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OECD warnt vor Opioidkrise auch in Europa

Paris/Berlin – Auch in einigen Staaten Europas sterben immer mehr Menschen am Missbrauch von Opioiden. Das berichtet die Organisation für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (OECD) auf Basis einer neuen eigenen Studie. (aerzteblatt.de, 167.05.2019)


Addressing Problematic Opioid Use in OECD Countries

Over the past few years, Canada and the United States have been experiencing an opioid crisis as a result of problematic opioid use fueled by the emergence of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and carfentanil. Problematic opioid use is also spreading in other OECD countries, due to the upward trend of prescription opioid use and the complexities of the illegal drug supply. This report presents evidence on the magnitude of problematic opioid use across OECD countries, describes the main drivers, and identifies a set of policy actions to address them. The report highlights the opioid crisis as a complex public health issue that requires a comprehensive approach across all sectors, including health, social services, and law enforcement. Strong health information systems are also needed, particularly data and research. Preventing problematic opioid use requires a combination of policies that ensure more information is provided to patients and health care practitioners, while providing access to appropriate pain management treatment for patients. A public health approach to problematic opioid use must incorporate socio-economic considerations (e.g. employment and housing), which also need to be addressed to prevent problematic substance use in general. (OECD Health Policy Studies, 16.05.2019, doi.org/10.1787/a18286f0-en)


Kolumbien/USA. US announces $160 mn 'peace' funding payment to Colombia

The US government announced Monday it will provide $160 million in funding to Colombia to help implement the historic peace accord signed between the state and now-disarmed FARC rebels. (France24, 14.05.2019)


Contemporary Asian Drug Policy: Insights and Opportunities for Change. 

Pardo, Bryce, Beau Kilmer, and Wenjing Huang,

Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2019.


329 NGOs call on world leaders to address the global health and human rights crisis among people who use drugs on the occasion of the 26th International Harm Reduction Conference 

As civil society and global experts gather in Porto for the 26thInternational Harm Reduction Conference, 329 NGOs are calling on the international community to address the ongoing global health and human rights crisis among people who use drugs. (IDCP, UK, 30.04.2019)


USA. HHS launches program to cut opioid overdoses by 40 percent in three years

The Trump administration announced an ambitious program Thursday to reduce deaths from opioid overdoses by 40 percent over three years in hard-hit communities across several states. (Washington Post, USA, 18.04.2019)


Kanada. Stopping the Harm: Decriminalization of People Who Use Drugs in BC

In April 2016, in response to an ongoing, escalating crisis of illegal drug related overdose deaths, the PHO declared BC’s first public health emergency under the Public Health Act. A multi-sector response was launched by the provincial government and its partners to keep people who use drugs safe from harm. Early findings show that the province’s strategies are saving lives; however, the number of overdose deaths has continued to rise and remains consistently high throughout the province. This PHO special report provides an analysis of the harms associated with criminal justice-based approaches to drug policy, and offers a recommendation to further support response efforts: decriminalization of people who possess controlled drugs for personal use. The report identifies two potential mechanisms for implementing this change in BC. (Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, British Columbia, 24.04.2019)


People Before Politics: 4 Key Points in HR19’s Opening Ceremony

The Harm Reduction International Conference 2019 (HR19) has begun in Porto, with several influential speakers delivering inspiring and poignant remarks at the opening ceremony.

HR19 comes at a crucial moment in the development of drug policies across the globe. Many countries find themselves at a drug policy crossroads; do they pursue health and human rights-oriented approaches that reduce potential drug harms, or maintain policies of criminalisation and repression that have long-characterised the global drug war?

Here are four key points from the opening ceremony that highlight the need for a harm reductionist approach: Failed drug policies continue to kill millions around the world - Governments’ complacency is fuelling drug harms - Governments continue to commit egregious human rights abuses in the name of drug policy - Drug consumption rooms (DCRs) have arrived in Portugal! The country continues to serve as an important example of how countries can move forward in their drug policy. (TalkingDrugs, UK, 28.04.2019)


USA. Trump to Keep Fighting Opioids 'Until Our Job Is Done'

President Donald Trump is pledging to continue battling the deadly epidemic of opioid drug abuse "until our job is done." (usnews.com, 24.04.2019)


USA. Trump sieht Fortschritte im Kampf gegen Drogenepidemie

US-Präsident Donald Trump sieht nach eigener Darstellung erste Fortschritte seiner Kampagne zum Kampf gegen Drogenmissbrauch in den USA. „Wir machen großartige Fortschritte“, sagte Trump in Atlanta. (aerzteblatt.de, 25.04.2019)


Luxemburg. Luxemburg bereitet Legalisierung von Cannabis vor

Luxemburg will als erstes Land in Europa Cannabis legalisieren. Wie genau und nach welchem Modell ist aber noch offen. Eine Arbeitsgruppe sei derzeit dabei, Fragen zu analysieren und erste Schritte der Vorbereitung zu machen, hieß es aus dem Gesundheitsministerium in Luxemburg. (aerzteblatt.de, 25.04.2019)


USA. Exclusive: DHS is considering classifying fentanyl as a 'weapon of mass destruction'

The Department of Homeland Security is considering designating the painkiller drug fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction "when certain criteria are met," according to an internal memo obtained by Task & Purpose. (Task&Purpose, USA,15.04.2019)


UK. Opioid painkillers 'must carry prominent warnings'

All opioid medicines in the UK will carry prominent warnings on their labels saying they can cause addiction, the health secretary has announced. (BBC, 28.04.2019)


Schweden. Calls for Drug Law Reform in Sweden As Drug Deaths Continue Unabated

The debate around Sweden’s zero-tolerance drug policy has been reignited in recent months, due to the approach’s failure to reduce drug deaths. (Talking Drugs, UK, 18.04.2019)


Niederlande. 10 growers producing 10 types of weed: ministers unveil marijuana plans

The Dutch government is to press ahead with experiments in regulated marijuana production involving 10 licenced growers, according to the detailed plans which were published on Thursday. (Dutch News, Niederlande, 11.04.2019)


USA. FDA Eases Opioid Policy: No More Cold Turkey

In a new development in the continually-evolving federal policies toward opioids, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued labeling changes for prescription opioids which instruct physicians to taper, rather than cut off or cut down, opioid prescriptions—and prescribing detailed instructions to physicians on how to do so. (Orthopedics, USA, 16.04.2019)


Bundesregierung sieht keine Anzeichen für Opioidkrise wie in den USA

Berlin – Das Risiko für eine Opioidkrise wie in den USA ist in Deutschland gering. Diese Auffassung vertritt die Bundesregierung in ihrer Antwort auf eine Kleine Anfrage der FDP-Fraktion im Bundestag. (aerzteblatt.de, 16.04.2019)


Support. Don’t punish. A global advocacy campaign calling for drug policies based on health and human rights (26.06.2019)

What is the Global Day of Action?

26th June marks the United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Historically, this date has been used by governments to showcase “progress” in drug control in highly punitive terms.

The Global Day of Action seeks to reclaim and shift that day’s narrative. Every year, on or around 26th June, an increasing number of activists all over the world join this unique and multifaceted show of force for harm reduction and drug policy reform. (supportdontpunish.org, 17.04.2019)


New drug policy report: Peoples’ Voice – the roar of the silent majority

Not all is bad, but it’s not all good either. This is the assessment of ten years of drug policy debate in the UN system, presented in the report “Peoples’ Voice” that was recently co-published by Drug Policy Futures and FORUT. The report has a critical analysis of the ongoing drug policy discourse and also a recommendation for policy areas that national governments should prioritize in the next ten years.

We are against any war on drugs. Just as much as we are against the ongoing war for drugs. Extremist positions are both risky, unrealistic and counterproductive, comments Dag Endal, project coordinator in FORUT and coordinator of the Drug Policy Futures (DPF) network. He underlines that no silver bullets exist. - What the world needs now is a comprehensive, balanced and knowledge-based drug policy, on the international level as well as in each country. (ADD – Alcohol, Drugs and Development, 03. 04 2019)


Schweiz. 10 Diskussionspunkte für eine zeitgemässe Suchtpolitik

Die «10 Diskussionspunkte für eine zeitgemässe Suchtpolitik» gehen zurück auf die «Erklärung von Ascona» – dem Ergebnis der dreitägigen Sucht Akademie zur Zukunft der Schweizer Suchtpolitikim Jahr 2016. Auf Basis der «Erklärung von Ascona» erarbeitete die Nationale Arbeitsgemeinschaft Suchtpolitik (NAS-CPA) seither das vorliegende Dokument, das mögliche Ansätze für eine umfassende, zeitgemässe und ausgewogene Suchtpolitik resümiert. Es fasst die Diskussionen zwischen den Mitgliedern der NAS-CPA seit der Sucht Akademie 2016 zusammen, erhebt keinen Anspruch auf Vollständigkeit und steht als Grundlage für weitere Akteure zur Verfügung, um die Diskussion über eine moderne Suchtpolitik fortzusetzen. (Nationale Arbeitsgemeinschaft Suchtpolitik (NAS-CPA), März 2019)


China. China to add fentanyl-related substances to controlled list

BEIJING - Chinawill add fentanyl-related substances to a list of controlled narcotic drugsand psychotropic substances from May 1. (ChinaDaily, Hongkong, 02.04.2019)


USA. Lawsuits Lay Bare Sackler Family’s Role in Opioid Crisis

New lawsuits explore the Sackler family’s personal involvement in decisions seeking to extract profit from the opioid crisis. (New York Times, 01.04.2019)


USA. Over-Prescribing Did Not Cause America’s Opioid Crisis

As a policy analyst, patient advocate, and moderator in social media support groups for people in pain, I have lost track of the number of articles sent to me which proclaim that America is in the midst of a crisis of opioid addiction and overdose deaths. A central assertion in many articles is that the crisis began with physicians over-prescribing to their patients in the 1990s and early 2000s, in an era of “Pain as the Fifth Vital Sign.”

Almost the entirety of present U.S. public policy on opioid pain relievers at Federal and State levels is founded upon this false claim. Governments are engaged in a vast exercise in regulatory over-reach, seeking to “solve” our opioid crisis by restricting dose levels and duration of treatment for both acute and chronic pain.

However, attribution of blame to doctors is flat-out wrong. How do we know this? We need only look at the data. (Richard A. Lawhern, Ph.D., in: lynnwebstermd.com, 30.03.2019)


USA. Museums Cut Ties With Sacklers as Outrage Over Opioid Crisis Grows

Protesters at the Guggenheim Museum last month dropped white slips of paper symbolizing OxyContin prescriptions. Last week the museum said it would no longer accept money from members of the family behind the drug. (New York Times, 25.03.2019)


Cannabis Innovate

Cannabis Innovateaims to provide research and analysis across the three pillars of policy, legislation and technological innovation. 

The initiative constitutes a partnership between the Global Drug Policy Observatory(GDPO) at Swansea University and Equinox International; with some activities undertaken in collaboration with the Transnational Institute(TNI). (Cannabis Innovate, UK, März 2019)


EMCDDA. Programming document 2019-21


This is the first Programming Document fully grounded in the EMCDDA Strategy 2025 and it sets a milestone in the strategic and operational planning framework of the EMCDDA. Among the highlights for this period will be a follow up on the outcome of the fourth external evaluation of the EMCDDA. An ongoing priority will be the implementation of the EU Early Warning System on new psychoactive substances (EU EWS). A comprehensive overview of new, changing or emerging threats will be provided by the third strategic analysis EU Drug Markets Report that will be launched jointly with Europol in 2019. (EMCDDA,Lissabon,März 2019)


Tobacco control policies and smoking among older adults: a longitudinal analysis of 10 European countries.

Serrano-Alarcón, M., Kunst, A. E., Bosdriesz, J. R., and Perelman, J. ( 2019) 

Addiction, doi.org/10.1111/add.14577.


UNODC. What we have learned over the last ten years: A summary of knowledge acquired and produced by theUN system on drug-related matters

UN system coordination Task Team on the Implementation of the UN System Common 

Position on drug-related matters

Wien, März 2019


The UN Chief Executives Board unanimously endorses decriminalisation of people who use drugs.

The Chief Executives Board of the UN, representing 31 UN agencies, has adopted a common position on drug policy that endorses decriminalisation of possession and use. This comes just days before a key meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, which will review, the UN’s 10-year Global Drug Strategy, and plan for the next one. (Transform, UK/Mexiko, 14.03.2019)


Iran. Out with the old, in with the old: Iran’s revolution, drug policies, and global drug markets

Since its 1979 revolution, Iran has developed a reputation as having some of the world’s harshest drug penalties and as an opponent of efforts to reform global drug policy. Overall, however, Iran’s drug policies have been highly varied, with some policy experimentation taking place even after the revolution. And certainly long before it, Iran experimented—perhaps more than any other country—with a wide range of policies to respond to widespread drug use and poppy cultivation, alternating between permissive and very harsh policies. (Brookings, USA, 25.01.2019)