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U.S. Opioid Epidemic: Impact on Public Health and Review of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs).

Boté SH.

Online J Public Health Inform. 2019 Sep 19;11(2):e18. doi: 10.5210/ojphi.v11i2.10113.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6788897/

Philippinen. Philippines: President Duterte's fierce rival becomes new drug czar

Leni Robredo, an outspoken critic of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, has accepted his offer to lead the controversial campaign.

Ms Robredo, the vice-president and Mr Duterte's political rival, said she would use her powers to stop the killing of innocent people and hold authorities to account. (BBC, 06.11.2019)

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-50313866

Ärztlich assistierter Suizid: Weltärztebund bestätigt Ablehnung

Dtsch Arztebl 2019; 116(45): A-2053 / B-1685 / C-1649

Hillienhof, Arne

https://www.aerzteblatt.de/archiv/210694/Aerztlich-assistierter-Suizid-Weltaerztebund-bestaetigt-Ablehnung

Forscher fordern Verbot von Filterzigaretten

London/San Diego. (…) Zigarettenstummel sind weltweit das am häufigsten weggeworfene Abfallprodukt. Das ist nicht nur problematisch wegen der in den Stummeln enthaltenen Giftstoffe. Die Filter bestehen zudem zum Großteil aus dem nur schwer abbaubaren Kunststoff Celluloseacetat. Milliarden achtlos weggeschnippter Kippen tragen so täglich zum wachsenden Plastikmüllproblem bei. (aerzteblatt.de, 29.10.2019)

https://www.aerzteblatt.de/nachrichten/106976/Forscher-fordern-Verbot-von-Filterzigaretten

Australien. Australia: ACT legalises personal cannabis growing and consumption

On 25 September 2019, the Legislative Assembly of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) approved a law permitting personal cultivation, possession and use of cannabis for recreational purposes.  The background note to the act describes the objective as a ‘harm minimisation approach’, stating that ‘the outright prohibition model of drug policy is not working’. (EMCDDA, Lissabon, 30.10.2019)

http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/news/2019/australian-capital-territory-legalises-personal-cannabis-growing-and-consumption_en

The Cannabis Effect on Crime: Time-Series Analysis of Crime in Colorado and Washington State.

Ruibin Lu, Dale Willits, Mary K. Stohr, David Makin, John Snyder, Nicholas Lovrich, Mikala Meize, Duane Stanton, Guangzhen Wu & Craig Hemmens (2019) 

Justice Quarterly, DOI: 10.1080/07418825.2019.1666903

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07418825.2019.1666903

Mexiko. Key Mexican Lawmaker Proposes Legalizing All Drugs To Combat Cartel Violence

Mexico should legalize drugs—starting with marijuana—in order to combat cartel violence, the leader of the ruling MORENA party in the nation’s Chamber of Deputies said over the weekend.

The comments come days after Mexican authorities released the son of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, who led the Sinaloa Cartel until he was captured and extradited to the U.S., where he is serving a life sentence. After apprehending the son, the military engaged in a shootout with cartel members and ultimately surrendered him in an effort to quell the violence.

“I think that from the events we saw in Culiacán, it is urgent to enter a process to regularize drugs—we should start with cannabis—make a legal framework for its regulation and legalization, and reduce this black market,” Mario Delgado Carrillo said, according to a translation. (Marihuana Moment, USA, 21.10.2019)

https://www.marijuanamoment.net/key-mexican-lawmaker-proposes-legalizing-all-drugs-to-combat-cartel-violence/

USA. Addressing the Socioeconomic Complexities of Addiction—Lessons from the Kensington Neighborhood in Philadelphia

This September, I was invited by Thomas Farley, the Health Commissioner of Philadelphia, to see firsthand how that city is responding to the opioid crisis. With other members of NIDA leadership, we toured Prevention Point, a private non-profit organization providing harm reduction services to Philadelphia and the surrounding area. We also visited the health unit of the city’s Prisons Department, where they recently started a program that provides medications to prisoners with opioid addiction, and met with outreach workers from Temple University who run a mobile treatment unit that provides medications and behavioral health services for opioid addiction, as well as basic wound care. (NIH – National Institute on Drug Abuse, USA, 29.10.2019)

https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/noras-blog/2019/10/addressing-socioeconomic-complexities-addiction-lessons-kensington-neighborhood-in-philadelphia

USA. The Full Cost of the Opioid Crisis: $2.5 Trillion Over Four Years

October 26 marked National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which provided Americans an opportunity to prevent drug misuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. One of the most tangible examples of the dangers of misusing prescription drugs comes from the opioid crisis, which the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) estimates cost $696 billion in 2018—or 3.4 percent of GDP—and more than $2.5 trillion for the four-year period from 2015 to 2018. These massive costs point to the nationwide economic destruction from America’s very human “crisis next door.” (The White House, 28.10.2019)

https://www.whitehouse.gov/articles/full-cost-opioid-crisis-2-5-trillion-four-years/

USA. Economic Impact of Non-Medical Opioid Use in the United States 

Annual Estimates and Projections for 2015 through 2019. (Society of Actuaries, USA, Oktober 2019)

https://www.soa.org/globalassets/assets/files/resources/research-report/2019/econ-impact-non-medical-opioid-use.pdf

USA. DEA announces additional regulatory steps to address opioid epidemic

WASHINGTON – The Drug Enforcement Administration today announced proposed regulations to improve DEA’s ability to oversee the production of dangerous drugs at the height of the national opioid crisis. This proposed regulation would further limit excess quantities of medications that might be vulnerable to diversion for illicit distribution and use. (DEA – Drug Enforcement Administration, USA, 23.10.2019)

https://www.dea.gov/press-releases/2019/10/23/dea-announces-additional-regulatory-steps-address-opioid-epidemic

USA. Report: DEA did too little to constrain opioid supply even as crisis escalated

WASHINGTON — The Drug Enforcement Administration fell dramatically short in regulating the prescription opioid supply over the past two decades — even as the country’s addiction and overdose crisis escalated, according to a new report from the Justice Department’s inspector general. (statnews.com, USA, 01.10.2019)

https://www.statnews.com/2019/10/01/dea-report-opioid-crisis/

USA. Trump just expanded drug testing to hundreds of thousands of workers - It’s a huge win for the drug testing industry. 

The Trump administration just made it harder for laid-off workers to get government assistance. (Vox, USA, 04.10.2019)

https://www.vox.com/identities/2019/10/4/20893225/trump-unemployment-drug-testing-rule

USA. E-Cigarettes Went Unchecked in 10 Years of Federal Inaction 

A decade after Congress gave the F.D.A. the power to regulate tobacco products like e-cigarettes, the federal government has repeatedly delayed or weakened efforts that could have protected teenagers. (New York Times, 14.10.2019)

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/14/health/vaping-e-cigarettes-fda.html

The UNODC Opioid Strategy (2019)

https://www.unodc.org/unodc/opioid-crisis/index.html

USA. Watchdog finds DEA was 'slow to respond' to opioid epidemic

The Drug Enforcement Administration was "slow to respond" as America grappled with a rising opioid epidemic, the Justice Department's inspector general said in a report Tuesday that faulted the agency for cutting back use of a key enforcement tool and continuing to raise production quotas even as the number of deaths rose. (medicalxpress.com, USA, 01.10.2019)

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-10-watchdog-dea-opioid-epidemic.html

Introduction to the special issue: Responding to the opioid crisis: Perspectives, challenges and directions.

Borsari, B., & Read, J. P. (2019). 

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 87(10), 845-848. doi.org/10.1037/ccp0000443

https://psycnet.apa.org/fulltext/2019-57426-001.html

Russland. Russland macht Fortschritte im Kampf gegen Alkohol

Moskau – Russland macht nach einer neuen Studie der Weltgesundheitsorganisation (WHO) Fortschritte im Kampf gegen den Alkohol. Der Konsum sei von 2003 bis 2016 um 43 Prozent zurückgegangen, teilte die WHO heute mit. Zugleich habe sich die Lebenser­wartung dramatisch erhöht. (aerzteblatt.de, 01.10.2019)

https://www.aerzteblatt.de/nachrichten/106406/Russland-macht-Fortschritte-im-Kampf-gegen-Alkohol

Merkel verstärkt Kampf gegen Aids, Tuberkulose und Malaria

Berlin – Politik und Hilfsorganisationen haben die zugesagten deutschen Investitionen für den Globalen Fonds zur Bekämpfung von Aids, Tuberkulose und Malaria positiv aufgenommen. Deutschland verstärke seine Unterstützung um 18 Prozent, erklärte Bundesentwicklungsminister Gerd Müller (CSU) in Berlin. (aerzteblatt.de, 26.08.2019)

https://www.aerzteblatt.de/nachrichten/105523/Merkel-verstaerkt-Kampf-gegen-Aids-Tuberkulose-und-Malaria

USA. DEA proposes to reduce the amount of five opioids manufactured in 2020, marijuana quota for research increases by almost a third 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is proposing to reduce the amount of five Schedule II opioid controlled substances that can be manufactured in the United States next year compared with 2019... (DEA – Drug Enforcement Administration, USA, 11.09.2019) 

https://www.dea.gov/press-releases/2019/09/11/dea-proposes-reduce-amount-five-opioids-manufactured-2020-marijuana-quota

China/USA. China says has only ‘limited’ cooperation with U.S. on fentanyl

China and the United States have only “limited” cooperation in stopping fentanyl smuggling, a Chinese narcotics official was quoted as saying on Tuesday, after complaints China isn’t doing enough to help fight an opioid crisis in the United States. (Physician’s Weekly, USA, 03.09.2019)

https://www.physiciansweekly.com/china-says-has-only/

USA. Tackle Fentanyl like a Poisoning Outbreak, Not a Drug Epidemic

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released drug overdose statistics for 2018, and they are shocking. Of the estimated 47,000 deaths from opioids last year, roughly two-thirds involved potent synthetic opioids, most of them fentanyl.

For most victims, fentanyl was not their drug of choice. Rather, they were poisoned by dealers who mixed it into baggies of heroin or pressed into fake-opioid tablets. (RAND Drug Policy Research Center, USA, 01.09.2019)

https://www.rand.org/blog/2019/09/tackle-fentanyl-like-a-poisoning-outbreak-not-a-drug.html

Niederlande. Städte für das Marihuana-Experiment stehen fest

Die Gemeinden Groningen, Tilburg, Breda, Maastricht, Almere, Arnhem, Nimwegen, Zaanstad, Heerlen und Hellevoetsluis wurden als die niederländischen Gemeinden ausgewählt, in denen bald nur noch staatlich gezüchtetes Marihuana in Coffeeshops gekauft werden kann. Insgesamt hatten sich 26 Gemeinden für die Teilnahem am Experiment beworben, die vier großen Städte (Amsterdam, Den Haag, Rotterdam und Utrecht) hatten allerdings bekannt gegeben, dass sie aufgrund der Bedingungen des Experiments nicht teilnehmen werden. Sie fanden es nicht akzeptabel, dass alle Coffeeshops einer ausgewählten Gemeinde am Experiment teilnehmen müssen. (niederlande.net, Müster/Westf., 28.08.2019)

https://www.uni-muenster.de/NiederlandeNet/aktuelles/archiv/2019/0829wietexperiment.html

UNODC convenes national experts to re-design global drug information system and improve countries' reporting on drug matters

Vienna. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) gathered around 100 drug statistics experts from 60 countries in Vienna from 28 to 30 August to discuss the update of a key international drug-data collection tool, the Annual Report Questionnaire (ARQ), as well as priorities for related capacity building. (UNODC, 03.09.2019)

https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/2019/September/unodc-convenes-national-experts-to-re-design-global-drug-information-system-and-improve-countries-reporting-on-drug-matters.html

Niederlande. No joke: Amsterdam bans laughing gas sellers from the city’s streets

People selling balloons filled with laughing gas on the street in Amsterdam are to be fined under local bylaws on street trading, mayor Femke Halsema told councillors on Tuesday evening. (DutchNews.nl, 04.09.2019)

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2019/09/no-joke-amsterdam-bans-laughing-gas-sellers-from-the-citys-streets/

USA. The Opioid Files: Follow The Post’s investigation of the opioid epidemic

Since 2016, The Washington Post has been investigating the opioid epidemic that has ravaged communities and claimed the lives of more than 200,000 people nationwide since 1996. (Washington Post, 02.08.2019)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/2019/07/20/opioid-files/

USA. A Nun, a Doctor and a Lawyer — and Deep Regret Over the Nation’s Handling of Opioids

In an Appalachian town, an unlikely group of activists recognized the early stages of the deadly drug epidemic, and fought in vain to stem its rise. (New York Times, 18.08.2019)

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/18/health/opioids-purdue-pennington-gap.html

Strengthening the role of the World Health Organization in global drug policy

Health should be at the centre of the global drug policy debate. After all, the primary reason for the creation of the UN drug control regime is the protection of the ‘health and welfare of mankind’, as the preambles of the 1961, 1971 and 1988 UN drug conventions put it. As the lead entity on health matters within the UN system, the World Health Organization (WHO) is uniquely placed to fulfil a broad mandate in articulating a more progressive approach that truly puts people’s health, wellbeing and human rights at the centre of drug policies. (idpc - International Drug Policy Consortium, UK, 19.06.2019)

https://idpc.net/publications/2019/06/strengthening-the-role-of-the-world-health-organization-in-global-drug-policy

Niederlande. Cannabis trial: Dutch cities picked for cafe supply experiment

Cannabis cafes in the Netherlands are to be supplied legally with drugs from regulated producers as part of a trial aimed at tackling the black market. (BBC, UK, 30.08.2019)

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49508526

USA. A Secret Opioid Memo That Could Have Slowed an Epidemic

A confidential government document containing evidence so critical it had the potential to change the course of an American tragedy was kept in the dark for more than a decade. (New York Times, 16.08.2019)

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/16/the-weekly/opioid-crisis-epidemic.html