370-7

USA. “We’re Human Beings. Help Us.”—Drugs and Homelessness in the Pandemic

It’s fucking horrible right now,” Andy said. “Since this corona thing, the quality of the heroin on the streets is just shite. The stuff I bought today was this plastic-y, chemically smelling mess. I could barely smoke it. Imagine someone putting that into their veins—that’s actually fucking terrifying.” (Filter, USA, 06.05.2020)

https://filtermag.org/drugs-homelessness-coronavirus/

Kanada. Opioid crisis worsens during pandemic as services for drug users scale back

Harm reduction workers battling Ontario’s opioid crisis say COVID-19 is making the situation worse, as police and public health officials in Toronto report a spike in overdoses and related deaths since the start of the pandemic. (City Newas Toronto, Kanada, 30.03.2020)

https://toronto.citynews.ca/2020/04/30/opioid-crisis-worsens-during-pandemic-as-services-for-drug-users-scale-back/

Schottland. Delivering Opioid Substitution Treatment in Edinburgh during COVID-19 (Video)

Innovations in Edinburgh to hand deliver opioid substitution treatment OST to vulnerable patients who are isolating - Dr John Budd explains in this BBC News piece. (BBC, UK, 26.04.2020, Video, 03:46)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2qRffK7jJc&feature=youtu.be