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Irland. Substance Use Strategy 2021-31: Preventing Harm - Empowering Recovery -- A - Strategic Framework to Tackle the Harm from Substance Use (2021-31) (Department of Health, 2021)


Estland. Key Lessons from Estonia. SO-PREP, 2021.

Oja,M.; Kurbatova, A.; Abel-Ollo, K. 

The National Institute for Health Development, Estonia, ISBN: 978-952-343-019-8 


Call for emergency action to limit global temperature increases, restore biodiversity, and protect health

Atwoli, Lukoye et al.

The Lancet, Volume 398, Issue 10304, 939 - 941 


Fachverlage zur Klimakrise: Eindringlicher Appell in 220 Magazinen

London – Mehr als 220 Fachmagazine zu Medizin und Gesundheit haben die Staats- und Regierungschefs der Welt in einem gemeinsamen Leitartikel auf, den Klimanotstand ernstzunehmen und entsprechend zu handeln. Sofortmaßnahmen seien nötig, um die Gesellschaft umzugestalten, den Klimawandel einzugrenzen, die Biodiversität wiederherzustellen und die öffentliche Gesundheit zu schützen. (aerzteblatt.de, 06.09.2021)


USA. Civil Rights Leaders & Drug Policy Experts Denounce Counterproductive Biden Recommendations on Fentanyl-Related Substances and Continued War on Drugs 

New Proposal Puts Criminalization Before Public Health and Safety, Reinforces Harmful Trump-Era Policies that Disproportionately Impact People of Color, Lead to Mass Incarceration, and Cost Lives. (DPA – Drug Policy Alliance, USA, 02.09.2021)


Brasilien. Bolsonaro is destroying mental health care to favour evangelicals

His assault on public mental health services will hurt Black Brazilians the most and benefit evangelical centres. 

(…) Treatment in so-called therapeutic communities is widespread in Brazil and throughout Latin America and largely consists of forced internment in similar unregulated, unmonitored and poorly kept establishments where people are subjected to substandard care and abusive practices.

Therapeutic communities have grown significantly in number over the last few years, and it is no surprise that they are often referred to as the country’s new asylums.

During his trip to Brazil in 1979, Italian psychiatrist Franco Basaglia visited the Colony Hospital of Barbacena, the largest and most notorious asylum in the country, and described it as a “concentration camp” to the local media. People arrived in freight trains and, immediately upon arrival, had their heads shaved and clothes removed. (Al Jazeera, 01.09.2021)


USA. Policy Responses to the Addiction Crisis. 

Richard G. Frank, Keith N. Humphreys, Harold A. Pollack; 

J Health Polit Policy Law 1 August 2021; 46 (4): 585–597. doi: doi.org/10.1215/03616878-8970796


20 years of Portuguese drug policy - developments, challenges and the quest for human rights. 

Rêgo X, Oliveira MJ, Lameira C, Cruz OS. 

Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2021 Jul 17;16(1):59. doi: 10.1186/s13011-021-00394-7. PMID: 34273972; PMCID: PMC8285857.


10-point plan: Gender-sensitive drug policies for women

The number of women and girls in prison, estimated to be more than 740,000, is increasing: between 2010 and 2020 there was a 17 per cent increase globally. Punitive drug policies are known to be a key driver of rising prison populations and to have a particular and disproportionate impact on women. (Penal Reform International and International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), 04.08.2021)


Cedar Project: exploring the role of colonial harms and childhood maltreatment on HIV and hepatitis C infection in a cohort study involving young Indigenous people who use drugs in two Canadian cities. 

Thomas V, Henderson E, Zamar D, Yoshida EM, Schechter MT, Spittal PM. The 

BMJ Open. 2021 Jul 8;11(7):e042545. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-042545. PMID: 34244246; PMCID: PMC8268907.


Treatment for drug dependence in England needs investment and reform 

Published online: July 7, 2021 

Carol Black 

The Lancet 


A time of crisis for the opioid epidemic in the USA

The Lancet, 

The Lancet, Volume 398, Issue 10297, 277 


Science-Based Actions Can Help Address the Opioid Crisis. 

Epstein DH, Heilig M, Shaham Y. 

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2018 Nov;39(11):911-916. doi: 10.1016/j.tips.2018.06.002. PMID: 30343726.


UNODC. World Drug Report 2021

Consisting of five separate booklets, the World Drug Report 2021 provides an in-depth analysis of the global drug markets and paints a comprehensive picture of the measurable effects and potential impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the world drug problem.

The World Drug Report 2021 is aimed not only at fostering greater international cooperation to counter the impact of the world drug problem on health, governance and security, but also, with its special focus on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, at assisting Member States in anticipating and addressing challenges that may arise in the near future. (UNODC, Wien, 13.07.2021)


Portugal: Wo die Sucht kein Verbrechen mehr ist 

Seit zwanzig Jahren steht der Konsum von Drogen in Portugal nicht mehr unter Strafe. Obwohl sich die Abkehr von repressiven Massnahmen bewährt hat, ist eine Legalisierung nicht in Sicht. (WOZ – Die Wochenzeitung, Schweiz, 24.06.2021)


USA. The End of the X-Waiver: Not a Moment Too Soon! 

Pergolizzi J, LeQuang JAK, Breve F. 

Cureus. 2021 May 19;13(5):e15123. doi: 10.7759/cureus.15123. PMID: 34159025; PMCID: PMC8212919.


Europa. Council approves EU Drugs Action Plan 2021–2025

The Council of the EU (Foreign Affairs) approved on 21 June the EU Drugs Action Plan for 2021–2025. The new plan presents the concrete actions needed to achieve the priorities of the EU Drugs Strategy, adopted in December 2020 (1). (EMCDDA, Lissabon, 22.06.2021)


EMCDDA. European Drug Report 2021: highlights (Video)

The European Drug Report provides a comprehensive analysis of patterns emerging across the EU, Turkey and Norway in the areas of drug supply, illicit drug use and associated public health problems. National data sets are also provided across these themes and on key harm-reduction interventions. (EMCDDA, Lissabon, 09.06.2021, Video, 02:45)


Mexikanisches Gericht erklärt Cannabisverbot für verfassungswidrig

Mexiko-Stadt – Mexikos Oberster Gerichtshof hat das gesetzliche Verbot des Konsums von Cannabis für verfassungswidrig erklärt. Fünf entsprechende Passagen im allgemeinen Gesundheitsgesetz des Landes seien unzulässig, entschieden die Richter gestern mit neun zu zwei Stimmen. (aerzteblatt.de, 29.06.2021)


Vereinte Nationen verabschieden Erklärung zur Bekämpfung von Aids

New York – Die Vollversammlung der Vereinten Nationen hat nach schwierigen Verhandlungen eine politische Erklärung zur Bekämpfung der Immunschwächekrankheit Aids verabschiedet. (aerzteblatt.de, 09.06.2021)


How Switzerland defeated its heroin epidemic (Audio)

In the 1990s, Switzerland decided to tackle one of Europe's worst drugs epidemics by trying radical new policy ideas including providing safe-injection rooms for addicts and even prescribing pure heroin. The new strategy dramatically cut overdoses, HIV infections and the number of new users, and in 2008 the Swiss voted in a referendum to enshrine the changes permanently in law. Zak Brophy talks to Andre Seidenberg, a Swiss doctor who worked with addicts for decades, and to former Swiss president Ruth Dreifuss, who campaigned for the change in policy. (BBC, UK, Audio, 08:59)


EMCDDA. What are the lessons to be learnt from the European Drug Report 2021?

The new EU Drugs Strategy 2021–25 makes explicit that the European response to drugs should be evidence-based and delivered through a balanced and integrated approach, which ultimately must be judged on its impact on the health, safety and wellbeing of our citizens. The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) is tasked with helping to provide the evidence needed to ensure that European policies and actions on drugs are effective, well-targeted and responsive to new threats and challenges. (EMCDDA, Lissabon 09.06.2021)


USA. We’re Overlooking a Major Culprit in the Opioid Crisis

Pharmaceutical companies and drug dealers have been part of the problem—but so have policy makers. (Scientific American, USA, 28.05.2021)


USA. Opinion: Politics and Science Are Both Catching up With Big Marijuana

As Congress readies a few doomed federal marijuana legalization bills, top Democrats in Colorado— the first state to legalize marijuana—are staking out a surprisingly different path. (Newsweek, USA, 02.06.2021)


EMCDDA. European Drug Report 2021

COVID-19: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected drug use and supply?
Drug use and harms: What drugs are causing the most concern today?
Drug production: What are the latest trends in drug production and trafficking?

Get the facts when the EMCDDA launches ist European Drug Report 2021 in a live online media event on 9 June.



Drug-related deaths have remained below the EU average since 2001

The proportion of prisoners sentenced for drugs has fallen from 40% to 15%

Rates of drug use have remained consistently below the EU average

(Transform, UK, 13.05.2021)


USA. Big pharma executives mocked ‘pillbillies’ in emails, West Virginia opioid trial hears

Executives at one of the US’s largest drug distributors circulated rhymes and emails mocking “hillbillies” who became addicted to opioid painkillers even as the company poured hundreds of millions of pills into parts of Appalachia at the heart of America’s opioid epidemic.


One email in 2011 included a rhyme built around “a poor mountaineer” named Jed who “barely kept his habit fed”. According to the verse, “Jed” travels to Florida to buy “Hillbilly Heroin”, the nickname for OxyContin, the drug manufactured by Purdue Pharma which kickstarted an epidemic that has claimed more than 500,000 lives. (Guardian, UK, 16.05.2021)


USA. What HBO’s “Crime of the Century” Doesn’t Tell You 
Lynn Webster, M.D., 15.05.2021


Addiction Should Be Treated, Not Penalized

Nora Volkow

Health Affairs Blog, April 27, 2021,