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Commentary on Furr‐Holden et al. (2020): Drugs, class, and race—recent developments in the opioid epidemic call for urgent next steps. 

Caputi, T. L. (2020) 

Addiction, doi.org/10.1111/add.15339

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/add.15339

The same fundamental drivers but differently expressed: what can we learn from comparing the recent experiences with synthetic opioids in the US and Europe?. 

Griffiths, P., Mounteney, J., and Sedefov, R. (2021) 

Addiction, doi.org/10.1111/add.15340

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/add.15340

Litauen. First hand story: Drug checking in Lithuania

INTERVIEW WITH RŪTA MARCINKEVIČĖ, PROJECT MANAGER AT “YOUNG WAVE”|

(Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA), Vilna/Litauen, 15.12.2020)

https://harmreductioneurasia.org/firsthand-story-drug-checking-in-lithuania/

Solidarity that cannot be confined – Support. Don’t Punish 2020 Global Day of Action – Summary report

The Support. Don’t Punish campaign documents global efforts to progress harm reduction and drug policy reform as part of the 2020 Global Day of Action. (Support. Don’t Punish, Januar 2021)

http://fileserver.idpc.net/library/GDAction_Report_2020.pdf

Schottland. Drugs activist Peter Krykant won't be charged over overdose prevention van

The Crown Office has told Peter Krykant he will not face court action after he refused to accept a caution relating to the running of his drugs van in Glasgow. (Daily Record, Schottland, 20.01.2021)

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/drugs-activist-peter-krykant-wont-23348736.amp

USA. Appellate Court Agrees with Government that Supervised Injection Sites are Illegal under Federal Law; Reverses District Court Ruling 

In a precedential opinion, the Third Circuit ruled yesterday that it is a federal crime to open a supervised injection site or “consumption room” for illegal drug use.  Local nonprofit Safehouse planned to open the nation’s first such consumption room in the City of Philadelphia, where individuals would be invited to inject heroin and use other drugs under supervision.  But the Third Circuit ruled that doing so “will break the law” because Safehouse knows and intends that visitors to its consumption room will have a significant purpose of using illegal drugs.  In agreeing with the government’s interpretation of the Controlled Substances Act, the Court explained that, “[t]hough the opioid crisis may call for innovative solutions, local innovations may not break federal law.” (The United States Department of Justice, 13.01.2021)

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/appellate-court-agrees-government-supervised-injection-sites-are-illegal-under-federal-law

HRW. EVENTS OF 2021 WORLD REPORT

Human Rights Watch, Januar 2021

https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/media_2021/01/2021_hrw_world_report.pdf

INCB. President of the International Narcotics Control Board Cornelis P. de Joncheere: 

Message on Human Rights Day 2020 

VIENNA, 10 December (United Nations Information Service) - The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has repeatedly expressed its concern over reports of grave human rights violations purportedly in furtherance of national drug control policies.

The Board reminds all States that the primary objective of the international drug control conventions is to safeguard the health and welfare of humankind, including respect for human rights. (INCB, Wien, UNIS/NAR/1427, 10.12.2020)

https://www.incb.org/incb/en/news/press-releases/2020/message-on-human-rights-day-2020---incb-president-mr--cornelis-p--de-joncheere.html

Nepal. The human rights of people who use drugs: Recommendations for the UPR of Nepal

According to a June 2020 survey commissioned by the Ministry of Home Affairs, approximately 130,424 people in Nepal use drugs, of which 76.2% are below the age of 30.1 Over 63% of people who use drugs wanted to seek help, but few had access to any treatment facility, since people who use drugs are heavily stigmatized and criminalized in Nepal.

The Government has agreed to ensure that national drug policies fully respect human rights and fundamental freedom, as a UN member state during the UN General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem in April 2016.3 But despite repeated calls from Nepalese civil society, the Narcotics Drug Control Act 2033 (1976) has not been revised in line with the obligations under international human rights treaties and the national constitution.

With the Drug Control Act of 2006 and the Drug Control Strategy of 2013, Nepal committed to place health and human rights at the center of its drug policies. However, the Drug Control Act 1976 has not been amended in line with these commitments, and evidence-based treatment is still sorely lacking across the country. (IDPC, UK, 30.12.2020)

https://idpc.net/publications/2020/12/joint-submission-by-a-coalition-of-ngos-on-human-rights-and-drug-policies-for-upr

Report to OHCHR on “human rights in the administration of justice”, pursuant to Resolution 42/11

Introduction: Harm Reduction International (HRI) and the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) welcome the opportunity to submit information to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for the preparation of its report under Human Rights Council Resolution 42/11 on human rights in the administration of justice. This submission addresses some of the current and emerging challengesspecifically faced by people detained for drug offences and people in detention who use drugs. 

Background: Of the 11 million people currently behind bars worldwide, close to half a million people are incarcerated for mere drug possession, with an additional 1.7 million incarcerated for other non-violent drug offences,).1 That means that about 21% - or over one in every five prisoners worldwide -are being held on a drug charge. Punitive drug laws have fuelled mass incarceration and have impacted marginalised communities disproportionately, often on the basis of race, ethnicity, and/or poverty.2 (Harm Reduction International and Drug Policy Consortium, UK, 11.01.2021)

http://fileserver.idpc.net/library/OHCHR_Submission_HRI+IDPC_FINAL.pdf

Mexiko. Mexico’s Fentanyl Crisis Reached New Heights in 2020

Trafficking of the deadly opioid fentanyl skyrocketed in 2020 throughout Mexico, solidifying the synthetic drug’s status as a top criminal economy and the country’s role as an international trafficking transit point. (InSight Crime, USA, 14.01.2021)

https://www.insightcrime.org/news/analysis/mexico-fentanyl-crisis-2020/

Russland. Revealing Trends in Russia’s Dark-Web Drug Markets

(…) It was after 2010 that the popularity of dark-web drug marketplaces began to grow in Russia. Supplying people with illegal drugs was increasingly done remotely—but not by mail, as in North America and Western Europe, because the mostly state-run Russian mail is checked thoroughly. Instead, it is typically done by means of zakladki or “dead-drops.” Stashes of substances are hidden for customers to pick up—placed on magnets in the entrances of apartment buildings, for example, or buried in flower beds or in forests. (Filter, USA, 16.12.2020)

https://filtermag.org/russia-dark-web-drugs/

USA. Trump administration will let nearly all doctors prescribe addiction medicine buprenorphine

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration announced a major shift in addiction medicine policy Thursday, giving doctors dramatically more flexibility to prescribe a popular and effective drug used to treat opioid use disorder.

The change will allow almost all physicians to prescribe the addiction drug buprenorphine, regardless of whether they’ve obtained a government waiver. Previously, doctors had to undergo an eight-hour training and receive the license, known as the “X-waiver,” before they could prescribe buprenorphine. For years, addiction treatment advocates have argued that tight buprenorphine regulations prevent thousands of doctors from providing high-quality addiction care. (Stat News, USA, 14.01.2021)

https://www.statnews.com/2021/01/14/trump-admin-nearly-all-doctors-buprenorphine/

Interview with Corey Davis on the recent federal settlement with Purdue Pharma over its actions to increase prescriptions of its opioid medications. (podcast)

Supplement to the N Engl J Med 2021; 384:97-99

Corey Davis is the deputy director of the Network for Public Health Law’s Southeastern Region Office. Stephen Morrissey, the interviewer, is the Executive Managing Editor of the Journal. 

https://www.nejm.org/action/showMediaPlayer?doi=10.1056%2FNEJMdo005945

USA. Over 200 Drug Policy, Harm Reduction, Health Care, and Community Groups Call on Biden Administration to Prioritize Public Health Solutions to Curb Overdose Crisis and Dismantle Drug War 

Amid Spike in Overdose Deaths Exacerbated by Failed Response to Pandemic, Groups Send Letter Urging Biden Team to Focus on Harm Reduction and Abandon Criminalization. (Drug Policy Alliance, USA, 14.01.2021)

https://drugpolicy.org/press-release/2021/01/over-200-drug-policy-harm-reduction-health-care-and-community-groups-call

Drogen: Amerikas längster Krieg

Die Corona-Pandemie stellt auch das amerikanische Gefängnissystem auf die Probe. Kein Land auf der Welt sperrt so viele Drogensüchtige ein wie die USA. Seit den 60er-Jahren haben die USA über eine Billion Dollar in den "Krieg gegen Drogen" gesteckt, 45 Millionen Menschen wurden verhaftet. Der preisgekrönte Dokumentarfilm von Eugene Jarecki zeigt, wie Wegsperrmentalität und Missachtung von sozialen Umständen ein neues System der Diskriminierung, des systemischen Rassismus geschaffen haben, das auch in diesem Wahljahr enormen sozialen Sprengstoff birgt. (NDR Dokfilm, NDR Fernsehen, 03.11.2020, Video, 01:44:04, in der Mediathek aufrufbar bis 03.11.2021)

https://www.ardmediathek.de/ndr/video/ndr-dokfilm/drogen-amerikas-laengster-krieg/ndr-fernsehen/Y3JpZDovL25kci5kZS84MTZlODQ2NC1jNGE5LTQxNWEtODIyOC02MDNhMmFmYjhlZmQ/

The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences

After decades of stability from the 1920s to the early 1970s, the rate of imprisonment in the United States more than quadrupled during the last four decades. The U.S. penal population of 2.2 million adults is by far the largest in the world. (National Academy of Sciences, USA, 2021)

https://www.nap.edu/catalog/18613/the-growth-of-incarceration-in-the-united-states-exploring-cause

Documentary films. 'The war on drugs funded policing': behind a Netflix documentary about crack

In a myth-busting new film, director Stanley Nelson looks back on the crack epidemic on the 1980s and how the government harmed the black community. (The Guardian, UK, 12.01.2021)

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2021/jan/12/crack-cocaine-corruption-conspiracy-stanley-nelson-netflix

Documentary films. 'The war on drugs funded policing': behind a Netflix documentary about crack

In a myth-busting new film, director Stanley Nelson looks back on the crack epidemic on the 1980s and how the government harmed the black community. (The Guardian, UK, 12.01.2021)

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2021/jan/12/crack-cocaine-corruption-conspiracy-stanley-nelson-netflix

Harm reduction service delivery to people who use drugs during a public health emergency: Examples from the COVID-19 pandemic in selected countries.

Graham Shaw. EHRA: Vilnius, Lithuania. 

Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (2020).

http://fileserver.idpc.net/library/Harm-reduction-service-delivery-to-people-who-use-drugs-during-a-public-health-emergency.pdf

Lost on the Frontline: Explore the Database

Journalists from KHN and The Guardian have identified 3,248 workers who reportedly died of complications from COVID-19 after they contracted it on the job. Reporters are working to confirm the cause of death and workplace conditions in each case. They are also writing about the people behind the statistics — their personalities, passions and quirks — and telling the story of every life lost. (Kaiser Health News, USA, 20.01.2021)

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2020/aug/11/lost-on-the-frontline-covid-19-coronavirus-us-healthcare-workers-deaths-database

The Co-Chairs’ presentation of the Second Report on Progress to the WHO Executive Board, 19 January 2021.

The Co-Chairs of the Independent Panel, Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the Right Honourable Helen Clark, made the following oral presentation of the Independent Panel’s Second Report on Progress to the WHO 148th Executive Board on 19 January 2021. 

https://theindependentpanel.org/the-co-chairs-presentation-of-the-second-report-on-progress-to-the-who-executive-board-19-january-2021/

Coronakrise: Kritik an anfänglichen Maßnahmen Chinas und der WHO

Genf – Eine unabhängige Untersuchungskommission zum internationalen Umgang mit der Coronapandemie kritisiert, dass die anfänglichen Maßnahmen Chinas und der Weltgesundheitsorganisation (WHO) zu schleppend angelaufen seien. (aerzteblatt.de, 19.01.2021)

https://www.aerzteblatt.de/nachrichten/120291/Coronakrise-Kritik-an-anfaenglichen-Massnahmen-Chinas-und-der-WHO

Coronaimpfstoff: Pfizer kann zugesagte Mengen vorerst nicht liefern

Berlin – Der Pharmakonzern Pfizer kann nach Angaben des Bundesgesundheitsministeriums (BMG) in den kommenden drei bis vier Wochen die bereits zugesagte Menge an Coronaimpfstoff nicht liefern. (…) Grund für die Lieferprobleme sind demnach Umbauten im Pfizer-Werk im belgischen Puurs. Diese dienten nach Angaben des Unternehmens dazu, die Kapazitäten ab Mitte Februar zu erhöhen. (aerzteblatt.de, 15.01.2021)

https://www.aerzteblatt.de/nachrichten/120212/Coronaimpfstoff-Pfizer-kann-zugesagte-Mengen-vorerst-nicht-liefern

WHO: Bisher erst 25 Impfdosen in einem der ärmsten Länder gespritzt

Genf – Die Weltgesundheitsorganisation (WHO) hat erneut die gewaltige Kluft bei den Coronaimpfungen zwischen den reichen und den armen Ländern scharf kritisiert.

(…)

„Nur 25 Dosen wurden in einem der ärmsten Länder verabreicht, nicht 25 Millionen, nicht 25.000, nur 25“, betonte der WHO-Chef (Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Anm.). Das sei nicht hinnehmbar. Um welches Land es sich dabei konkret handelt, sagte er nicht. „Ich muss unverblümt sagen: Die Welt steht am Rand eines katastrophalen moralischen Versagens.“ (aerzteblatt.de, 18.01.2021)

https://www.aerzteblatt.de/nachrichten/120266/WHO-Bisher-erst-25-Impfdosen-in-einem-der-aermsten-Laender-gespritzt

The 432-year-old manual on social distancing

BBC Future, 07.01.2021

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20210107-the-432-year-old-manual-on-social-distancing

#ZeroCovid: Für einen solidarischen europäischen Shutdown

An: Deutsche Bundesregierung, Schweizer Bundesregierung, Österreichische Bundesregierung, Europäische EntscheidungsträgerInnen 

Wir brauchen jetzt einen radikalen Strategiewechsel: kein kontrolliertes Weiterlaufen der Pandemie, sondern ihre Beendigung. Wir setzen uns dafür ein, dass die Sars-CoV-2- Infektionen sofort so weit verringert werden, dass jede einzelne Ansteckung wieder nachvollziehbar ist. Das entschlossene Handeln etlicher Länder hat gezeigt, dass es möglich ist, die Verbreitung des Virus zu beenden. Wir sind allerdings überzeugt, dass die Eindämmung des Sars-CoV-2 Virus nur gelingen kann, wenn alle Maßnahmen gesellschaftlich solidarisch gestaltet werden. (ZeroCovid, Januar 2021)

https://weact.campact.de/petitions/zerocovid-fur-einen-solidarischen-europaischen-shutdown

Ärzte ohne Grenzen fordert Aussetzung von Patenten während der Covid-19-Pandemie

Genf, 19. November 2020. Mit Blick auf die Gespräche der Welthandelsorganisation (WTO) am Freitag fordert Ärzte ohne Grenzen die beteiligten Regierungen auf, eine Initiative zum Aussetzen von geistigen Eigentumsrechten wie etwa Patenten im Zusammenhang mit der Covid-19-Pandemie zu unterstützen. Die wegweisende Initiative war von Indien und Südafrika im Oktober auf den Weg gebracht worden. Fast 100 Länder unterstützen sie – nicht jedoch reiche Länder wie die USA, Japan oder auch die Staaten der Europäischen Union. (Ärzte ohne Grenzen, 19.11.20209

https://www.aerzte-ohne-grenzen.de/presse/aussetzung-patentrecht

USA. COVIDLAND – ein Kurzfilm über Hoffnung auf Überleben in einer Intensivstation

Im November und Dezember vergangenen Jahres filmte Prof. Jeffrey B. Teitler, MFA, auf der Intensivstation am Hartford Hospital in Hartford in Connecticut, vor welchen schwierigen Entscheidungen die Ärzte in der Corona-Pandemie manchmal stehen.

Teitler ist ein preisgekrönter Dokumentarfilmer und Professor am Department of Communication an der Central Connecticut State University, New Britain. Er erhielt die Erlaubnis, einige Tage die Intensivmedizinerin Dr. Megan Panico zu begleiten und schuf mit seinen Beobachtungen eine sensible Hommage über den täglichen Kampf am Krankenbett. (Medscape, 14.01.2021, Video,07:28)

https://deutsch.medscape.com/artikelansicht/4909630

China verhindert Einreise von WHO-Experten nach Gesundheitstest

Wuhan/Peking – Zwei Experten des Teams, das im Auftrag der Weltgesundheitsorgani­sation (WHO) in China nach den Ursprüngen des Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 forschen soll, hängen in Singapur fest. Das berichtete heute die WHO. (aerzteblatt.de, 14.01.2021)

https://www.aerzteblatt.de/nachrichten/120141/China-verhindert-Einreise-von-WHO-Experten-nach-Gesundheitstest