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"A more accurate understanding of drug use": A critical analysis of wastewater analysis technology for drug policy.

Lancaster K, Ritter A, Valentine K, Rhodes T.

Int J Drug Policy. 2018 Nov 26;63:47-55. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2018.10.011. 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955395918302731

Rosa Luxemburg and the struggle for health (Lancet)
Horton, Richard
The Lancet , Volume 393 , Issue 10167 , 114 

EMCDDA. Colorado publishes latest statistics on impact of cannabis legalisation 

EMCDDA’s Cannabis drug policy news, Lissabon,19.12.2018

http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/news/2018/colorado-publishes-latest-statistics-on-impact-of-cannabis-legalisation_en

USA. USING MEDICATION ASSISTED TREATMENT TO TREAT OPIOID USE DISORDER: LEARNING FROM PAST EXPERIENCE TO GUIDE POLICY

MARK W. PARRINO, M.P.A., PRESIDENT

AATOD - The American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence, 2019

http://www.aatod.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/2019-Policy-Paper-4.pdf

Interactive Map: Global Drug Policy Developments of 2018

2018 has seen support for cannabis reform surge around the world, but many countries - including Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Brazil - have been intensifying their prohibitionist drug policies, or seem intent to do so. Take a look at the map below to see some of the developments that have taken place over the past year. (Talking Drugs, UK, 24.12.2018)

https://www.talkingdrugs.org/interactive-map-global-drug-policy-developments-of-2018

USA. Of All People: The DEA Demolishes One of Trump's Main Claims About the Border Wall

As the president attempts to make his case for a wall on the US-Mexico border, one of his main selling points is that the wall would reduce the flow of illicit drugs into the country. Of all people, it's not our favorite agency that has rebutted the claim.

That agency is the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which in its 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment released just two months ago makes clear that at best Trump is uninformed and at worst that he is lying to the American people. (Stop the Drug War, USA, Issue 1051, 08.01.2019)

https://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2019/jan/08/all_people_dea_demolishes_one

USA. Impacts of Marijuana Legalization in Colorado - A Report Pursuant to Senate Bill 13-283 

Hrsg.: Colorado Department of Public Safety - Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Research and Statistics, October 2018 

http://cdpsdocs.state.co.us/ors/docs/reports/2018-SB-13-283_report.pdf

USA. Senate Confirms James Carroll as New Drug Czar

The US Senate on Wednesday confirmed by voice vote President Donald J. Trump's pick of an experienced Washington lawyer for the post informally known as the nation's drug czar. (Medscape, USA, 03.01.2019)

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/907204

UK. Thames Valley Police 'won't arrest drug users' in pilot

People found with "small quantities of illegal drugs" will not be arrested and instead urged to engage with support services, as part of a police pilot.

Thames Valley Police (TVP) hopes the approach will reduce deaths, prevent reoffending and lower service demands.

Assistant Chief Constable Jason Hogg has denied the scheme is a soft approach, saying there is "nothing soft about trying to save lives". (BBC, 17.12.2018)

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-46591100

USA/China. China Can’t Solve America’s Fentanyl Problem

Why a Crackdown Won’t Fix the Opioid Crisis. (Foreign Affairs, USA. 02.01.2019)

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/china/2019-01-02/china-cant-solve-americas-fentanyl-problem

USA. Opioid crisis: community and care, not law and order, is the answer 

Any response to the crisis must address the underlying conditions of drug addiction. (open democracy, USA, 12.12.2018)

https://www.opendemocracy.net/jarrett-zigon/opioid-crisis-community-and-care-not-law-and-order-is-answer

USA. F.D.A. Accuses Juul and Altria of Backing Off Plan to Stop Youth Vaping

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration is accusing Juul and Altria of reneging on promises they made to the government to keep e-cigarettes away from minors. (New York Times, 04.01.2019)

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/04/health/fda-juul-altria-youth-vaping.html

Iran. Sanctions may lead to refugee, drugs, bomb ‘deluge’ — Rouhani

DUBAI — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani predicted a “deluge” of drugs, refugees and attacks on the West if US sanctions weaken Iran’s ability to contain them.

 “I warn those who impose sanctions that if Iran’s ability to fight drugs and terrorism are affected... you will not be safe from a deluge of drugs, asylum seekers, bombs and terrorism,” Rouhani said in a speech carried live on state television.

Separately, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying that the United States is selling more arms into the Middle East than the region needs, making it a “tinderbox”. (Jordan Times, Jordanien, 09.12.2018)

http://www.jordantimes.com/news/region/sanctions-may-lead-refugee-drugs-bomb-%E2%80%98deluge%E2%80%99-%E2%80%94-rouhani

USA. The Opioid Crisis IsGetting Worse, Particularlyfor Black Americans

The epidemic of drug overdoses, often perceived as a largely white rural problem, made striking inroads among black Americans last year — particularly in urban counties where fentanyl has become widespread. (New York Times, 22.12.2018)

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/22/upshot/opioid-deaths-are-spreading-rapidly-into-black-america.html

EMCDDA. Improved drug supply indicators for Europe: progress report

Summary

This report provides a summary of the key findings from the assessment of progress of the EU Member States, Norway and Turkey towards the implementation of the revised drug supply indicators, as developed by the EMCDDA in line with the Council conclusions of November 2013. The report gives also an overview of the purpose and aims of supply data collected by the EMCDDA. (EMCDDA,Europol,Lissabon,Dezember 2018)

http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/joint-publications/improved-drug-supply-indicators-for-europe_en

Kanada. Vancouver looks to pioneer 'safe supply' for hard drug users

"Nowhere else that I'm aware of in the world are they advocating rapid, low-barrier access to pharmaceutical drugs." (Vancouver Sun, Kanada, 20.12.2018)

https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/vancouver-looks-to-pioneer-safe-supply-for-hard-drug-users

UNAIDS. Scharfe Kritik an UNAIDS-Spitze: autokratisch und Kultur der Angst

Genf – Das UN-Programm UNAIDS steckt nach Vorwürfen des Missbrauchs und der Führungsschwäche nach Überzeugung unabhängiger Experten in einer schweren Krise. „Die Anhaltspunkte für eine kaputte Organisationskultur, die dem unabhängigen Expertengremium vorliegen, sind überwältigend“, heißt es in dem heute in Genf veröffentlichten Bericht. (aerzteblatt.de, 07.12.2018)

https://www.aerzteblatt.de/nachrichten/99711/Scharfe-Kritik-an-UNAIDS-Spitze-autokratisch-und-Kultur-der-Angst

KANADA / Vancouver. Mayor’s Overdose Emergency Task Force - Recommendations for Immediate Action on the Overdose Crisis

(City of Vancouver, 20.12.2018)

https://council.vancouver.ca/20181220/documents/spec1.pdf

2016 UNGASS, 2019 CND Ministerial Segment, Drug Law Reform: Cracks in the 'Vienna consensus' reach breaking point at drugs 'omnibus' resolution in New York

(...) Perhaps it is not that the consensus is broken – as this has been apparent for quite some time – but that member states are finally owning up to the fact that there are some issues on which they simply cannot, and perhaps should not, agree. Recognizing this simple reality could lead the international community towards a more realistic conversation about the many different challenges and objectives around drug policy – which is, ironically, what true cooperation is all about. (IDPC - International Drug Policy Consortium, 05.12.2018)

https://idpc.net/blog/2018/12/cracks-in-the-vienna-consensus-reach-breaking-point-at-drugs-omnibus-resolution-in-new-york

UNODC. Actions to tackle global opioid crisis outlined by governments and experts in Vienna

Around 35 million people globally misuse opioids, including heroin according to the 2017 UNODC World Drug Report. Furthermore, opioids account for about 70 per cent of disease and deaths associated with drug use. (UNODC, 05.12.2018)

http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/2018/December/actions-to-tackle-global-opioid-crisis-outlined-by-governments-and-experts-in-vienna.html

China and the US have a long history of cooperation on opioid control. The latest announcement is pure White House theatre.

This week at the G20 summit, President Trump announced that China had agreed that the export of synthetic opioids, namely Fentanyls, to the US would be curtailed. John Collinswrites that the move is another political ‘sugar rush’ for the administration which is unlikely to address the US opioid crisis. Delving into the long history of US-China cooperation on drug policy, he finds that this latest announcement is yet another example of an unfocused measure aimed at reducing the flow of drugs into the US from China, and ignores and distracts from the needs of a more effective domestic response to the overdose crisis. (LSE – London School of Economics, US Centre, Dezember 2018)

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/usappblog/2018/12/05/china-and-the-us-have-a-long-history-of-cooperation-on-opioid-control-the-latest-announcement-is-pure-white-house-theatre/

UNODC. UNODC Opioid Strategy – RESPONSE TO THE OPIOID CRISIS

The potentially deadly consequences of the non-medical use of opioids have been known since science discovered their huge medical potential. Over the past 150 years, humanity has experience several opioid crises but none as devastating as the present one affecting mainly North America with fentanyl and its analogues, and in parts of Africa and the Middle East with tramadol. Under the conditions of a globalized drug market, the risk that it may spread to many other regions has never been greater. The rapidly emerging crisis which has resulted in significant loss of lives calls for a coordinated, comprehensive and multidisciplinary response.

UNODC is the United Nations Secretariat entity responsible for supporting Member States in their efforts against drugs and crime. Together, ongoing programmes in the areas of synthetic drugs monitoring, early warning and trend analysis, national forensic and counternarcotic capacity building, law enforcement operational work, and prevention and treatment provide a unique platform for contributing to the reduction of the non-medical use of synthetic opioids. (UNODC, 2019)

http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/opioid-crisis/index.html

Schweiz. Dr. Thilo Beck: «Harte Drogen gehören ins gesellschaftliche Leben eingebunden»

Thilo Beck ist Chefarzt Psychiatrie der Arud, dem Zentrum für Suchtmedizin. Er und seine Institution stehen ein für eine Legalisierung von Drogen wie Cannabis, Heroin oder Kokain. Im Gespräch mit Marco Büsch erklärt Beck, wie er sich das vorstellt und was es bedeutet, süchtig zu sein. (tsri.ch, Schweiz, 24.11.201)

https://tsri.ch/zh/thilo-beck-interview-legalisierung-cannabis-kokain-heroin/

USA. Now for the Hard Part: Getting Californians to Buy Legal Weed

SAN FRANCISCO — A billion dollars of tax revenue, the taming of the black market, the convenience of retail cannabis stores throughout the state — these were some of the promises made by proponents of marijuana legalization in California.

One year after the start of recreational sales, they are still just promises. (New York Times, 02.01.2019)

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/02/us/buying-legal-weed-in-california.html

Schweiz. Wegweisende Drogenpolitik – 25 Jahre kontrollerte Heroinabgabe in Zürich (Video)

Die Bilder der offenen Drogenszene vom Zürcher Platzspitz und vom Letten gingen um die Welt. Jahrelang versuchte die Stadt Zürich Bundesbern von ihrem Testprojekt zu überzeugen. Entstanden ist die Vier-Säulen-Drogenpolitik, die heute noch angewendet wird. (SRF – Schweizerischer Rundfunk, Schweiz aktuell, 30.11.2018, Video, 03:36)

https://tp.srgssr.ch/p/portal?urn=urn:srf:video:623f55e2-eede-40df-8391-e94aad911318&autoplay=true&legacy=true&width=640&height=360&playerType

Myanmar / Burma. Finland and Germany support UNODC programme that helps Myanmar farmers shift from opium production to coffee cultivation

Finland, Germany and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Myanmar Country Programme have signed agreements for a total of 6.1 million euro to extend the alternative development programme which provides farmers in drug-crop growing areas with viable alternatives to producing illicit crops. The programme runs in Southern Shan State Myanmar and will be extended for a second phase until December 2022. (UNODC, 14.12.2018)

http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/2018/December/finland-and-germany-support-unodc-programme-that-helps-myanmar-farmers-shift-from-opium-production-to-coffee-cultivation.html

Luxemburg. Luxemburg will Cannabis legalisieren

Luxemburg treibt die Legalisierung von Cannabis zum Freizeitgebrauch für Erwachsene voran. Gestern erzielten die drei Parteien der künftigen Regierungskoalition – Liberale, Sozialisten und Grüne – eine entsprechende Vereinbarung. (aerzteblatt.de, 04.12.2018)

https://www.aerzteblatt.de/nachrichten/99605/Luxemburg-will-Cannabis-legalisieren

USA. Judge Blocks New York From Enforcing Opioid Tax on Companies

(Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge on Wednesday blocked New York state from enforcing a recently-enacted law that aimed to collect $600 million from drug manufacturers and distributors to defray the costs of combating the opioid addiction epidemic. (Medscape, 20.12.2018)

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/906817

Schottland. Improving alcohol and drug treatment - National strategy focuses on people’s needs and their families.

Scotland will help people with drug and alcohol addictions by treating wider problems such as housing and employment, and supporting their families. (Scottish Government, 28.11.2018)

https://www.gov.scot/news/improving-alcohol-and-drug-treatment/

USA / Washington. Falling out - A generation of African American heroin users is dying in the opioid epidemic nobody talks about. The nation’s capital is ground zero. (Washington Post, 18.12.2018)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/local/opioid-epidemic-and-its-effect-on-african-americans