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High levels of used syringe use and unsafe sex among people who inject drugs in Kumasi, Ghana: an urgent call for a comprehensive harm reduction approach. 

Messersmith, L.J., Adjei, R., Beard, J. et al. 

Harm Reduct J 18, 62 (2021). doi.org/10.1186/s12954-021-00510-7


Kanada. Let’s Talk Overdose: The Hidden Pandemic and How to Stop It - June 23, 2021, 8:00am-4:00pm PST (17.00-01.00 MESZ)

In March 2020, Canada declared COVID- 19 a public health emergency. Since then, Canadians have fervently been doing their part to reduce the spread of the virus. Amid the chaos of COVID- 19, the opioid overdose crisis is still on- going, yet efforts to address this devastating situation is often overshadowed. We want to raise awareness to the overdose crisis and to generate a consensus on the necessary initiatives to ensure that no more lives are needlessly lost to this hidden pandemic. This virtual event will host clinicians, researchers, people with lived/living experience, youth and many others to have important discussions surrounding the opioid crisis.

Michael Krausz MD, PhD, FRCPC
Leadership Chair, UBC Addiction Research
Chair, World Psychiatric Association Section on Addiction Psychiatry
President and Chair, InnerChange Foundation


Constellations: An Online Festival On Drugs & Harm Reduction - 16-24

Nov 21

For 31 years, we have brought you the Harm Reduction International Conference – the main global forum for the exchange of information at the intersection of human rights, public health and drug policy; a place for the international harm reduction community to gather. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that we cannot safely gather in person for some time but our need to gather with our community is as strong as ever. And so, we bring you CONSTELLATIONS: An Online Festival on Drugs and Harm Reduction. (HRI – Harm Reduction International, UK, 17.06.2021)


Epidemic of HIV infection among persons who inject drugs in mainland China: a series, cross-sectional study. 

Zhang, B., Yan, X., Li, Y. et al. 

Harm Reduct J 18, 63 (2021). doi.org/10.1186/s12954-021-00511-6


Does Heroin-Assisted Treatment Reduce Crime? A Review of Randomized-Controlled Trials. 

Smart, R., and Reuter, P. (2021) 

Addiction, doi.org/10.1111/add.15601 



Moderators and mediators of outcomes of parents with substance use problems: further evaluation of the Parents under Pressure programme, 

Dawe, S., Harnett, P., Gullo, M. J., Eggins, E., and Barlow, J. (2021)

Addiction. doi: doi.org/10.1111/add.15579.


Innovation in der Wirkstoffentwicklung: Morphinan-Verbindungen ohne Suchtgefahr

Die Fertigstellung eines neuen Wirkstoffes gegen Hustenreiz birgt nicht nur die Chance auf ein neues Arzneimittel auf dem Markt, sondern auch die Möglichkeit in Zukunft Morphium und andere Opiate ohne Suchtpotential zu entwickeln. Was kann man sich genau darunter vorstellen? Und welchen Nutzen haben Betroffene davon? (Deutsches Diabetes-Zentrum, 15.06.2021)


Peripherally active dextromethorphan derivatives lower blood glucose levels by targeting pancreatic islets

Scholz, Okka et al.

Cell Chemical Biology, Volume 0, Issue 0 


Khat and neurobehavioral functions: A systematic review. 

Ahmed A, Ruiz MJ, Cohen Kadosh K, Patton R, Resurrección DM (2021) 

PLoS ONE 16(6): e0252900. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0252900


Majordepression: Psychedelisches Pilzgift erzielt in Studie (tendenziell) bessere Wirkung als Standardmedikament

London – Die Einnahme der Droge Psilocybin, die aus halluzinogenen Pilzen („magic mushrooms“) gewonnen wird, hat in einer Phase-2-Studie im New England Journal of Medicine (2021; DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2032994) die Symptome einer Majordepression mindestens so gut gelindert wie die Einahme von Escitalopram, einem Standardmedikament aus der Gruppe der selektiven Serotonin-Wiederaufnahmehemmer. (aerzteblatt.de, 10.06.2021)


EMCDDA. New report highlights public health risks and increasing availability of ‘designer benzodiazepines’ in Europe 

New benzodiazepines, which are not controlled by international drug laws, come under the spotlight today in a new report released by the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) (1). Often marketed as ‘designer benzodiazepines’, these substances are sold as ‘legal’ replacements for controlled benzodiazepines and are becoming increasingly available in Europe. They are monitored by the agency as new psychoactive substances (NPS) through the EU Early Warning System (EWS).

The EMCDDA currently monitors 30 new benzodiazepines, over 80% of which were detected for the first time between 2014 and 2020. Despite this relatively large number, the new benzodiazepine market in Europe is currently dominated by etizolam and flualprazolam — although this may change, as both substances were placed under international control in November 2020. In 2019, 1 240 seizures of new benzodiazepines were reported by the EU Member States (around 5% of NPS seizures). (EMCDDA, News release No 6/2021, Lissabon, 09.06.2021


EMCDDA. New benzodiazepines in Europe – a review


This report provides a technical review of the current body of knowledge regarding new benzodiazepines that are monitored by the EU Early Warning System. The aims of this report are to strengthen situational awareness of new benzodiazepines in Europe, and to help stakeholders prepare for and respond to public health and social threats caused by such substances. (EMCDDA, Lissabon, Juni 2021)


Neues Leitbild für eine akzeptierende Drogenarbeit

Die Deutsche Aidshilfe und akzept e.V. haben ihre Grundlagen für eine moderne und erfolgreiche Drogenarbeit überarbeitet. (Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe, 09.06.2021)


Subjective symptoms and serum methadone concentrations: what should guide dose adjustments in methadone maintenance treatment? A naturalistic cohort study from Norway.

Chalabianloo F, Fadnes LT, Høiseth G, Ohldieck C, Vold JH, Aas C, Løberg EM, Johansson KA, Bramness JG. 

Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2021 May 3;16(1):39. doi: 10.1186/s13011-021-00367-w. PMID: 33941217; PMCID: PMC8091668.


Differences in cue-induced brain activation between long-term methadone maintenance treatment and protracted abstinence in heroin use disorder patients: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. 

Wei X, Li Q, Chen J, Shen B, Wang W, Li W. 

Quant Imaging Med Surg. 2021 May;11(5):2104-2113. doi: 10.21037/qims-20-1002. PMID: 33936991; PMCID: PMC8047338.


Adverse Childhood Experiences Predict Early Initiation of Opioid Use Behaviors. 

Guarino H, Mateu-Gelabert P, Quinn K, Sirikantraporn S, Ruggles KV, Syckes C, Goodbody E, Jessell L, Friedman SR. 

Front Sociol. 2021 May 13;6:620395. doi: 10.3389/fsoc.2021.620395. PMID: 34055961; PMCID: PMC8158934.


Brain responses to drug cues predict craving changes in abstinent heroin users: A preliminary study. 

Liu S, Wang S, Zhang M, Xu Y, Shao Z, Chen L, Yang W, Liu J, Yuan K. 

Neuroimage. 2021 May 15;237:118169. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118169. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34000396.


The Abuse Characteristics of Amphetamine-Type Stimulants in Patients Receiving Methadone Maintenance Treatment and Buprenorphine Maintenance Treatment. 

Liu Y, Liu N, Shen W, Li L, Zhou W, Xu L. 

Drug Des Devel Ther. 2021 May 18;15:2109-2116. doi: 10.2147/DDDT.S305226. PMID: 34040349; PMCID: PMC8140901.


Potential Pharmacokinetic Drug-Drug Interactions between Cannabinoids and Drugs Used for Chronic Pain. 

Vázquez M, Guevara N, Maldonado C, Guido PC, Schaiquevich P 

Biomed Res Int. 2020 Aug 13;2020:3902740. doi: 10.1155/2020/3902740. PMID: 32855964; PMCID: PMC7443220.


Advocating for diamorphine: Cosmopolitical care and collective action in the ruins of the 'old British system'. 

Dennis F. 

Crit Public Health. 2021;31(2):144-155. doi: 10.1080/09581596.2020.1772463. Epub 2020 Jun 4. PMID: 34079177; PMCID: PMC7610880.


AddictGene: An integrated knowledge base for differentially expressed genes associated with addictive substance. 

Shi L, Wang Y, Li C, Zhang K, Du Q, Zhao M. 

Comput Struct Biotechnol J. 2021 Apr 19;19:2416-2422. doi: 10.1016/j.csbj.2021.04.027. PMID: 34025933; PMCID: PMC8113760.


AddictGene: an integrated knowledge base for differentially expressed genes associated with psychostimulants

Motivation of AddictGene

Addiction, a chronic, relapsing brain disease, is characterized by loss of control over psychostimulant drug intake and compulsive drug consumption despite serious adverse consequences. Alteration of gene expression has been linked to dependence, withdrawal, and relapse of psychostimulant-dependent individuals in both animal and human studies. As the gene expression data relating to changes induced by psychostimulants are accumulating rapidly in last decade, there is a growing need to integrate and annotate the current multi-omic data from multiple studies for convenient retrieval by bench researchers and clinicians. To fulfill this need, AddictGene is thus developed. AddictGene integrated gene expression, gene-gene interaction, gene-drug interaction and regulatory annotation for over 33,821 items of differentially expressed genes associated with psychostimulants across three species (human, mouse, rat) from 205 publications. Importantly, it contains 1,010 addiction-associated genes that have been experimentally validated by RT-PCR, Northern blot, and in situ hybridization. (Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Juni 2021)

Oral changes in cocaine abusers: an integrative review. 

Melo CAA, Guimarães HRG, Medeiros RCF, Souza GCA, Santos PBDD, Tôrres ACSP. 

Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. 2021 May 14:S1808-8694(21)00083-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bjorl.2021.04.011. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34034978.


Cocaine and Cardiotoxicity: A Literature Review. 

Pergolizzi JV Jr, Magnusson P, LeQuang JAK, Breve F, Varrassi G. 

Cureus. 2021 Apr 20;13(4):e14594. doi: 10.7759/cureus.14594. PMID: 34036012; PMCID: PMC8136464.


Project Console: a quality improvement initiative for neonatal abstinence syndrome in a children's hospital level IV neonatal intensive care unit. 

Ponder KL, Egesdal C, Kuller J, Joe P. 

BMJ Open Qual. 2021 May;10(2):e001079. doi: 10.1136/bmjoq-2020-001079. PMID: 33941537; PMCID: PMC8098972.


Stability-indicating LC-MS Method for Determination of Stability of Extemporaneously Compounded Buprenorphine Oral Syringes for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. 

Rochani A, Nguyen V, Becker R, Kraft W, Kaushal G. 

J Pediatr Pharmacol Ther. 2021;26(4):395-404. doi: 10.5863/1551-6776-26.4.395. Epub 2021 May 19. PMID: 34035685; PMCID: PMC8139563.


Intersecting Stigmas among HIV-Positive People Who Inject Drugs in Vietnam. 

Do M, Ho HT, Dinh HT, Le HH, Truong TQ, Dang TV, Nguyen DD, Andrinopoulos K. 

Health Serv Insights. 2021 Apr 30;14:11786329211013552. doi: 10.1177/11786329211013552. PMID: 33994794; PMCID: PMC8107921.


Public support for harm reduction: A population survey of Canadian adults. 

Wild TC, Koziel J, Anderson-Baron J, Asbridge M, Belle-Isle L, Dell C, et al. (2021) 

PLoS ONE 16(5): e0251860. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0251860


Cognitive performance of patients with opioid use disorder transitioned to extended-release injectable naltrexone from buprenorphine: Post hoc analysis of exploratory results of a phase 3 randomized controlled trial. 

Kosten T, Aharonovich E, Nangia N, Zavod A, Akerman SC, Lopez-Bresnahan M, Sullivan MA. 

Addict Behav. 2020 Dec;111:106538. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2020.106538. Epub 2020 Jul 3. PMID: 32777606.