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USA. A Native American tribe plans to build an opioid treatment center, but neighbors have vowed to block it

A classic not-in-my backyard fight has erupted in the Pacific Northwest over a recovery and medical center for an area hit hard by addiction and overdose deaths. (Washington Post, USA, 18.08.2020)


The fentanyl epidemic in Estonia: factors in its evolution and opportunities for a comprehensive public health response, a scoping review

Uusküla A, Talu A, Vorobjov S, et al. 

[published online ahead of print, 2020 May 13]. Int J Drug Policy. 2020;81:102757. doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.102757


The Real-World Impact of Dosing of Methadone and Buprenorphine on Retention on Opioid Agonist Therapies in Ukraine

Farnum SO, Makarenko I, Madden L, et al. 

[published online ahead of print, 2020 May 19]. Addiction. 2020;10.1111/add.15115. doi:10.1111/add.15115



USA. Opioid addiction treatment is more widely available, but only for adults

Prescriptions for an FDA-approved treatment for opioid addiction have increased over the past decade in all age groups except the youngest (age 15-24), a new analysis of prescription data by researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center has found. (Columbia University Irving Medical Center, USA, 04.06.2020)


Barriers to Prescribing Buprenorphine in the Emergency Department. 

Kim HS, Samuels EA. Overcoming 

JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(5):e204996. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.4996


Incidence, types and acceptability of pharmaceutical interventions about drug related problems in a general hospital: an open prospective cohort

Saldanha V, Randall Martins R, Lima SIVC, et al

BMJ Open 2020;10:e035848. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-035848 


USA. Proposed DEA Rule-Change Could Lead to Far More Methadone Vans

A major restriction imposed on mobile methadone vans may soon be lifted by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Filed in late February and open to the general public for comment until April 27, the agency’s proposed rule-making would eliminate certain registration requirements for opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment programs that aim to truly meet patients where they’re at. (Filter, USA, 23.04.2020)


A mixed‐methods analysis of patient safety incidents involving opioid substitution treatment with methadone or buprenorphine in community‐based care in England and Wales.

Gibson, R., MacLeod, N., Donaldson, L. J., Williams, H., Hibbert, P., Parry, G., Bhatt, J., Sheikh, A., and Carson‐Stevens, A. (2020) 

Addiction, doi.org/10.1111/add.15039.


Treatment adherence amongst drug users attending public and private methadone maintenance clinics in a northern province of Vietnam.

Le TA, Ha GH, Le MQT, Tran LMH, Pham DTT, Tran NHT, Vu GT, Nguyen LH, Pham HQ, Nguyen CT, Tran TH, Pham KTH, Tran BX, Latkin CA, Ho CSH, Ho RCM.

Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2020 Apr 28;15(1):31. doi: 10.1186/s13011-020-00271-9.


Social functioning outcomes in men and women receiving medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder.

van Reekum EA, Rosic T, Hudson J, Sanger N, Marsh DC, Worster A, Thabane L, Samaan Z.

Biol Sex Differ. 2020 Apr 23;11(1):20. doi: 10.1186/s13293-020-00298-4.


High retention in an opioid agonist therapy project in Durban, South Africa: the role of best practice and social cohesion.

Marks M, Scheibe A, Shelly S.

Harm Reduct J. 2020 Apr 15;17(1):25. doi: 10.1186/s12954-020-00368-1.


Global opioid agonist treatment: A review of clinical practices by country.

Jin H, Larney S, Marshall BDL, Degenhardt L, Strang J, Hickman M, Fiellin DA, Ali R, Bruneau J.

Addiction. 2020 Apr 14. doi: 10.1111/add.15087.



Association of Racial/Ethnic Segregation With Treatment Capacity for Opioid Use Disorder in Counties in the United States.

Goedel WC, Shapiro A, Cerdá M, Tsai JW, Hadland SE, Marshall BDL.

JAMA Netw Open. 2020 Apr 1;3(4):e203711. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.3711.


Progress Report on EMBED: A Pragmatic Trial of User-Centered Clinical Decision Support to Implement EMergency Department-Initiated BuprenorphinE for Opioid Use Disorder.

Melnick ER, Nath B, Ahmed OM, Brandt C, Chartash D, Dziura JD, Hess EP, Holland WC, Hoppe JA, Jeffery MM, Katsovich L, Li F, Lu CC, Maciejewski K, Maleska M, Mao JA, Martel S, Michael S, Paek H, Patel MD, Platts-Mills TF, Rajeevan H, Ray JM, Skains RM, Soares WE 3rd, Deutsch A, Solad Y, D'Onofrio G.

J Psychiatr Brain Sci. 2020;5. pii: e200003. doi: 10.20900/jpbs.20200003. 


Implementation of emergency department-initiated buprenorphine for opioid use disorder in a rural southern state.

Bogan C, Jennings L, Haynes L, Barth K, Moreland A, Oros M, Goldsby S, Lane S, Funcell C, Brady K.

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2020 Mar;112S:73-78. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2020.02.007.


When Methadone Clinics Support Patients Who Use Marijuana 

Methadone patients face many harsh restrictions. Among them, clinics frequently test for and punish cannabis use, including by withdrawing services—even when cannabis is legally prescribed, and despite this not being required by federal guidelines. (Filter Magazine, USA, 23.03.2020)


EHRA. Survey of client satisfaction with opioid maintenance therapy (OMT) services among patients of OMT programmes in Kyiv and the Kyiv Oblast region. Pilot study report. 

Vilnius: The Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA); 2020. 


High retention in an opioid agonist therapy project in Durban, South Africa: the role of best practice and social cohesion.

Marks, M., Scheibe, A. & Shelly, S. 

Harm Reduct J 17, 25 (2020). doi.org/10.1186/s12954-020-00368-1


USA. Study Report: Pharmacy-Based Methadone Distribution

Eight investigators from medical centers in the U.S. and Canada recently looked into methadone access in the U.S., and evaluated the current availability of methadone treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD). (AT Forum, USA, 02.04.2020)


Portugal. Portugal isn’t trying to force people with addiction into treatment. It wants to help them stay alive until they’re ready for it.

Across Lisbon, health workers in such vans dispense the treatment every day, for free, to nearly 1,200 people. It’s part of what is perhaps the world’s most radical drug policy — one instituted amid a heroin crisis not unlike the one gripping Philadelphia and the United States. (The Philadelphia Inquirer, USA, 22.04.2020)


Schweiz. Über 700 Aargauer in Drogen-Programm, doch wer kümmert sich um alte Süchtige?

(…) Heute wird davon ausgegangen, dass Heroinabhängige im Normalfall dauerhaft substituiert bleiben. Das stellt die Gesellschaft vor neue Herausforderungen. Wer soll sich um die alternden Süchtigen kümmern, wenn sie auf Pflege angewiesen sind und nicht mehr täglich ihr Medikament oder das Heroin in einer Abgabestelle beziehen können? Im Aargau waren 2018 acht Männer im Substitutionsprogramm älter als 65 Jahre – in den nächsten Jahren dürften es mehr werden. Viel Zeit, eine Lösung zu finden, bleibt also nicht. «Wer jahrelang abhängig war, ist körperlich 10 bis 15 Jahre älter», sagt Martin Ooms, Teamleiter des Ambulatoriums für Substitutionsbehandlung der PDAG. Er geht deshalb davon aus, dass in rund fünf bis zehn Jahren Bedarf für solche Angebote besteht. Im Kanton Aargau gebe derzeit keine entsprechenden Betreuungsangebote, sagt er. (Aargauer Zeitung, Schweiz, 06.03.2020)


Practicing What We Preach - Ending Physician Health Program Bans on Opioid-Agonist Therapy.

Beletsky L, Wakeman SE, Fiscella K.

N Engl J Med. 2019 Aug 29;381(9):796-798. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp1907875. 


Opioid and Polydrug Use Among Patients in Opioid Maintenance Treatment.

Carlsen SL, Lunde LH, Torsheim T.

Subst Abuse Rehabil. 2020 Jan 29;11:9-18. doi: 10.2147/SAR.S221618. 


Six-month retention and changes in quality of life and substance use from a low-threshold methadone maintenance therapy programme in Durban, South Africa.

Scheibe A, Shelly S, Gerardy T, von Homeyer Z, Schneider A, Padayachee K, Naidoo SB, Mtshweni K, Matau A, Hausler H, Marks M.

Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2020 Feb 21;15(1):13. doi: 10.1186/s13722-020-00186-7.


Differences in Availability and Use of Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in Residential Treatment Settings in the United States.

Huhn AS, Hobelmann JG, Strickland JC, Oyler GA, Bergeria CL, Umbricht A, Dunn KE.

JAMA Netw Open. 2020 Feb 5;3(2):e1920843. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.20843.


Interaction effects in the association between methadone maintenance therapy and experiences of racial discrimination in U.S. healthcare settings.

Pro G, Zaller N (2020) 

PLoS ONE 15(2): e0228755. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0228755


Schweiz. Die Polizei wollte Zürcher Zustände im Aargau verhindern

Urs Winzenried und Kurt Roth haben die Auswirkungen der Drogenwelle auf den Aargau aus unterschiedlichen Perspektiven miterlebt. Urs Winzenried als Chef der Kriminalpolizei, Kurt Roth zuerst als Therapeut und später als Geschäftsleiter der Stiftung für Sozialtherapie. (Aargauer Zeitung, 15.02.2020)


Frequency of health‐care utilization by adults who use illicit drugs: a systematic review and meta‐analysis.

Lewer, D., Freer, J., King, E., Larney, S., Degenhardt, L., Tweed, E. J., Hope, V. D., Harris, M., Millar, T., Hayward, A., Ciccarone, D., and Morley, K. I. ( 2020) 

Addiction, doi.org/10.1111/add.14892.


Seychellen. Addiction in paradise: Seychelles battles heroin crisis

On a plain suburban street in Seychelles, far from the idyllic coastline and luxury resorts pampering honeymooners and paradise-seekers, heroin addicts queue anxiously for their daily dose of methadone. 

It is a scene few outsiders would associate with the tropical nirvana adrift in the Indian Ocean, and one rarely, if ever, glimpsed by tourists as they shuttle from the airport to five-star luxury on white-sand beaches.

But life for many Seychellois is far from picture perfect: the tiny archipelago nation is battling what officials say are the world's highest rates of heroin addiction. (MedicalXpress, USA, 20.02.2020)


Schweiz. Überleben nach dem Letten: Was ist aus den Drogensüchtigen aus dem Aargau geworden?

Markus, Thomas und Daniel (Namen geändert) pendelten regelmässig aus dem Aargau nach Zürich auf den Platzspitz oder Letten, um sich dort mit Drogen einzudecken. (Aargauer Zeitung, Schweiz, 21.02.2020)