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Europa. Reitox: a model European network bridging science, policy and practice (Video, dt.Untertitel)

The Reitox network is composed of 29 NFPs in the 27 EU Member States, Turkey and Norway, as well as a focal point at the European Commission. The NFPs — from which the agency draws the bulk of its data — collect and analyse national information on drugs, drawing on various sectors, including health, justice and law enforcement. This video captures the essence of the network. (EMCDDA, 25.11.2022, Video, 06.26, dt. UT)

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

Frankreich. Right Wing Protest “Closes” Drug Consumption Room in Paris

A far-right French youth group protested at one of the only drug consumption rooms in France in early December, condemning its support for self-destructive activities, and proclaiming their vision of a zero-tolerance for drugs in France. (Talking Drugs, UK, 16.01.2023)

https://www.talkingdrugs.org/right-wing-protest-%E2%80%9Ccloses%E2%80%9D-parisian-drug-consumption-room

Südamerika. Legalise Cocaine To Save the Amazon

45 years ago, foreign ministers of eight countries bordering the Amazon rainforest signed a treaty for Amazonian cooperation. The pact aimed to improve the lives of local populations by protecting natural resources and regulating their use. Almost half a century later, the Amazon region remains as a central stage for ecological exploitation and political violence. Meanwhile, the prohibition of cocaine fuels repeating episodes of brutality in the region, funding criminal enterprises’ actions.

This drug-related violence is particularly evident in Javari Valley, Brazil’s second-largest drug trafficking route, which is primarily used for the transportation of cocaine from Peru and Colombia to Brazil and other transatlantic markets. The capture of the region by organised crime syndicates like the Family of the North, the Red Command and the First Capital Command—organisations coming from the Northern states, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo, respectively—are known to also contribute to deforestation, illegal mining, fishing and logging. (Talking Drugs, UK, 23.01.2023)

https://www.talkingdrugs.org/legalise-cocaine-to-save-the-amazon

Schottland. Drug Deaths Taskforce response: cross government approach

Cross government response to the Drug Deaths Taskforce report, Changing Lives. It contains a cross government action plan, response to Taskforce recommendations and a stigma action plan. (Scottish Government, Population Health Directorate, 12.01.2023)

https://www.gov.scot/publications/drug-deaths-taskforce-response-cross-government-approach/

Afghanistan. “I did not know vegetable cultivation could be so profitable”: role-model farmers in Helmand aim to make their communities poppy-free

Helmand (Afghanistan), 4 January 2023 – According to the 2022 opium survey, Helmand remains the leading opium-producing province in Afghanistan, with one-fifth of arable land dedicated to opium poppy.

Farmers in Helmand have grown opium poppy for years due to a lack of opportunity to earn their livelihood growing licit crops. Decades of conflict, natural disasters, and the COVID-19 pandemic have all exacerbated the situation, with farmers continuing to resort to production, processing, and trade of opium. (UNODC, Wien, 04.01.2023)

https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/2023/January/i-did-not-know-vegetable-cultivation-could-be-so-profitable_-role-model-farmers-in-helmand-aim-to-make-their-communities-poppy-free.html

The Impact of Economic Recessions on the Use of Illicit Drugs: a Systematic Review of Literature and a Meta-Analysis

Subsequently to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world registered a marked economic recession. In 2020, the EU, GDP fell by 6.1 %. In 2021 and 2022, the speed and degree of recovery is still uncertain. As in other recessions, the impact on drug use can be marked. What is the impact of economic recessions on the use of illegal drugs? Several studies were made, but conclusions are diverse and sometimes conflicting. A sharp picture was still difficult to depict. This study aims to fill this gap, systematically summarizing the results of the several empirical studies available. (Claudia Costa-Storti, Lisbon Addictions 2022, Präsentation)

https://www.lisbonaddictions.eu/lisbon-addictions-2022/presentations/1-impact-economic-recessions-use-illicit-drugs-systematic-review-literature-and-meta

International Overdose Awareness Day Partners’ Report 2022

(Pennington Institutem USA, 2022)

https://www.overdoseday.com/wp-content/uploads/IOAD-2022-Partners-Report.pdf

USA. Inequality: The Opioid Epidemic Is Surging among Black People because of Unequal Access to Treatment

Clinics and the most effective types of therapy are harder to find in communities where people of color live. (Scientific American, USA, 01.12.2022)

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-opioid-epidemic-now-kills-more-black-people-than-white-ones-because-of-unequal-access-to-treatment/

Europa. EU Drugs Agency: MEPs give the green light to a more powerful agency 

Extended powers including risk and threat assessments 

Agency charged with monitoring, preparedness and data analysis 

MEPs want a transparent and science-based agency complying with human rights 

On Thursday, MEPs endorsed a broader mandate for the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) that would transform it into an EU Drugs Agency. (European Parliament News, 01.12.2022)

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20221128IPR58111/eu-drugs-agency-meps-give-the-green-light-to-a-more-powerful-agency

Kambodscha. Climate Lessons from Cambodia’s Illegal MDMA Market

Cambodia’s experience with MDMA production provides important lessons about managing the environmental repercussions of illicit drug production, which are particularly important in the wake of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) that occurred earlier this month.

As evident by the UNODC’s collaborative event at COP27, discussions of the intersectional nature of climate change and drug policy solutions are still fledgling, yet increasingly important to address. (Talking Drugs, UK, 28.11.20229

https://www.talkingdrugs.org/climate-lessons-from-cambodias-illegal-mdma-market

Understanding Successful Policy innovation: the case of Portuguese drug policy, 

Moury, C., and Escada, M. (2022) 

Addiction. doi.org/10.1111/add.16099.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/add.16099

The opioid epidemic: a worldwide exploratory study using the WHO pharmacovigilance database. 

Robert, M, Jouanjus, E, Khouri, C, Fouilhé Sam-Laï, N, Revol, B. 

Addiction. 2022. doi.org/10.1111/add.16081 

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/add.16081

The Missing Guests at COP27? Drug Barons - Politicians don’t control the Amazon, cartels do.

As global leaders meet at COP27, they could do worse than offer members of Transnational Organised Crime a seat at the table.

Because when it comes to the pledges that will be made in Sharm El Sheikh – whether that’s stopping deforestation, protecting indigenous land rights, financing community responses to wildfires or implementing climate resilient development – it’s unlikely the people in the room will have the power to fulfil them.

Organised crime controls some of our planet’s most environmentally critical landscapes. The jungles of south-east Asia, forests of west Africa and the rainforests of central and south America are some of the planet’s largest carbon sinks and key to our climate future. This equatorial line also correlates to the world’s major drug trafficking routes. Where the illicit drug trade thrives so does corruption, because prohibition is the mother of organised crime. (Novara Media, UK, 07.11.2022)

https://novaramedia.com/2022/11/07/the-missing-guests-at-cop27-drug-barons/

Brasilien. THE BLACK INITIATIVE: Fighting Brazil’s Racist Drug War (Video)

The war on drugs is an instrument of racism, which incites violence and hinders democratic development in Brazil. Watch our new short documentary to find out how a black civil society organization in Brazil, Iniciativa Negra, takes up the fight against this war on people. (Drug Reporter, Ungarn, 09.11.2022, Video 25:00) 

https://drogriporter.hu/en/iniciativa-negra/

UNAIDS. On International Drug Users’ Day, UNAIDS calls for action against the criminalization of people who use drugs and for community-led harm reduction programmes

GENEVA, 1 November 2021—On International Drug Users’ Day, UNAIDS is calling for urgent action against the criminalization of people who use drugs, for the redress of criminalization’s negative effects on HIV, viral hepatitis and other health issues, for the respect of human rights and for more funding for community-led harm reduction programmes.

“UNAIDS is committed to supporting countries in their journey towards the decriminalization of drug possession and to full-scale implementation of harm reduction programmes,” said UNAIDS Executive Director, Winnie Byanyima. “UNAIDS calls for the full involvement of communities of people who use drugs in achieving legal reform aimed at decriminalization and in the organization of harm reduction programmes at the country level. This will help us to end inequalities and end AIDS.” (UNAIDS, Genf, 01.11.2022)

https://www.unaids.org/en/resources/presscentre/pressreleaseandstatementarchive/2021/november/20211101_international-drug-users-day

Afghanistan. Popular Afghan Pastime Goes Up In Smoke As Taliban Bans Hookahs 

Young men inhaling fruit-flavored tobacco from hookahs had become a common site in Afghanistan in recent years.

But the Taliban recently issued a fatwa, or Islamic decree, banning the popular pastime. The militant Islamist group considers hookahs, also known as shisha, as an intoxicant, which is banned under Islam.

The ban on hookahs was announced in the western province of Herat earlier this month. It is unclear if the fatwa extends to the entire country. (Gandhara, RFE/RL's Radio Azadi, Tschechien, 25.10.2022)

https://gandhara.rferl.org/p/6002.html

Biden Administration Unveils Overdose Prevention Strategy. 

Stephenson J. 

JAMA Health Forum. 2021 Nov 2;2(11):e214252. doi: 10.1001/jamahealthforum.2021.4252. PMID: 36218839.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama-health-forum/fullarticle/2785927

Brasilien. Lula Inherits Legacy of Bolsonaro’s Drug Policy Harms—and His Own

On November 1, President Jair Bolsonaro gave a brief speech in which he did not acknowledge his defeat in Brazil’s second round of elections to the left-wing Workers’ Party candidate, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Bolsonaro’s chief of staff then announced that he would hand over power democratically. He is Brazil’s first sitting president to lose a re-election bid.

After taking office in 2019, Bolsonaro changed the national drug policy to an abstinence-based one, and re-introduced involuntary commitment. These so-called treatments are are often run by evangelical religious groups known for punishing people for drug use or their sexual or gender identity. When Lula is inaugurated on January 1, 2023, he has he chance to address not only Bolsonaro’s drug legislation, but also the flawed legislation that he himself signed in 2006. (Filter, USA, 02.11.2022)

https://filtermag.org/lula-inherits-legacy-of-bolsonaros-drug-policy-harms-and-his-own/

Kolumbien. Narcotráfico: Colombia se pregunta si llegó la hora de legalizar la cocaína

El fracaso de la lucha contra el narcotráfico lleva a algunos políticos y organizaciones a defender la despenalización de su consume. (El Pais, Spanien, 22.10.2022)

https://elpais.com/sociedad/2022-10-23/el-debate-de-la-legalizacion-de-la-cocaina-se-abre-paso-en-colombia.html

Ambros Uchtenhagen: 30 Jahre Schweizer Drogenpolitik – 1991–2021 

Eine Drogenpolitik, wie es sie noch nie gegeben hat! Drogenpolitik hat zum Ziel, den Umgang mit psychoaktiven Substanzen auf einer nachvollziehbaren Grundlage zu regeln, in Anbetracht von deren Potenzial für positive und negative Aspekte ihres Gebrauchs. Die Voraussetzungen für eine Regelung sind variabel und verändern sich im Laufe der Zeit. Dabei spielen die aktuellen Probleme mit dem Substanzkonsum und dessen Ausmaß, die gesellschaftliche Akzeptanz von Gebrauch und Erhältlichkeit, die Zuständigkeit für eine Regulierung, die Folgen der Regulierung für Konsumenten und deren Umfeld sowie eine gesundheitspolitische und ethische Beurteilung der Regelung eine Rolle.

Die Schweizer Drogenpolitik von 1991 und ihr Vier-Säulen-Modell stellten in dieser Hinsicht eine bahnbrechende Neuerung dar im Vergleich zu allen bisherigen Regelungen. Der vorliegende Text der Chronik beschreibt diese Besonderheiten und vor allem deren Umsetzung in den Bereichen Prävention, Therapie, Schadensminderung und Repression. Außerdem werden die Auswirkungen auf nationaler und internationaler Ebene, die Grenzen dieser Regelung und die neuen Herausforderungen dargestellt, die noch zu bewältigen sind.

Verlag Rüffer & Rub, Schweiz, 2022

https://ruefferundrub.ch/buecher/medizin-psychologie/item/1086-30-jahre-schweizer-drogenpolitik-1991-2021

The North American opioid crisis: a European perspective

Kalkman, Gerard A et al.

The Lancet, Volume 400, Issue 10361, 1404 

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(22)01594-X/fulltext

‘If only we had the political will’ Why Russia’s rise in drug overdose deaths is unlikely to end soon

According to data from Russia’s Federal Statistics Service (Rosstat), over 10,000 Russians died from drug use in 2021. That’s 37 percent more than in 2020 — and twice as many as in 2019. To find out what’s causing the spike in overdose deaths, and what the government can do to prevent them, Meduza turned to Alexey Lakhov, former development director at the Humanitarian Action Foundation, creator of the Drugmap project, and a member of the Steering Committee of the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association. (Meduza, Lettland, 21.07.2022)

https://meduza.io/en/feature/2022/07/21/if-only-we-had-the-political-will

Meet the Global Drug Policy Index

A unique tool that documents, measures and compares national drug policies

The Global Drug Policy Index provides each country with a score and ranking that shows how much their drug policies and their implementation align with the UN principles of human rights, health and development. It offers an essential accountability and evaluation mechanism in the field of drug policy. The Index is composed of 75 indicators running across 5 broad dimensions of drug policy: the absence of extreme responses, the proportionality of the criminal justice response, health and harm reduction, access to controlled medicines and development. (Harm Reduction Consortium – Robert Carr Fund, Niederlande, Oktober 2022)

https://globaldrugpolicyindex.net/

2022 Support Don’t Punish with a Focus on Women 

Prohibition harms Women (WHRIN – Women and Hrm Reduction International Network, 2022)

https://cdn.sanity.io/files/6u5teakk/production/c0ca6bee554349c8579c4c15ad4ce7f0f2c4141b.pdf

National polydrug use patterns among people who misuse prescription opioids and people who use heroin. Results from the National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health

Bobashev GV, Warren LK. 

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2022 Sep 1;238:109553. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2022.109553. Epub 2022 Jul 6. PMID: 35905594.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0376871622002903?via%3Dihub

The Opioid Epidemic: a Crisis Disproportionately Impacting Black Americans and Urban Communities

Gondré-Lewis MC, Abijo T, Gondré-Lewis TA. 

J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2022 Sep 6:1–15. doi: 10.1007/s40615-022-01384-6. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36068482; PMCID: PMC9447354.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9447354/

 

USA. Evidence-Based Interventions to Address the Opioid Epidemic

(addictionpolicy.org, USA, Oktober 2022)

https://reports.addictionpolicy.org/evidence-based-strategies/

EMCDDA. Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide

Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide examines some of the key public health challenges in the drugs field today and offers timely and practical advice to practitioners and policymakers for designing, targeting and implementing effective responses. The guide is composed of four sets of miniguides that look at responses to a range of drug problems in Europe. Framing the miniguides are two central resources: an action framework for developing responses and a set of strategies for successful implementation. Several spotlights frame issues cross-cutting the different components. (EMCDDA, Lissabon, Oktober 2022)

https://www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/health-and-social-responses-a-european-guide_en

USA. Biden Pardons All Federal Cannabis Possession Convictions

In a historic moment for drug policy reform in the United States, President Joe Biden announced on October 6 that he would immediately pardon all past federal convictions for cannabis possession. Citing the mass incarceration and racial injustices of “our failed approach to marijuana,” he continued that he would urge all governors to do the same at the state level. The federal government will stop charging anyone with simple possession. And it will start a process to review the Schedule I status of the drug under the Controlled Substances Act. (Filter, USA, 06.10.2022)

https://filtermag.org/biden-marijuana-2  

USA. Lockerung der US-Drogenpolitik Einfacher Marihuanabesitz – Biden will Verurteilte begnadigen 

Niemand soll wegen Gras im Knast landen, das hatte Joe Biden im Wahlkampf versprochen. Mit einem Präsidentenerlass will der Demokrat die Entkriminalisierung von Marihuana nun vorantreiben. (Spiegel online, 07.10.2022)

https://www.spiegel.de/ausland/joe-biden-us-praesident-biden-will-lockerung-der-marihuana-regeln-beschleunigen-a-11f9f579-2201-4112-930c-561465e2ac85