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USA. How the Drug User Became a Junkie

Four years before William Burroughs’ Junkie was published, Norma Lee Browning, a reporter for the Chicago Daily Tribune, described how a middle-aged housewife had gone from a “pretty woman” to “an old time incurable junkie.”[1] Browning’s casual use of “junkie” reflects her mainstream audience’s likely familiarity with the term, whose usage in popular media to describe drug addicts (to use another loaded term) had skyrocketed in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The term was a type of shorthand for inevitable physical and moral devastation. To be a “junkie” or involved in “dope peddling” was to “descend into unimaginable levels of baseness” before death, if she was “unable to break the hold of drugs.”[2] Today, the word has the connotation of a slur, a dehumanizing epithet that paints a person as wild and dangerous. (Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society, USA, 10.10.2019)


Factor structure, internal reliability and construct validity of the Methadone Maintenance Treatment Stigma Mechanisms Scale (MMT-SMS).

Smith LR, Mittal ML, Wagner K, Copenhaver MM, Cunningham CO, Earnshaw VA.

Addiction. 2019 Sep 3. doi: 10.1111/add.14799. 



United Nations General Assembly: The question of the death penalty

Human Rights Council, Forty-second session, 9–27 September 2019, A/HRC/42/L.37, 23.09.2019


#IAmNotDangerous and the politics of stigma

The Lancet Psychiatry, Volume 6, Issue 10, 793 (Editorial)


In their own words: language preferences of individuals who use heroin.

Pivovarova E, Stein MD.

Addiction. 2019 Oct;114(10):1785-1790. doi: 10.1111/add.14699. 



A quality improvement approach to the reduction of HIV-related stigma and discrimination in healthcare settings.

Ikeda DJ, Nyblade L, Srithanaviboonchai K, Agins BD.

BMJ Glob Health. 2019 Jun 21;4(3):e001587. doi: 10.1136/bmjgh-2019-001587. 


What to call someone who uses heroin? 

First-ever study to ask people who use heroin what they want to be called finds 'people first' language often best, and language suggesting misuse or dependence generally worst. (Boston University School of Medicine, 16.07.2019)


Ukraine. The Harm Reductionist Imprisoned by Ukraine Separatists for Carrying Bupe

For 10 months now, a Ukrainian harm reduction activist has been illegally detained by the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), an illegitimate Russian-allied occupation “government” in eastern Ukraine, for alleged large-scale drug trafficking. In reality, he was simply carrying his 10-day supply of legally-prescribed buprenorphine, the opioid subsitution therapy medication. (Filter, USA, 26.06.2019)


Stigma towards people who use drugs: A case vignette study in methadone maintenance treatment clinics in China.

Luo S, Lin C, Feng N, Wu Z, Li L.

Int J Drug Policy. 2019 Jun 21;71:73-77. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.06.005.



Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka president signs four death warrants to end decades long moratorium 

The Sri Lankan president on Wednesday signed the death warrants of four prisoners jailed on drug-related offenses, to end a 43-year moratorium on the island. (The Telegraph, UK, 26.06.2019)


Perceived stigma among people living with HIV/AIDS in Pokhara, Nepal.

Subedi B, Timilsina BD, Tamrakar N.

HIV AIDS (Auckl). 2019 May 7;11:93-103. doi: 10.2147/HIV.S181231.


How Much Does it Cost to Criminalise People Who Use Drugs?

The massive criminalization of people who use drugs in the EECA region instead of the declared support of public health and social security imposes a financial and social burden on States. On average, incarceration costs are 2-6 times higher than the expenditures for health and social services.

This is evidenced by the results of a study conducted by the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA). The organization collected data on incarceration costs of people who use drugs from countries of the EECA region as well as data on money spent for harm reduction services. (EHRA, 27.05.2019)


Ethical challenges in global health-related stigma research.

Millum J, Campbell M, Luna F, Malekzadeh A, Karim QA.

BMC Med. 2019 Apr 29;17(1):84. doi: 10.1186/s12916-019-1317-6.


'Management of a spoiled identity': systematic review of interventions to address self-stigma among people living with and affected by HIV.

Pantelic M, Steinert JI, Park J, Mellors S, Murau F.

BMJ Glob Health. 2019 Mar 19;4(2):e001285. doi: 10.1136/bmjgh-2018-001285. 


Brasilien. Senators in Brazil pass forced rehab for drug users

SAO PAULO — Brazil’s Senate approved a series of drug policy changes designed to toughen penalties for traffickers and require users to undergo rehabilitation at private or religious centres, acting ahead of a Supreme Court decision on the decriminalization of marijuana consumption and possession. (National Post, Kanada, 16.05.2019)


Iran. Six Men Executed for Drug Offences in Iran, Despite Legal Reform

At least six men have been hanged for drug offences in Iran since late April, raising concerns about a “new wave of drug-related executions” in a country that recently legislated to reduce the punishment. (Talking Drugs, UK, 14.05.2019)


Drug injection, syringe source, and self-stigma in New York City

People with substance use problems are widely stigmatized, a harmful societal notion reinforced by media depictions of drug use, misguided public policy, and punishments by criminal justice systems. Drug-related stigma is highly present for people who inject drugs (PWID), likely due in part to its association with HIV. On top of this, PWID often feel ashamed of their habits. This “self-stigma” encourages PWID to hide their addiction, avoiding crucial treatment and social support. This week, as part of our Special Series on Stigma and Addiction, we review a study by Alexis Rivera and colleagues that investigated which injection risk behaviors and demographic factors are associated with self-stigma among PWID in New York City. (STASH, Vol. 15(5), 14.05.2019)


Buprenorphine Treatment Divide by Race/Ethnicity and Payment.

Lagisetty PA, Ross R, Bohnert A, Clay M, Maust DT.

JAMA Psychiatry. 2019 May 8. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.0876. 



Sri Lanke / EU. Joint statement on the death penalty 

Colombo. The Delegation of the European Union (EU) issues the following statement in agreement with the Embassies of France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Romania and the UK High Commission, the Embassies of Norway and Switzerland, as well as the High Commissions of Canada and Australia. (Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and Maldives, 08.04.2019)


“Liquid Handcuffs”—A Documentary to Free Methadone (Homepage und Trailer)

Filmed in six countries: Afghanistan, Britain, India, Portugal, Russia, United States

In 2017, the opioid-related overdose crisis killed 70,000 people in the US. Methadone is the most successful treatment for opioid addiction and is proven to cut the death rate by half or more. So why is it easier to get heroin than methadone?

Liquid Handcuffs: A Documentary to Free Methadone, shines a spotlight on the closed world of methadone clinics. An international cast of methadone users, activists, and healthcare providers explain the benefits and the barriers to getting the medication. And drug policy expert Deborah Small provides commentary on the politics of methadone.

Liquid Handcuffs: A Documentary to Free Methadone explores the intersection of methadone with race, class, social control, and stigma. This is the first feature-length documentary that uses the lens of harm reduction to examine the methadone clinic system. (liquidhandcuffsdoc.com, USA, April 2019)


Negative Impacts of Self-Stigma on the Quality of Life of Patients in Methadone Maintenance Treatment: The Mediated Roles of Psychological Distress and Social Functioning.

Cheng, C.-M.; Chang, C.-C.; Wang, J.-D.; Chang, K.-C.; Ting, S.-Y.; Lin, C.-Y. 

Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2019, 16, 1299.


The Changing Face of the Death Penalty for Drug Offences: An Interview with Aurélie Plaçais (Director of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty)

Drug offences are punishable by death in at least 35 countries and territories worldwide, and that number may grow. 

Over the past year, authorities in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have reintroduced the death penalty as a possible punishment for drug offences, while the presidents of the Philippines and the US have expressed support for executing people involved in the drug trade. At the same time, Iran and Malaysia have made moves to reduce the use of the death penalty for non-violent drug offences.

TalkingDrugs spoke with Aurélie Plaçais, the director of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, to gain insight on how the use of the death penalty for drug offences is changing. (TalkingDrugs, UK, 29.04.2019)


Kolumbien. Situation of human rights in Colombia - Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General, Human Rights Council, Fortieth session, 25 February–22 March 2019


Amnesty International: Death penalty in 2018: Facts and figures

(...) At least 98 executionswere known to have been carried out for drug-related offences in 4 countries– 14% of the global total and down from 28% in 2017. At least 226 of such death sentences were known to have been imposed in 14 countries. (Amnesty International, 10.04.2019)


International guidelines on human rights and drug policy

International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy, UNAIDS, WHO, UNDP



International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy

Mission Statement:

The International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy is dedicated to the study of human rights law and drug policies and programmes in order to

- Promote and disseminate international legal scholarship and research on human rights and drug policy

- Highlight the obligations of all governments and international organisations to respect, protect and fulfil human rights in the context of drug policy

- Promote a human rights-based approach to drug policy

The International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy fulfills its mission through research, teaching, and policy development.


UNAIDS. Promises to improve health outcomes for people who inject drugs remain unfulfilled as 99% do not have adequate access to harm reduction services 

New report by UNAIDS highlights the urgent need to implement a human rights and evidence-informed approach to reach people who inject drugs with essential health services. (UNAIDS, Genf, 13.03.2019)



(UNAIDS, 2019)


HIV-Diskriminierung und Datenschutz: HIV-Datenleck in Singapur - Der Skandal ist die Diskriminierung

In Singapur sind Daten von 14.200 Menschen mit HIV öffentlich geworden. Gedeihen konnte das Datendesaster vor allem, weil im Stadtstaat ein extrem konservatives Klima herrscht. (DAH, magazin.hiv, 25.02.2019)


A new brief opioid stigma scale to assess perceived public attitudes and internalized stigma: Evidence for construct validity.

Yang LH, Grivel MM, Anderson B, Bailey GL, Opler M, Wong LY, Stein MD.

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2019 Apr;99:44-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2019.01.005.