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Irland. Almost half of inmates at Dublin women's prison receiving methadone treatment

It is the largest proportion of prisoners undergoing opioid substitution treatment at any detention facility in the State. (DublinLive, 08.11.2019)


The Global Cannabis Report

The landscape of the global cannabis industry is shifting as quickly as the legislation that underpins it. The Prohibition Partners' The Global Cannabis Report, an industry first of its kind, analyses the key developments across the global cannabis sector and provides proprietary market forecasts across the continental markets: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America and Oceania. The report predicts that the international cannabis market could be worth up to US$103.9 billion by 2024, and outlines key commercial opportunities for international operators and investors. (prohibitionpartners.com, 2019)


Myanmar/Burma. Drug Addiction Rises in Myanmar’s Kachin State

The clanking sound of leg irons shackled around the ankles of the unwilling patients signals the arrival of a small group of heroin addicts at the mess hall located inside a fortified Pat Ja San compound near Laiza in Myanmar’s Kachin state, located in the country’s north along the border with China. 

The compound is one of 28 run in Kachin and neighboring Shan state by Pat Ja San, a Christian anti-drug vigilante group.

International observers say treatments at the rehabilitation centers are rudimentary and brutal compared to modern Western methods. The detoxification program often includes locking patients in barred rooms and confining their legs to wooden stocks to prevent escape during the initial treatment when addicts experience the painful effects of withdrawal.

Methadone is sometimes available, but medical training for the workers and access to modern drugs are limited, especially in the rural areas where military battles persist. (New Delhi Times, Indien, 06.11.2019)


USA. Nicoteen Inc.: Juul disregarded early evidence it was hooking teens 

Juul executives knew young people were flocking to its breakthrough e-cigarette shortly after it went on sale in 2015, a former manager tells Reuters. Its nicotine blend was so potent, engineers devised a kill switch to limit the dosage – but the idea was shelved. (medscape.com, 07.11.2019)


Schweiz. Schmerz, Sucht und Profit

Die Opioidkrise in den USA, das Pharmaimperium der Familie Sackler und deren Verbindungen in die Schweiz. Wie gefährlich ist das Schmerzmittel Oxycodon? (republik.ch, Schweiz, 30.10.2019)


Opioid-Krise senkt erstmals seit 1993 die Lebenserwartung in den USA

Washington – Wegen der wachsenden Zahl der Opfer von Opioid-Überdosen ist die Lebenserwartung in den USA erstmals seit den 1990er-Jahren gesunken. Wie die US-Gesundheitsbehörde CDC am Mittwoch mitteilte, sank die Lebenserwartung der US-Bürger seit 2014 um fast vier Monate. Damit sei zum ersten Mal seit 1993 ein Rückgang zu verzeichnen. Damals habe sich die durchschnittliche Lebenserwartung wegen des Aids-Ausbruchs reduziert. (aerzteblatt.de, 30.10.2019)


Todesfälle im Zusammenhang mit E-Zigaretten in den USA steigen weiter

New York – Die Zahl der Toten nach dem Gebrauch von E-Zigaretten in den USA steigt weiter an. Neuen Angaben der US-Gesundheitsbehörde CDC zufolge starben bereits 39 Menschen. Die Opfer stammten demnach aus 24 US-Bundesstaaten. Auch die Zahl der Er­krankten nahm auf nun 2.051 bestätigte Fälle zu. Vor einer Woche hatte die CDC noch von 37 Toten und 1.888 Kranken berichtet. (aerzteblatt.de, 08.11.2019)


USA. US-Krise um tödliche E-Zigaretten

New York – Ein 17-Jähriger aus der New Yorker Bronx, eine um die 60 Jahre alte Frau aus dem Bundesstaat Massachusetts, ein um die 40 Jahre alter Mann aus Missouri: Nur wenige spärliche Informationen gibt die US-Gesundheitsbehörde CDC über die Toten heraus, aber die Gesamtzahl muss sie fast jede Woche nach oben korrigieren. (aerzteblatt.de, 01.11.2019)


Philippinen. Philippines: President Duterte's fierce rival becomes new drug czar

Leni Robredo, an outspoken critic of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, has accepted his offer to lead the controversial campaign.

Ms Robredo, the vice-president and Mr Duterte's political rival, said she would use her powers to stop the killing of innocent people and hold authorities to account. (BBC, 06.11.2019)


Ärztlich assistierter Suizid: Weltärztebund bestätigt Ablehnung

Dtsch Arztebl 2019; 116(45): A-2053 / B-1685 / C-1649

Hillienhof, Arne


Forscher fordern Verbot von Filterzigaretten

London/San Diego. (…) Zigarettenstummel sind weltweit das am häufigsten weggeworfene Abfallprodukt. Das ist nicht nur problematisch wegen der in den Stummeln enthaltenen Giftstoffe. Die Filter bestehen zudem zum Großteil aus dem nur schwer abbaubaren Kunststoff Celluloseacetat. Milliarden achtlos weggeschnippter Kippen tragen so täglich zum wachsenden Plastikmüllproblem bei. (aerzteblatt.de, 29.10.2019)


USA. Activists, Cuomo in “Full-Out War” Over Poor People’s MAT Access

Drug-user activists are fighting to ensure access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for some of New York State’s most vulnerable citizens, in the face of a governor seemingly reluctant to help and an administration that continues to offend. (Filter, USA, 30.10.2019)


Kasachstan. When a tank is urgently needed to transport… methadone to hospitals

A tank is urgently needed! It doesn’t have to be a new one. The tank is needed to transport methadone to hospitals in Kazakhstan. Drug control authorities require paramilitary security for the transportation of drugs. However, the state is not going to allocate funds for security measures and this issue has not been resolved in 10 years. (EHRA – European Harm Reduction Association, 28.10.2019)


USA. Treatment Finder: Millions of Americans have a substance use disorder. Help is available.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) collects information on thousands of state-licensed providers who specialize in treating substance use disorders, addiction, and mental illness. (United States Government, Department of Health and Human Services’s, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 30.10.2019)


Australien. Worker linked to Melbourne injecting room faces court charged with trafficking heroin 

The 49-year-old was among five who faced court for trafficking as part of an alleged drug ring. (Guardian, UK, 29.10.2019)


Australien. Australia: ACT legalises personal cannabis growing and consumption

On 25 September 2019, the Legislative Assembly of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) approved a law permitting personal cultivation, possession and use of cannabis for recreational purposes.  The background note to the act describes the objective as a ‘harm minimisation approach’, stating that ‘the outright prohibition model of drug policy is not working’. (EMCDDA, Lissabon, 30.10.2019)


Irland. Long-term methadone maintenance treatment: Stigma and social isolation

Mirroring trends throughout Europe, there has been a distinct rise in the age of Ireland’s opiate users who are in treatment. In 2015, 42.5% of treated opiate users nationally were over the age of 35 years compared to 27% in 2009. In the Dublin region, this trend is more pronounced: while 31.5% of individuals treated for opiate use in 2009 were over the age of 35, this proportion increased to 54% by 2015. Yet, very little is known about the lives of individuals who have been accessing methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) for a prolonged period of time and their experiences remain largely invisible. (Merchants Quay, Ireland, Homeless & Drugs Service, Irland, Oktober 2019)


Witnessed Urine Screens in Drug Treatment: Humiliating and Harmful

My heart drummed in time to my racing thoughts, which repeated an increasingly urgent command. Just. Fucking. Pee. But instead of performing, my pelvic area grew numb. Total drought. (…) 

But I would never succeed. Not the next two times with that same peer counselor, nor during my two attempts with a facility nurse⁠—nor a single drop while being watched on two occasions by a social worker who was known for calling child services on her clients.

This happened even when my bladder felt so full it hurt, when I needed to pee so badly that it gushed out as soon as I was alone and not holding a little plastic cup under my crotch. (…)

The condition is called paruresis, or colloquially “shy bladder syndrome,” and described as a form of social anxiety in which the sufferer finds it difficult or impossible to urinate around other people. (Filter, USA, 28.10.2019)


Mexiko. Key Mexican Lawmaker Proposes Legalizing All Drugs To Combat Cartel Violence

Mexico should legalize drugs—starting with marijuana—in order to combat cartel violence, the leader of the ruling MORENA party in the nation’s Chamber of Deputies said over the weekend.

The comments come days after Mexican authorities released the son of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, who led the Sinaloa Cartel until he was captured and extradited to the U.S., where he is serving a life sentence. After apprehending the son, the military engaged in a shootout with cartel members and ultimately surrendered him in an effort to quell the violence.

“I think that from the events we saw in Culiacán, it is urgent to enter a process to regularize drugs—we should start with cannabis—make a legal framework for its regulation and legalization, and reduce this black market,” Mario Delgado Carrillo said, according to a translation. (Marihuana Moment, USA, 21.10.2019)


USA. Addressing the Socioeconomic Complexities of Addiction—Lessons from the Kensington Neighborhood in Philadelphia

This September, I was invited by Thomas Farley, the Health Commissioner of Philadelphia, to see firsthand how that city is responding to the opioid crisis. With other members of NIDA leadership, we toured Prevention Point, a private non-profit organization providing harm reduction services to Philadelphia and the surrounding area. We also visited the health unit of the city’s Prisons Department, where they recently started a program that provides medications to prisoners with opioid addiction, and met with outreach workers from Temple University who run a mobile treatment unit that provides medications and behavioral health services for opioid addiction, as well as basic wound care. (NIH – National Institute on Drug Abuse, USA, 29.10.2019)


How money laundering works (Animation)

Following criminal cash from the streets of London to the gold markets of Dubai, BBC Panorama and the French media company Premières Lignes reveal how an international crime gang laundered millions in drug money.

This animation shows the extraordinary lengths the gang went to make their dirty drug money appear 'clean'. (BBC, 28.10.2019, Animation, 03:32)


USA. Opioidkrise in den USA Das große Feilschen kommt erst noch 

Der Vergleich in Ohio ist nur der Auftakt: Amerikas Pharmaindustrie wird für ihre Mitverantwortung an der Opioidkrise Milliarden zahlen müssen. Doch Bundesstaaten und Gemeinden streiten schon jetzt um das Geld. (Spiegel online, 22.10.2019)


USA. The Full Cost of the Opioid Crisis: $2.5 Trillion Over Four Years

October 26 marked National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which provided Americans an opportunity to prevent drug misuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. One of the most tangible examples of the dangers of misusing prescription drugs comes from the opioid crisis, which the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) estimates cost $696 billion in 2018—or 3.4 percent of GDP—and more than $2.5 trillion for the four-year period from 2015 to 2018. These massive costs point to the nationwide economic destruction from America’s very human “crisis next door.” (The White House, 28.10.2019)


USA. Economic Impact of Non-Medical Opioid Use in the United States 

Annual Estimates and Projections for 2015 through 2019. (Society of Actuaries, USA, Oktober 2019)


USA. Nach Einstieg bei E-Zigarettenhersteller Juul: Marlboro-Konzern schreibt 4,5 Milliarden Dollar ab

Tabakkonzerne versprachen sich von der E-Zigarette Juul ein Milliardengeschäft. Für den Marlboro-Konzern Altria erwies sich das als extrem teurer Irrtum. (spiegel.de, 31.10.2019)


USA. Hospitals Take Shot at Opioid Makers Over Treating Uninsured for Addiction

While thousands of cities and counties have banded together to sue opioid makers and distributors in a federal court, another group of plaintiffs has started to sue on their own: hospitals.

Hundreds of hospitals have joined in a handful of lawsuits in state courts, seeing the state-based suits as their best hope for winning meaningful settlement money.

"The expense of treating overdose and opioid-addicted patients has skyrocketed, straining the resources of hospitals throughout our state," said Lee Bond, CEO of Singing River Health System in Mississippi in a statement. His hospital is part of a lawsuit in Mississippi. (medscape.com, 30.10.2019)


USA. Growing opioid crisis tests limits of methadone clinics - Advocates favor expansion

(…) Several organizations are considering opening new clinics—mostly in the middle of the state, along the shoreline and in the more rural areas. But when they propose new clinics, they typically face fierce opposition. (The Connecticut News, USA, 16.10.2019)


USA. My Years in the Florida Shuffle of Drug Addiction

Cycling through relapse and recovery, and the industry that enables both. (The New Yorker, 14.10.2019, Issue October 21, 2019)


USA. Opioidkrise: Pharmaunternehmen verhandeln in den USA über Strafzahlungen

New York – Kurz vor einem wichtigen US-Prozess um süchtig machende Schmerzmittel verhandeln drei Arzneimittelgroßhändler einem Zeitungsbericht nach mit Klägeranwälten über einen milliardenschweren Vergleich. (aerzteblatt.de, 16.10.2019)


USA. Vergleich in US-Rechtsstreit um Opioidkrise erzielt

Cleveland – Im bislang größten Rechtsstreit um die Opioidkrise in den USA haben die Kläger und mehrere Unternehmen heute eine gütliche Einigung erzielt. Dies teilte ein Richter in Cleveland im Bundesstaat Ohio mit. (aerzteblatt.de, 21.10.2019)