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“Maybe if I stop the drugs, then maybe they’d care?”—hospital care experiences of people who use drugs

Soo Chan Carusone, Adrian Guta, Samantha Robinson, Darrell H. Tan, Curtis Cooper, Bill O’Leary, Karen de Prinse, Grant Cobb, Ross Upshur and Carol Strike 

Harm Reduction Journal 2019, 16:16, doi.org/10.1186/s12954-019-0285-7


Sri Lanka. Makabere Stellenausschreibung: Henker gesucht 

Sri Lanka will zurück zur Todesstrafe und sucht einen Vollstrecker. Doch das Beispiel Philippinen zeigt: Ein brutaler und gnadenloser Staat ist nutzlos im Kampf gegen Drogenkriminalität. (Süddeutsche Zeitung, 15.02.2019)


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)


USA. Black Americans and HIV/AIDS: The Basics

Key Facts:

- Black Americans have been disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS since the epidemic’s beginning, and that disparity has deepened over time. 

- Although they represent only 12% of the U.S. population, Blacks account for a much larger share of HIV diagnoses (43%), people estimated to be living with HIV disease (42%), and deaths among people with HIV (43%) than any other racial/ethnic group in the U.S. 

- Among Black Americans, Black women, youth, and gay and bisexual men have been especially hard hit. 

- A number of challenges contribute to the epidemic among Blacks, including poverty, lack of access to health care, higher rates of some sexually transmitted infections and smaller sexual networks, lack of awareness of HIV status, and stigma. 

- Despite this impact, recent data indicate some encouraging trends, including declining new HIV diagnoses among Blacks overall, especially among women, and a leveling off of new diagnoses among Black gay and bisexual men. However, given the epidemic’s continued and disproportionate impact among Blacks, a continued focus is critical to addressing HIV in the United States. (KFF – Kaiser Family Foundation, USA, 07.02.2019)


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)


Ägypten. Egypt's Cabinet approves bill executing narcotics smugglers

CAIRO. The Egyptian government approved on Wednesday a bill that stipulates sentencing to death those who"import or export synthetic substances that cause harm to the body, mind or the nervous system," in efforts to limit prohibited drug trade. (Egypt Today, 30.01.2019)


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)


Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka to begin hangings within months, ending 43-year stay on executions 

Crackdown inspired by Philippines’ war on drugs comes as president Maithripala Sirisena faces tough election. (The Guardian, UK, 07.02.2019)


HIV-Travel-Regulations/Restrictions worldwide

There are many countries around the world that restrict the entry, residence and stay of foreigners who are HIV positive. These countries perpetuate stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV by singling out HIV as a “dangerous disease”. (Stand 2019)


"Like being put on an ice floe and shoved away": A qualitative study of the impacts of opioid-related policy changes on people who take opioids.

Antoniou T, Ala-Leppilampi K, Shearer D, Parsons JA, Tadrous M, Gomes T.

Int J Drug Policy. 2019 Jan 24;66:15-22. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.01.015. 


DAH.Schnellfinder Einreise- und Aufenthaltsbestimmungen für Menschen mit HIV und Aids

(DAH – Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe, 2018)


Reducing HIV-related stigma and discrimination in healthcare settings: A systematic review of quantitative evidence. 

Feyissa GT, Lockwood C, Woldie M, Munn Z (2019) 

PLoS ONE 14(1): e0211298. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0211298


Europa/Belgien. Menschengerichtshof behandelt belgischen Sterbehilfefall. 

Straßburg – Der Europäische Menschenrechtsgerichtshof nimmt einen belgischen Fall aktiver Sterbehilfe an. Die belgische Regierung habe Fragen zu dem Fall aus Straßburg erhalten, bestätigte eine Sprecherin des Gerichtshofs heute. Nun habe die Regierung mehrere Wochen Zeit zu antworten. Ob es eine Anhörung zu dem Fall gebe, stehe allerdings noch nicht fest. (aerzteblatt.de, 10.01.2018)


A qualitative study on intersectional stigma and sexual health among women on opioid substitution treatment in England: Implications for research, policy and practice.

Medina-Perucha L, Scott J, Chapman S, Barnett J, Dack C, Family H.

Soc Sci Med. 2019 Jan 17;222:315-322. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.01.022.



Quality of Life and its Relationship with Perceived Stigma among Opioid Use Disorder Patients: An Exploratory Study.

Singh S, Kumar S, Sarkar S, Balhara YPS.

Indian J Psychol Med. 2018 Nov-Dec;40(6):556-561. doi: 10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_171_18.


Assessing Mental Illness Stigma: A Complex Issue.

Mannarini S, Rossi A.

Front Psychol. 2019 Jan 11;9:2722. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02722. 


Review of the effects of self-stigma and perceived social stigma on the treatment-seeking decisions of individuals with drug- and alcohol-use disorders.

Hammarlund R, Crapanzano KA, Luce L, Mulligan L, Ward KM.

Subst Abuse Rehabil. 2018 Nov 23;9:115-136. doi: 10.2147/SAR.S183256. 


Instruments to assess mental health-related stigma among health professionals and students in health sciences: a systematic psychometric review.

Sastre-Rus M, García-Lorenzo A, Lluch-Canut MT, Tomás-Sábado J, Zabaleta-Del-Olmo E.

J Adv Nurs. 2019 Jan 29. doi: 10.1111/jan.13960. [Epub ahead of print] Review.


Updating our language around substance use disorders.

Xie E, Green S, Puri N, Sheikh H.

CMAJ. 2017 Dec 18;189(50):E1566. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.733490. 


The development and psychometric properties of a new scale to measure mental illness related stigma by health care providers: the Opening Minds Scale for Health Care Providers (OMS-HC). 

Kassam A, Papish A, Modgill G, Patten S. 

BMC Psychiatry. 2012;12:62. Published 2012 Jun 13. doi:10.1186/1471-244X-12-62


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)


Responding to experienced and anticipated discrimination (READ): anti -stigma training for medical students towards patients with mental illness - study protocol for an international multisite non-randomised controlled study.

Deb T, Lempp H, Bakolis I, Vince T, Waugh W, Henderson C; INDIGO READ study group.

BMC Med Educ. 2019 Jan 31;19(1):41. doi: 10.1186/s12909-019-1472-7.


Defining rights-based indicators for HIV epidemic transition.

Amon JJ, Eba P, Sprague L, Edwards O, Beyrer C (2018) 

PLoS Med 15(12): e1002720. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002720


Barriers to Post-Acute Care for Patients on Opioid Agonist Therapy; An Example of Systematic Stigmatization of Addiction.

Wakeman SE, Rich JD.

J Gen Intern Med. 2017 Jan;32(1):17-19. doi: 10.1007/s11606-016-3799-7.


Saudi-Arabien. Saudi Arabia Begins 2019 with Three Executions for Drug Offences

Authorities in Saudi Arabia executed three people for non-violent drug offences on the first day of 2019, highlighting the continuation of brutal drug policies under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (Talking Drugs, UK, 02.02.2019)


USA. Doctors Call California’s Probe Of Opioid Deaths A ‘Witch Hunt’

The Medical Board of California has launched investigations into doctors who prescribed opioids to patients who, perhaps months or years later, fatally overdosed.

The effort, dubbed “the Death Certificate Project,” has sparked a conflict with physicians in California and beyond, in part because the doctors being investigated did not necessarily write the prescriptions leading to a death. The project is one of a kind nationally, although a much more limited program is operated by North Carolina’s board. (californiahealthline.org, USA, 22.01.2019)


Internalized stigma and its correlates among treatment seeking opium users in India: A cross-sectional observational study.

Gupta P, Panda U, Parmar A, Bhad R.

Asian J Psychiatr. 2018 Dec 24;39:86-90. doi: 10.1016/j.ajp.2018.12.004.



Stigma against patients with HIV/AIDS in the rapid expansion of antiretroviral treatment in large drug injection-driven HIV epidemics of Vietnam

Phung Quoc Tat Than, Bach Xuan Tran, Cuong Tat Nguyen, Nu Thi Truong, Thao Phuong Thi Thai, Carl A. Latkin, Cyrus S. H. Ho and Roger C. M. Ho

Harm Reduction Journal 2019, 16:6, .doi.org/10.1186/s12954-019-0277-7


The “Gray Zone” of Police Work During Mental Health Encounters: Findings From an Observational Study in Chicago. 

Wood, J. D., Watson, A. C., & Fulambarker, A. J. (2017). 

Police Quarterly, 20(1), 81–105. doi.org/10.1177/1098611116658875


USA. Racial disparities in opioid treatment completion across U.S. cities

When policymakers decide how to help more people with opioid use disorder enter and finish treatment, race is a necessary factor to consider. In the United States, black and Hispanic people with substance use disorders experience more barriers to receiving treatment and complete treatment less often compared to white people. This information is presented on a national level and doesn’t communicate important regional variations in treatment services and patient demographics that likely relate to completion rates. This week, STASH reviews a study by Gerald Stahler and Jeremy Mennis that examined how completion of treatment for opioid use disorder differs by race across U.S. cities. (STASH, Vol.15(1) – Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital, USA, 22.01.2019)