A- A A+

Civil Society Monitoring of Harm Reduction in Europe, 2021. Data Report.

Rigoni, R,; Tammi, T.; van der Gouwe, D.; Moura,J.; Prins-Schiffer, K (2022). 

Amsterdam, Correlation – European Harm Reduction Network.

https://www.correlation-net.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/MONITORING-OF-HARM-REDUCTION-IN-EUROPE-2021_web.pdf

Kanada. British Columbia launches ‘healthcare over handcuffs’ decriminalisation experiment

The Canadian province of British Columbia (B.C.) has announced a three-year exemption under the country’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to remove criminal penalties for possession of drugs for personal use. British Columbia, which includes the city of Vancouver, is the first Canadian province to receive the exemption, with the aim of reducing ‘the shame and fear associated with substance use’. DDN – Drink and Drugs News, UK 06.06.2022)

https://www.drinkanddrugsnews.com/british-columbia-launches-healthcare-over-handcuffs-decriminalisation-experiment/

UK. More work needed to increase availability of naloxone, says ACMD

More needs to be done to increase the availability and use of naloxone, according to a report from ACMD. 

Community pharmacies should be able to deliver take-home naloxone as well as interventions in managing opioid overdose, says the document, while data quality also needs to be improved to allow commissioners to properly monitor how the drug is being provided. (DDN – Drink and Drugs News, UK, 20.06.2022)

https://www.drinkanddrugsnews.com/more-work-needed-to-increase-availability-of-naloxone-says-acmd/

‘The PCC are after me’: the drug cartel with Paraguay in its clutches

A Brazilian former prison gang is threatening to turn its neighbour into a narcostate and its deadly tentacles extend much further.UK, 23.06.2022)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/23/paraguay-pcc-brazilian-drug-cartel

Schottland. National benchmarking report on implementation of the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) standards - 2021-22

An Experimental Statistics publication for Scotland. (Public Health Scotland, Schottland, 23-06-2022)

https://www.publichealthscotland.scot/publications/national-benchmarking-report-on-implementation-of-the-medication-assisted-treatment-mat-standards/national-benchmarking-report-on-implementation-of-the-medication-assisted-treatment-mat-standards/

Worldwide spirits sales up 9% in 2021

The global spirits market grew to a value of €464 billion (US$490.3bn) in 2021 but was unable to return to pre-pandemic levels, new data has revealed.

Total spirits sales rose by 9% in 2021, according to WSA data 

The data was shared in the first Global Economic Footprint Brochure from the World Spirits Alliance (WSA), called: Global Sector – Local impact. The economic contribution of distilling & spirits production.

According to the report, the total spirits market grew by 9% in value terms in 2021. However, this was not enough to offset the 13.1% drop in sales experienced in 2020. (The Spirits Business, 21.06.2022)

https://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2022/06/worldwide-spirits-sales-up-9-in-2021/

12 Americans Die of an Overdose Every Hour. We Have the Knowledge to Prevent That.

(New York Times, USA, 24.06.2022)

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/24/opinion/addiction-overdose-mental-health.html

USA. Mega-model predicts US opioid deaths will soon peak

The crisis is projected to claim more than half a million more lives from 2020 to 2032, although yearly deaths are on course to start falling before 2025. (Nature, USA, 02.06.2022)

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-01519-z

Irland. Petrol bombs and death threats: Families of drug addicts describe the daily fear they experience

Cocaine has overtaken heroin as the main problem drug in Ireland. (The Journal, Irland, 14.06.20229

https://www.thejournal.ie/drug-addiction-report-fasn-oireachtas-5789534-Jun2022/

USA. As Biden Fights Overdoses, Harm Reduction Groups Face Local Opposition

(KHN – Kaiser Health News, USA, 14.06.2022)

https://khn.org/news/article/harm-reduction-groups-drug-overdoses-local-opposition-texas/

Aligning drug policies with human rights - Statement by the UNHCHR

(Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), 07.06.2022)

https://www.ohchr.org/en/statements/2022/06/aligning-drug-policies-human-rights

USA. TAG – Treatment Action Group celebrates 30th anniversary

TAG was formed thirty years ago in January 1992 by a group of HIV activists from the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP)/New York and its Treatment and Data Committee. 

TAG’s cofounders — Barbara Hughes, Garance Franke-Ruta, Gregg Gonsalves, Peter Staley and Mark Harrington among them — believed it was essential to form a community organization with a full-time focus on speeding up AIDS research, advocating for increased funding, and ensuring that people with HIV and at risk for it had access to and information about treatments that could save their lives. 

In those dark days at the height of the AIDS crisis, few could have imagined just how much TAG would help to revolutionize the field. In its early years, TAG pushed to overhaul clinical trials to produce quicker and more reliable answers about whether new drugs and combinations actually worked. By 1996, that activism led to the breakthrough discovery that combination HIV treatment could reduce viral load to undetectable levels, protecting health and prolonging life. (TAG, USA, Juni 2022)

https://www.treatmentactiongroup.org/support-us/tag-at-30

Philippinen. Ronda Girls: How Filipino Mothers Took on the War on Drugs

A group of impacted mothers showed how an alternative to the violent drug war in the Philippines could be better at community care than killings. The self-named ronda girls hope that the recent national elections in represent will be a chance to shift away from the violence of Duterte’s regime. (Talkoing Drugs, UK, 14.06.2022)

https://www.talkingdrugs.org/ronda-girls-how-filipino-mothers-took-on-the-war-on-drugs

UK. Is drug testing going to become a regular part of UK festivals?

The first festival season since the end of coronavirus restrictions is well underway - with festivalgoers looking forward to events like Glastonbury opening their gates for the first time since 2019.

While you'd expect to see stages, tents and bands at a festival, something you might not expect is the presence of a drug testing lab.

The Loop, which brings pop-up labs to festivals and other big events, will be at eight UK festivals this summer, in a scheme backed by local police forces. (ITV, UK, 15.06.2022)

https://www.itv.com/news/2022-06-15/is-drug-testing-going-to-become-a-regular-part-of-uk-festivals

USA. Bromazolam Prevalence Surging Across the United States Driven In Part by Increasing Detections Alongside Fentanyl

Purpose: The objective of this announcement is to notify public health and safety, law enforcement, first responders, clinicians, medical examiners and coroners, forensic and clinical laboratory personnel, and all other related communities about new information surrounding the emergent benzodiazepine bromazolam. (cfsre – nps discovery, USA, Juni 2022)

https://www.npsdiscovery.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Public-Alert_Bromazolam_NPS-Discovery_061522.pdf?mc_cid=5d1e4ead17&mc_eid=0872426f82

Singapur. “We were like strays”: A life marked by drugs, incarceration, and the death penalty

Singapore's death penalty for drug offences sees a binary between "victims" of drugs and "predator" traffickers. Nazeri bin Lajim's experiences show that the reality is much more complex. (wethecitizens.net, Singapur, 30.05.2022)

https://www.wethecitizens.net/wtc-long-read-a-life-marked-by-drugs-incarceration-and-the-death-penalty/

Malaysia. Malaysia to get rid of ‘mandatory’ death sentences

Malaysia on Friday announced a stop to the mandatory death penalty — required death sentences for some crimes, including nonviolent drug trafficking offenses. Rights groups cautiously welcomed the move. (Washington Post, USA, 10.06.2022)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/06/10/malaysia-mandatory-death-penalty/

UK. Drug workers warn heroin treatment shortage will cost lives

An "unprecedented shortage" of a substitute for illegal heroin in England is putting hundreds of lives at risk, say drug workers. (BBC, UK, 11.06.2022)

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-61699960

What is the prevalence of and trend in opioid use disorder in the United States from 2010 to 2019? Using multiplier approaches to estimate prevalence for an unknown population size

Katherine M.Keyes, CarolineRutherford, AvaHamilton et al. 

Drug and Alcohol Dependence Reports, Volume 3, June 2022, 100052, doi.org/10.1016/j.dadr.2022.100052

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2772724622000300

Public health dimension of the world drug problem - Report by the WHO Director-General

With around 275 million people using psychoactive drugs during the year 2020 and an expected rise by 11% worldwide and 40% in Africa alone by the year 2030, and with an estimated 36 million people with drug use disorders,4 the scope of public health problems related to drug use, drug use disorders and related health conditions continues to be very high. However, this burden is to a large extent preventable. According to the latest WHO estimates, around 583 000 deaths were directly and indirectly attributable to drug use in the year 2019, with close to 450 000 deaths attributable to opioids, and around 14 000 to cannabis. Injecting drug use accounts for an estimated 20% of HIV infections outside sub-Saharan Africa5 and, according to WHO’s latest progress report on HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections, contributes significantly to the epidemics of hepatitis B and hepatitis C in all regions. Close to 600 000 people have died from opioid overdoses in the United States of America since 1999; the overdose mortality rate exceeds the mortality rate for HIV/AIDS at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the country. At the same time, opioid analgesics and psychotropic medicines under international control are indispensable for the provision of essential health care services, including for palliative care, pain management and treatment of mental, neurological and substance use disorders. (WHO, GENF, 25.04.2022)

https://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA75/A75_43-en.pdf

The World Drug Report 2021: A critical assessment of projected increases in African drug use

The 2021 World Drug Report provides a comprehensive analysis of trends in global drug markets, including production, trafficking, consumption and health consequences within the context of COVID-19, and highlights current and future impacts of the pandemic on drug market dynamics. An interesting component of the 2021 Report is the projected increase in the population of people who use drugs by 2030, in particular as it relates to the African continent. As shown in the Report and the Methodological Annex, the projection is based on limited and uncertain data. In this critique, we analyse the limitations of the data and methodologies, and explore the implications of the estimate for drug policy in Africa. (IDPC – INTERNATIONAL DRUG POLICY CONSORTIUM, UK, 05.05.2022)

http://fileserver.idpc.net/library/IDPC-response-to-WDR-2021.pdf

EU Drugs Agency: Council adopts negotiating mandate on strengthening the role of the agency 

To step up the fight against illegal drugs, the Council today adopted its negotiating mandate on the proposal on the EU Drugs Agency, meant to turn the existing European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction into a fully fledged agency and strengthen its role. The new regulation will provide the agency with the means to respond to new health and security challenges posed by illegal drugs in a more efficient way, better support member states and contribute to improving the situation at the international level. (European Council, Brüssel, 09.06.2022)

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2022/06/09/eu-drugs-agency-council-adopts-negotiating-mandate-strengthening-its-role/

USA. Concern about drug addiction has declined in U.S., even in areas where fatal overdoses have risen the most

The share of Americans who see drug addiction as a “major problem” in their community has declined in recent years, even as drug overdose deaths in the United States have risen sharply. Public concern about addiction is down even in the parts of the U.S. where drug overdose death rates have increased the most. (Pew Research Center, USA, 31.05.2022)

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2022/05/31/concern-about-drug-addiction-has-declined-in-u-s-even-in-areas-where-fatal-overdoses-have-risen-the-most/

EMCDDA. What are the lessons to be learnt from the European Drug Report 2022? 

(…) For me, the take-home message that stands out from our analysis of drug trends in 2022 can be summarised as ‘Everywhere, Everything, Everyone’. Today, we face a situation where we can observe the impact of drug problems almost everywhere. Within the European Union, drug problems complicate other important issues such as homelessness, the management of psychiatric disorders and reducing youth criminality. We are also observing greater levels of violence and corruption driven by the drug market in some countries. Internationally, events also have the potential to impact on the drug problems we see in Europe. In this report, we consider how developments in Afghanistan could change drug flows in ways that may have important future implications, and how the humanitarian crisis arising from the war on Ukraine could create new challenges for European drug services. (EMCDDA, Lissabon, 14.06.2022, 14.06.2022 (Message from the Director 2/2022))

https://www.emcdda.europa.eu/news/2022/2/lessons-to-be-learnt-european-drug-report-2022_en

EMCDDA. Europäischer Drogenbericht – Trends und Entwicklungen

(…) Die durchschnittliche Reinheit von Heroin lag auf Kleinhandelsebene im Jahr 2020 zwischen 13 % und 55 %, wobei die Hälfte der Länder eine durchschnittliche Reinheit
zwischen 17 % und 26 % meldete. Die indexierten Trends deuten darauf hin, dass der durchschnittliche Reinheitsgrad von Heroin zwischen 2010 und 2020 um 9 % gestiegen ist, während der Preis um 8 % gesunken ist.

(…)

Nationale Daten aus 18 EU-Mitgliedstaaten zeigen, dass im Jahr 2020 schätzungsweise 173 000 Klient:innen mit Opioid-Agonisten behandelt wurden (2019: 170 000 Klient:innen). (EMCDDA, Lissabon, Juni 2022)

https://www.emcdda.europa.eu/system/files/publications/14644/2022.2419_DE_02_wm.pdf

The Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL)

The Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL) is the Australian national peak organisation  focused on advancing the health and human rights of people with living or lived experience of drug use. Representing state and territory peer-based organisations, AIVL’s overall focus is to ensure that the ‘voice’ of people who use drugs is heard at a national level.

https://aivl.org.au/

Schweiz. Heroin made in Switzerland. 

Reines Heroin aus der Schweiz. Das gibt es ganz legal. Schon seit fast 30 Jahren. Der Produktionsort ist höchst geheim. Der Hersteller will anonym bleiben. Input Redaktor Samuel Emch hat den Schweizer Heroinproduzenten aufgespürt und mit Ihm über sein heikles Geschäft gesprochen. 

SRF – Schweizerischer Rundfunk, Autor:in: Samuel Emch, Moderation: Samuel Emch, Redaktion: Samuel Emch, 27.03.2022, 40:00)

https://www.srf.ch/audio/input/heroin-made-in-switzerland?id=12164789

Australien. New report finds five drug-induced deaths per day among Australians in 2020

There were 1,842 drug-induced deaths among Australians in 2020, according to preliminary estimates in a new report by the Drug Trends program at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), UNSW Sydney.

This is equivalent to five drug-induced deaths per day or 7.2 deaths per 100,000 Australians. (UNSW – University of South Wales, Sydney, 26.05.2022)

https://ndarc.med.unsw.edu.au/news/new-report-finds-five-drug-induced-deaths-day-among-australians-2020

The Opioid Crisis—Not Just Opioids Anymore. 

Brent J, Weiss ST. 

JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(6):e2215432. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.15432

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2792965

Australien. Injecting room has not only saved lives, it has protected clients from violence

Violence is no stranger in the world of illicit drugs. But Sydney’s injection room gives its users a much-needed respite from it. (UNSW – University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australien, 03.06.2022)

https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/business-law/injecting-room-has-not-only-saved-lives-it-has-protected-clients-violence