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Regulation - The Responsible Control of Drugs

The Global Commission on Drug Policy will release its new report, Regulation: The Responsible Control of Drugs. This report examines in detail how governments can take control of currently illegal drug markets through responsible regulation, thereby weakening criminal organizations that now profit from them.

This new report provides a practical roadmap that tackles the real implications and recognizes the difficulties of transitioning from illegal to legally regulated drug markets. It offers concrete answers regarding the organizational capacity of state institutions to regulate and control a legal market of potentially dangerous products. It highlights the challenges facing impoverished populations that constitute the “working class” of the illegal drug markets. It offers possible ways forward to deal with the risks inherent to the resilience of organized crime. Finally, this report calls for a reform of the prohibition-based international drug control system, which is compromising a universal and holistic approach to the “drug problem.” (The Global Commission on Drug Policy, 24.09.2018)


Weltkommission für Drogenpolitik: Staaten müssen Handel regulieren

Mexiko-Stadt – Die Weltkommission für Drogenpolitik sieht eine Regulierung der Drogenmärkte als den effektivsten Weg, um die Probleme in den Griff zu bekommen. Die Politik müsse alle Aspekte des Handels mit Rauschgift kontrollieren und nicht teilweise in kriminellen Händen lassen, sagte die Präsidentin der internationalen Vereinigung, Ruth Dreifuss, anlässlich der Vorstellung des neuen Berichts der Kommission in Mexiko-Stadt. (aerzteblatt.de, 24.09.2018)


Access to pain relief and essential opioids in the WHO South-East Asia Region: challenges in implementing drug reforms.

Vallath N, Rajagopal MR, Perera S, Khan F, Paudel BD, Tisocki K.

WHO South East Asia J Public Health. 2018 Sep;7(2):67-72. doi: 10.4103/2224-3151.239416.


USA. AMA urges Congress not to loosen restrictions on privacy for patients with addiction history

WASHINGTON — The American Medical Association is opposing a change to patient privacy laws that would allow doctors to more freely share information about a patient’s history of substance use, a proposal that has divided the health care community and highlighted some of the challenges of addressing the opioid epidemic. (statnews.com, USA, 21.09.2018)


USA. Inside The Trump Administration’s Secret War On Weed - The Marijuana Policy Coordination Committee wants to counteract positive marijuana messages and identify problems with state legalization initiatives, according to documents obtained by BuzzFeed News.

WASHINGTON — The White House has secretly amassed a committee of federal agencies from across the government to combat public support for marijuana and cast state legalization measures in a negative light, while attempting to portray the drug as a national threat, according to interviews with agency staff and documents obtained by BuzzFeed News. (buzzfeednews.com, 29.08.2018)


USA. FDA Expands Strategies for Safer Opioid Prescribing

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) unveiled a new strategy today that will be added to its broader efforts in addressing the current opioid crisis.

The agency has approved the final Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS), which for the first time requires that all healthcare providers involved in pain management be able to receive voluntary training, and it should not be limited to prescribers. REMS training, therefore, must be made available to nurses and pharmacists. (Medscape, 18.09.2018)


USA. Justice Department, DEA propose significant opioid manufacturing reduction in 2019 

WASHINGTON –The Department of Justice and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration have proposed a reduction for controlled substances that may be manufactured in the U.S. next year. Consistent with President Trump’s “Safe Prescribing Plan” that seeks to “cut nationwide opioid prescription fills by one-third within three years,” the proposal decreases manufacturing quotas for the six most frequently misused opioids for 2019 by an average ten percent as compared to the 2018 amount. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking marks the third straight year of proposed reductions, which help reduce the amount of drugs potentially diverted for trafficking and used to facilitate addiction. (DEA, 16.08.2018)



Responding to Addiction: Public Policy Do’s and Don’ts provides a menu of options for policymakers to implement a comprehensive response to addiction. (Addiction Policy Forum, USA, 2018)


Lift the Ban! Kofi Annan on Why It's Time To Legalize Drugs

Drugs are dangerous, but current narcotics policies are an even bigger threat because punishment is given a greater priority than health and human rights. It's time for regulations that put lives and safety first, argues former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. (Der Spiegel, 22.02.2016)


Trump Administration Plans U.N. Meeting to Ramp Up the International Drug War

The Trump administration will open a week of high-level meetings at the United Nations General Assembly in New York with a drug policy event featuring President Donald Trump. Invites to the event are being doled out only to those countries that have signed on to a controversial, nonnegotiable action plan, according to documents obtained by The Intercept — among them the countries with the world’s most draconian drug laws. (The Intercept, USA, 18.09.2018)


USA. Snaring Doctors and Drug Dealers, Justice Dept. Intensifies Opioid Fight

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced another crackdown on Wednesday on opioids, targeting doctors and drug dealers alike in cases that spanned physicians’ offices in Ohio, drugmakers in China and online black markets. (New York Times, 22.08.2018)


USA. The Health 202: Obscure provision in House opioids' bill could restart war on drugs

(...) The issue in question is a change that has been mostly under the radar as lawmakers move a package of dozens of bills to address the public-health crisis. In the House version of a package to address the opioid crisis, but not the Senate one, is a provision that gives the attorney general power to create a special category for synthetic drugs, like the highly toxic fentanyl, and set penalties for those who make or sell them, giving the nation's chief law enforcement new authority to enact harsh penalties.

What critics hear is: War on Drugs redux. (Washington Post, Power Post, 19.09.2018)


USA. Drogentote in den USA - Wütendes Gift 

Nach einer Schätzung der amerikanischen Seuchenschutzbehörde starben im Jahr 2017 in den Vereinigten Staaten etwa 72 000 Menschen an einer Überdosis Drogen.

Etwa 30 000 davon starben an synthetischen Opioiden wie Fentanyl.

US-Präsident Donald Trump hat den Kampf gegen die Epidemie zwar zur Priorität erklärt, aber die zig Milliarden Dollar, die es kosten würde, sie unter Kontrolle zu bringen, will er nicht ausgeben. (sueddeutsche.de, 20.08.2018)


USA. Senate passes sweeping legislation to combat opioid epidemic

Lawmakers in both chambers have responded public pressure to find solutions to a deadly crisis that has affected every state in the nation. (NBC, USA, 18.09.2018)


UK. Prisons minister Rory Stewart: I'll resign if drugs and violence don't go down

Prisons minister Rory Stewart says he will resign in a year if he hasn't managed to reduce drugs and violence levels in 10 target jails in England. 

He made the promise as the government announced £10m to improve security and conditions at the jails.

New body scanners and sniffer dogs are to be introduced in the prisons, which are described as "challenging", in a clampdown on drugs and mobile phones.(BBC, 17.08.2018)


USA. The Federal Agency That Fuels the Opioid Crisis - Opinion

The Drug Enforcement Administration has proved itself incompetent for decades. 

By Leo Beletsky and Jeremiah Goulka

Professor Beletsky is the faculty director of Northeastern University’s Health in Justice Action Lab, where Jeremiah Goulka is a senior fellow. (New York Times, 17.09.2018)


USA. ‘Dopesick’ Traces the Opioid Crisis, From Beginning to Blow Up

Buchbesprechung. (New York Times, 25.07.2018)

Dopesick - Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America
By Beth Macy
Illustrated. 376 pages. Little, Brown & Company. $28.


USA. Inside America’s Opioid Crisis

Getty photographer Spencer Platt spent years on assignment documenting the crisis, and spoke to Newsweekabout the worrying reach of addiction, and the humanity he encountered while photographing the people affected. (Newsweek, Photogallerie, 2018)


USA. Zahl der Drogentoten in den USA gestiegen

Washington – In den USA ist die Zahl der Drogentoten durch Überdosis im vergan­genen Jahr um beinahe sieben Prozent gestiegen. Wie die US-Gesundheitsbehörde CDC mitteilte, starben 2017 71.568 Menschen an einer Überdosis. 2016 seien es noch 67.114 Drogentote gewesen. (aerzteblatt.de, 17.08.2018)


USA. Poorest Americans most likely to have used prescription opioids 

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Among older Americans, the poorest are the most likely to have used prescription opioids, according to a University at Buffalo study providing new insights into unexplored contours of the opioid crisis. (University at Buffalo, 12.09.2018)


USA. Trump tells Sessions to sue certain opioid companies

Washington.President Donald Trump urged his Attorney General Jeff Sessions to sue certain pharmaceutical companies that have contributed to the opioid crisis in the United States. (CNN, 16.08.2018)


Kanada. Multimedia project Opioid Chapters highlights stories behind opioid statistics

(...) A new multimedia project, titled the Opioid Chapters, delves beyond the data to share the personal experiences of those affected by the crisis. The project, created by ODPRN and the independent website Healthy Debate, launched on Sept. 6, as experts from across Canada gathered in Toronto for the final day of a two-day Opioid Symposium attended by Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor and Canada's chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam. It uses video, audio, photographs and text to tell the stories of 11 individuals, including those relying on prescription opioids to manage pain, those struggling with opioid addiction and health-care workers grappling with the crisis. (Globe&Mail, Kanda, 06.09.2018)


USA. National Academy of Medicine Launches Action Collaborative to Counter Opioid Epidemic; Public-Private Partnership Will Coordinate Initiatives Across Sectors to Drive Collective Solutions
WASHINGTON -- In recognition of the need for a national coordinated and collective response to the epidemic of opioid addiction in the U.S., the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), in partnership with the Aspen Institute, launched a public-private partnership made up of more than 35 organizations representing federal, state, and local governments, health systems, associations and provider groups, health education and accrediting institutions, pharmacies, payers, industry, nonprofits, and academia. This partnership -- the NAM Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic -- is committed to sharing knowledge, aligning ongoing initiatives, and addressing complex challenges that require a shared response from public and private actors. The collaborative will establish shared priorities, identify unmet needs, and develop and disseminate evidence-based, multi-sector solutions to reduce rates of opioid misuse and improve outcomes for individuals, families, and communities affected by addiction. (The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 31.07.2018)


USA/China. Collaboration key to solving China-fuelled opioid epidemic, US officials say

Testifying at House hearing about ways to reduce imports of fentanyl, law enforcement officials avoid the tough talk used by Donald Trump. (SCMP – South China Morning Post, China, 07.09.2018)


Alcohol industry involvement in policymaking: a systematic review

Jim McCambridge, Melissa Mialon and Ben Hawkins

Addiction, Volume113, Issue9, September 2018, Pages 1571-1584, doi.org/10.1111/add.14216


Interview mit Ruth Dreifuss und Ambros Uchtenhagen: „Der Staat muss den Drogenmarkt regulieren und die Gefahren in den Griff bekommen“

Sie sind alte Weggefährten, die ehemalige Bundesrätin Ruth Dreifuss und der Psychiater Ambros Uchtenhagen. Einst engagierten sie sich für die kontrollierte Heroinabgabe. Heute kämpfen sie für eine Entkriminalisierung aller Drogen. (NZZ – Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 24.08.2018)


USA. Opioid Bills in the Senate: Focus on Medicare and OTPs 

In June the U.S. House of Representatives passed a significant opioid package: H.R. 6. Provisions  are now under consideration in four Senate committees.
This article includes interviews with: 

- Former House Speaker: Newt Gingrich 

- President of AATOD - Mark Parrino

- Former Republican Congresswoman from California - Mary Bono

- President of Baymark Health Services - Jason Kletter

- Principal with Cura Strategies - Ann Woodbury

(ATForum, USA, 14.08.2018)


Uruguay. «Ein Drittel der Konsumenten rauchen nach wie vor mieses Zeug»

Als erstes Land der Welt hat Uruguay vor einem Jahr Cannabis weitgehend legalisiert. Das prophezeite Chaos blieb aus – doch noch sind nicht alle Probleme gelöst. (Der Bund, Schwiez, 28.08.2018)


UN. High and Dry: The UN risks being left behind by the turning tide of global drug policy

When the UK’s Conservative government decided in late July to relax restrictions on doctors prescribing cannabis-based medicines, it joined a rapidly growing list of countries turning away from the heavy-handed supply-reduction approach that has long dominated global drug control efforts. While the tide is shifting rapidly on global drugs policy, the United Nations – paralyzed by conflicting demands of Member States – risks being left behind. (United Nations University – Centre for Policy Research, 06.08.2018)


USA. Sick River: Can These California Tribes Beat Heroin and History?

As salmon runs decline and opioid addiction grips the region, the Yurok, Karuk and Hoopa tribes see a connection between the river’s struggles and their own. (New York Times, 04.09.2018)


USA. Opioid laws hit physicians, patients in unintended ways

New state laws on opioids intended to save lives have physicians complaining about unintended consequences.
None of the doctors interviewed by Crain's objected to the laws' intent: Reducing misuse of the powerful painkillers that have contributed to rising deaths and addictions.
But they say regulations have added unnecessary administrative headaches, led to a climate of fear for doctors and left patients unable to get medications when they really need them. (Modern Healthcare, USA, 30.07.2018)


How America Got Hooked On A Deadly Drug

An inside look at how Purdue Pharma pushed OxyContin despite risks of addiction and fatalities.

Purdue Pharma left almost nothing to chance in its whirlwind marketing of its new painkiller OxyContin.

From 1996 to 2002, Purdue pursued nearly every avenue in the drug supply and prescription sales chain — a strategy now cast as reckless and illegal in more than 1,500 federal civil lawsuits from communities in Florida to Wisconsin to California that allege the drug has fueled a national epidemic of addiction.

Kaiser Health News is releasing years of Purdue’s internal budget documents and other records to offer readers a chance to evaluate how the privately held Connecticut company spent hundreds of millions of dollars to launch and promote the drug, a trove of information made publicly available here for the first time. (KHN – Kaiser Health News, USA, 13.06.2018)