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USA. FDA Statement: Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on unprecedented new efforts to support development of over-the-counter naloxone to help reduce opioid overdose deaths

(...) To encourage drug companies to enter the OTC market and increase access to naloxone, the FDA took an unprecedented step: we developed a model DFL with easy-to-understand pictograms on how to use the drug. We also conducted label comprehension testing to ensure the instructions were simple to follow. (FDA - U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 17.01.2019)

https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm629571.htm

USA. FDA Moves to Fast-Track OTC Naloxone for Opioid Overdose

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced "unprecedented" steps to support companies in developing over-the-counter (OTC) naloxone to help reduce opioid overdose deaths. (Medscape, 17.01.2019)

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/907885

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. Sacklers Directed Efforts to Mislead Public About OxyContin, New Documents Indicate

A filing in a Massachusetts lawsuit contains dozens of internal Purdue Pharma documents suggesting the family was far more involved than the company has long contended. (New York Times, 15.01.2019)

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/15/health/sacklers-purdue-oxycontin-opioids.html

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

Association of Pharmaceutical Industry Marketing of Opioid Products With Mortality From Opioid-Related Overdoses.

Hadland SE, Rivera-Aguirre A, Marshall BDL, Cerdá M. 

JAMA Netw Open.2019;2(1):e186007. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.6007

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2720914

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. County By County, Researchers Link Opioid Deaths To Drugmakers’ Marketing

Researchers sketched a vivid line Friday linking the dollars spent by drugmakers to woo doctors around the country to a vast opioid epidemic that has led to tens of thousands of deaths.

The study, published in JAMA Network Open, looked at county-specific federal data and found that the more opioid-related marketing dollars were spent in a county, the higher the rates of doctors who prescribed those drugs and, ultimately, the more overdose deaths occurred in that county. (KHN – Kaiser Health News, USA, 18.01.2019)

https://khn.org/news/county-by-county-researchers-link-opioids-deaths-to-drugmakers-marketing

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

Sri Lanka/Philippinen. ‘Example to the world': Sri Lanka president plans to copy Duterte's war on drugs 

President Maithripala Sirisena praises Philippines over policy that has led to thousands of extrajudicial killings. (The Guardian, UK, 18.01.2019)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/18/example-to-the-world-sri-lanka-president-plans-to-copy-dutertes-war-on-drugs

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

China. Cai Dongjia: China's 'godfather of crystal meth' executed

The former Communist Party chief of a Chinese village once notorious for its drug production has been executed, Chinese state media report. (BBC, 17.01.2019)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-46904901

USA. Drug Use During Pregnancy Not Child Abuse -Pennsylvania Top Court

(Reuters) - A divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled on Friday that mothers who use illegal drugs during their pregnancies are not committing child abuse against their newly-born children. (Medscape, 31.12.2018)

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/907076

USA. Fifteen Examples of Discrimination Against People With Substance Use Disorders

In light of the imminent threats to the confidentiality of substance use disorder patients, Legal Action Center, along with Faces and Voices of Recovery, has documented some of the impacts of stigmatization and discrimination due to SUD treatment. (Filter Magazine, USA, 17.01.2019)

https://filtermag.org/2019/01/17/fifteen-examples-of-discrimination-against-people-with-substance-use-disorders/

USA. Slandering the Unborn - How bad science and a moral panic, fueled in part by the news media, demonized mothers and defamed a generation.

Legislative intrusion into the womb has a long history in the United States, and nowhere is this paternalism more forceful than when illegal drugs are part of the equation. If the country’s war on drugs functions as a system of social control, that control is doubly exercised when a fetus is involved. (New York Times, 28.12.2018)

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/12/28/opinion/crack-babies-racism.html

USA. Fraction of U.S. Outpatient Treatment Centers Offer Medication for Opioid Addiction

Study finds that most substance use disorder treatment facilities still do not offer medication treatment for opioid use disorder. (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA, 15.01.2019)

https://www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2019/fraction-of-us-outpatient-treatment-centers-offer-medication-for-opioid-addiction.html

USA. Congressional report: DEA, drug distributors failed to stop flow of opioids into West Virginia

The Drug Enforcement Administration and some of the country’s largest drug distributors failed to stop a massive flow of opioids into rural West Virginia over the past 10 years, according to a new congressional report.

According to the bipartisan report, prepared by the House Energy and Commerce Committee majority staff, the distributors did not conduct proper oversight of their customers and failed to recognize potential red flags. Distributors transfer drugs from manufacturers to businesses such as clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies, where they can be dispensed to patients. 

Those failures helped contribute to the worsening opioid epidemic in West Virginia, “the epicenter of the nation’s opioid epidemic and the state with the highest drug overdose death rate in the country,” the report says.

The report found that three of the country’s largest distributors did not question suspicious orders and did not monitor the volume of controlled substances sold to customers. (The Hill, USA, 19.12.2018)

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/422118-congressional-report-dea-drug-distributors-failed-to-stop-flow-of-opioids

Australien. Lessons from the heroin injecting room

(...) In the more than 18 years since it opened, there have been more than one million injections supervised. In that time there has been 8000 overdoses – but there has not been one single death. (The Age, Australien, 16.01.2019)

https://www.theage.com.au/national/nsw/lessons-from-the-heroin-injecting-room-20190115-p50rec.html

USA. Opioid-Makers Face Wave of Lawsuits in 2019

The next 12 months might just redefine the way America thinks about and responds to the opioid epidemic that now claims more than 40,000 lives each year. The nation's biggest drugmakers and distributors face a wave of civil lawsuits that could total tens of billions of dollars in damages. (NPR – National Public Radio, USA. 31.12.2018)

https://www.npr.org/2018/12/31/680741170/opioid-makers-face-wave-of-lawsuits-in-2019

Mobile supervised consumption services in Rural British Columbia: lessons learned

Silvina C. Mema, Gillian Frosst, Jessica Bridgeman, Hilary Drake, Corinne Dolman, Leslie Lappalainen and Trevor Corneil

Harm Reduction Journal 2019, 16:4, doi.org/10.1186/s12954-018-0273-3

https://harmreductionjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12954-018-0273-3

EMCDDA. Cannabis control and the right to privacy

In 2018 the highest courts in countries across three continents have asserted that state intervention in the private life of their citizens who wish to (grow and) use cannabis is not always justified. (EMCDDA, Lissabon, 03.01.2019)

http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/news/2019/cannabis-control-and-the-right-to-privacy_en

UK. Drug-testing service in Durham highlights dangers of the illegal trade

Durham's Police, Crime and Victims Commissioner has praised a drug testing service which highlighted the dangers of the illegal trade. (Chronicle live, UK, 11.01.2019)

https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/drug-testing-service-durham-highlights-15663460

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

China. Wegen Drogenschmuggels: Chinesisches Gericht verurteilt Kanadier zum Tode 

In einem ersten Prozess hatte er Medienberichten zufolge eine Haftstrafe von 15 Jahren auferlegt bekommen. Nun hat ein chinesisches Gericht einen Kanadier wegen Drogenschmuggels zum Tode verurteilt. (Spiegel online, 14.01.2019)

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/wegen-drogenschmuggels-chinesisches-gericht-verurteilt-kanadier-zum-tode-a-1247982.html

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

USA. Despite Conflicting Evidence, A New Report Finds Legal Marijuana Does Not Impact Alcohol Sales

Weighing in on an issue that weighs heavily on alcoholic beverage suppliers, the Distilled Spirits Council released new research that shows the sale of legalized marijuana does not impact alcohol purchases, at least in the three states that have allowed recreational pot smoking the longest. (Forbes, USA, 10.01.2019)

https://www.forbes.com/sites/taranurin/2019/01/10/despite-conflicting-evidence-a-new-report-finds-legal-marijuana-does-not-impact-alcohol-sales

Schottland. Mobile van to offer needle exchange in Glasgow to tackle HIV outbreak among drug injectors

A MOBILE van will distribute needles and provide healthcare out of hours to the city centre's drug injecting community in a bid to tackle Glasgow’s HIV outbreak. (Eveni ng Times, Schottland, 03.01.2019)

https://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/17332411.mobile-van-to-offer-needle-exchange-in-glasgow-to-tackle-hiv-outbreak-among-drug-injectors/

Mexiko/USA. Former Mexican State Attorney General Pleads Guilty to International Narcotics Distribution Conspiracy

Defendant Used His Position as a Law Enforcement Official to Facilitate International Drug Trafficking into the United States. (The United States Department of Justice, Eastern District of New York, 04.01.2019)

https://www.justice.gov/usao-edny/pr/former-mexican-state-attorney-general-pleads-guilty-international-narcotics

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

Mexiko. Crece el número de homicidios en Tijuana

En la ciudad se tiene el registro de 2 mil 502 homicidios. (EL MEXICANO, 31.12.2018)

http://www.el-mexicano.com.mx/informacion/noticias/1/28/accidentes/2018/12/31/1061335/crece-el-numero-de-homicidios-en-tijuana