A- A A+

Rigid opiate agonist treatment programmes risk denying people their agency 

Chang J. 

BMJ 2023; 380 :p400 doi:10.1136/bmj.p400 


Adaptation of the Tele-Harm Reduction intervention to promote initiation and retention in buprenorphine treatment among people who inject drugs: a retrospective cohort study

Edward Suarez, Jr., Tyler S. Bartholomew, Marina Plesons, Katrina Ciraldo, Lily Ostrer, David P. Serota, Teresa A. Chueng, Morgan Frederick, Jason Onugha & Hansel E. Tookes (2023)

Annals of Medicine, 55:1, 733-743, DOI: 10.1080/07853890.2023.2182908


Afghanistan. From Bad to Worse? Drug Use and Treatment in Afghanistan

Dave Bewley-Taylor, Ross Eventon, Mat Southwell

Policy Brief 19, March 2023, Swansea University, UK


Kanada. Alberta Revokes Pharmacy Access for “High-Potency” Safe Supply Opioids

People with opioid use disorder in Alberta can no longer pick up safe supply medications like hydromorphone from pharmacies, following the March 4 implementation of a new policy that severely restricts access to “high-potency opioid narcotics.” Providers can no longer prescribe such medications in outpatient settings. (Filter, USA, 07.03.2023)


Seychelles: The island paradise held prisoner by heroin

Some 10% of the local population in the tropical island nation of Seychelles is dependent on heroin in what is now an epidemic, according to the country's government. Even being locked away offers no protection for those dependent on the drug. BBC Africa Eye gained rare access to the main jail to witness the sharp end of a problem threatening to overwhelm the country. (BBC, UK, 06.03.2023)


Implementation of an integrated infectious disease and substance use disorder team for injection drug use-associated infections: a qualitative study. 

Hervera B, Seo G, Bartholomew TS, Chueng TA, Suarez E, Forrest DW, Hernandez S, Rodriguez AE, Tookes HE, Doblecki-Lewis S, Serota DP. 

Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2023 Feb 7;18(1):8. doi: 10.1186/s13722-023-00363-4. PMID: 36747268; PMCID: PMC9902242.


Fentanyl, Heroin, and Methamphetamine-Based Counterfeit Pills Sold at Tourist-Oriented Pharmacies in Mexico: An Ethnographic and Drug Checking Study. 

Friedman J, Godvin M, Molina C, Romero R, Borquez A, Avra T, Goodman-Meza D, Strathdee S, Bourgois P, Shover CL. 

medRxiv [Preprint]. 2023 Jan 28:2023.01.27.23285123. doi: 10.1101/2023.01.27.23285123. PMID: 36747647; PMCID: PMC9901047.


Safety and preliminary outcomes of short-acting opioid agonist treatment (sOAT) for hospitalized patients with opioid use disorder. 

Thakrar AP, Uritsky TJ, Christopher C, Winston A, Ronning K, Sigueza AL, Caputo A, McFadden R, Olenik JM, Perrone J, Delgado MK, Lowenstein M, Compton P. 

Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2023 Feb 24;18(1):13. doi: 10.1186/s13722-023-00368-z. PMID: 36829242; PMCID: PMC9951406.


Emergency department experiences of people who use drugs who left or were discharged from hospital against medical advice. 

Mayer S, Langheimer V, Nolan S, Boyd J, Small W, McNeil R (2023) 

PLoS ONE 18(2): e0282215. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0282215


Methadone treatment and patient-directed hospital discharges among patients with opioid use disorder: Observations from general medicine services at an urban, safety-net hospital. 

Tierney HR, Rowe CL, Coffa DA, Sarnaik S, Coffin PO, Snyder HR. 

Drug Alcohol Depend Rep. 2022 May 14;3:100066. doi: 10.1016/j.dadr.2022.100066. PMID: 36845982; PMCID: PMC9949313.


Opioid agonist treatment initiation and linkage for hospitalized patients seen by a substance use disorder consultation service. 

Nordeck CD, Welsh C, Schwartz RP, Mitchell SG, O'Grady KE, Gryczynski J. 

Drug Alcohol Depend Rep. 2022 Feb 7;2:100031. doi: 10.1016/j.dadr.2022.100031. PMID: 36845893; PMCID: PMC9948812.


Retention of service users on opioid substitution therapy in the City of Tshwane, South Africa. 

Goeieman DS, Nonyane DS, Nzaumvila DK, Anse van Rensburg MNS. 

Afr J Prim Health Care Fam Med. 2023 Jan 30;15(1):e1-e10. doi: 10.4102/phcfm.v15i1.3392. PMID: 36744456; PMCID: PMC9900307.


Initiation of medication for opioid use disorder across a health system: A retrospective analysis of patient characteristics and inpatient outcomes. 

O'Rourke BP, Hogan TH, Teater J, Fried M, Williams M, Miller A, Clark AD, Huynh P, Kauffman E, Hefner JL. 

Drug Alcohol Depend Rep. 2022 Nov 12;5:100114. doi: 10.1016/j.dadr.2022.100114. PMID: 36844164; PMCID: PMC9948916.


Evaluation of a Statewide Policy to Improve Post-Overdose Care in Emergency Departments and Subsequent Treatment Engagement. 

Chambers LC, Hallowell BD, Samuels EA, Daly M, Baird J, Beaudoin FL. 

R I Med J (2013). 2023 Mar 1;106(2):34-39. PMID: 36848541.


Trends of repeated emergency department visits among adolescents and young adults for substance use: A repeated cross-sectional study. 

Kim S, Weekes J, Young MM, Adams N, Kolla NJ (2023) 

PLoS ONE 18(2): e0282056. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0282056


Hospitalist perspectives on buprenorphine treatment for inpatients with opioid use disorder. 

Reed MK, Murali V, Sarpoulaki N, Zavodnick JH, Hom JK, Rising KL. 

Drug Alcohol Depend Rep. 2022 Oct 9;5:100106. doi: 10.1016/j.dadr.2022.100106. PMID: 36844165; PMCID: PMC9948932.


Awareness, perception and utilization of a mobile health clinic by people who use drugs. 

Grieb SM, Harris R, Rosecrans A, Zook K, Sherman SG, Greenbaum A, Lucas GM, Page KR. 

Ann Med. 2022 Dec;54(1):138-149. doi: 10.1080/07853890.2021.2022188. PMID: 36799361; PMCID: PMC8741230.


Incremental expenditures attributable to daily dispensation and witnessed ingestion for opioid agonist treatment in British Columbia: 2014–20. 

Nosyk, B, Kurz, M, Guerra-Alejos, BC, Piske, M, Dale, L, Min, JE.

Addiction. 2023. doi.org/10.1111/add.16160


Drug use, drug use disorders, and treatment services in the Eastern Mediterranean region: a systematic review

Rostam-Abadi, Yasna et al.

The Lancet Psychiatry, Volume 0, Issue 0 


USA. AATOD’s response to SAMHSA’s proposed regulations

(…) This letter provides an overview of what we consider to be most significant changes in the proposed rulemaking. We believe that these recommendations provide a thoughtful analysis of what needs to be reevaluated and changed. (AATOD - Association to the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence, USA, 10.02.2023)


USA. Dr. Rahul Gupta Statement on Proposed Rule Changes to Expand Access to Treatment and Make It Easier to Get Care

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), released a statement on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) proposed rule to expand access to treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) by making permanent COVID-era policies that allow take home doses of methadone and the use of telehealth to access buprenorphine prescriptions. (The White House, USA, 13.12.2022)


USA. National Substance Use and Mental Health Services Survey (N-SUMHSS), 2021: Data on Substance Use and Mental Health Treatment Facilities

The N‑SUMHSS is a voluntary annual survey of all active substance use and mental health facilities in the United States, its territories, and D.C. The annual report presents findings on the general profile of substance use and mental health facilities, use of pharmacotherapies/medications, language assistance provided, and suicide prevention services. (SAMHSA, USA, Februar 2023)


USA. The Tech Companies Policing Methadone Patients for Profit

Apparently, fingernails and hair create “layers of drug history.” At the Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD) conference, held in Baltimore in November, I wandered over to the United States Drug Testing Laboratories booth in the enormous exhibit hall, drawn to the company’s display. A green banner showed a goofy-looking white man sporting mirrored sunglasses on his forehead, with the words, “Get out of the ‘80s. Offer more advanced testing with higher panels, including fentanyl and Suboxone in hair and nail.” A cardboard poster showed a large, pink thumbnail: “Drug testing that looks back six months? It’s as simple as clipping the nails.”

It was eye-opening to see the industry all in one place. Methadone-clinic megachains BayMark and Pinnacle were joined by nine drug-testing companies, two corporations that make safes, a purveyor of high-density urine collection cups and technology businesses that have created a “video monitoring platform” and a GPS-enabled lockbox. (Filter, USA, 14.02.2023)


Psychological distress and quality of life among Opioid Agonist Treatment service users with a history of injecting and non-injecting drug use: A cross-sectional study in Kathmandu, Nepal. 

Pant SB, Thapa SB, Howard J, Ojha SP, Lien L (2023) 

PLoS ONE 18(2): e0281437. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0281437


Kanada. Canada's Decriminalization Experiment No Match for Toxic Drug Supply

TORONTO (Reuters) - A Canadian experiment to decriminalize small amounts of hard drugs could reduce stigma and police run-ins for addicts but does little to tackle a bigger problem of overdose deaths from drugs adulterated with lethal ingredients. (Reuters, UK, 08.02.2023)


Schweiz. Suchtkranker Jonas W. (36) zu Methadon-Engpass: «Jetzt besorge ich mir wieder Heroin auf der Strasse»

Methadon ist in der Schweiz derzeit Mangelware. Für Ex-Heroin-Abhängige wie Jonas W. hat das fatale Folgen. Vor vier Wochen musste er von Methadon auf ein anderes Präparat umsteigen. Seither plagen ihn Entzugserscheinungen – und diese treiben ihn wieder in die Sucht. (Blick, Schweiz, 11.02.2023)


Schweiz. Methadon-Vorrat reicht mancherorts nur noch für eine Woche – nun springt eine Pharmafirma in die Bresche

Der Methadon-Engpass spitzt sich zu: Mancherorts reichen die Tablettenvorräte gerade mal noch eine Woche. Für Erleichterung sorgt nun eine Pharmafirma, welche die Produktion von Methadon-Kapseln hochfährt. Laut Suchtmediziner Thilo Beck handelt es sich dabei um eine «notwendige, aber teure Lösung». (Aargauer Zeitung, Schweiz, 14.02.2023)


Schweiz. Sistierung der Betriebsbewilligung und Zulassung Amino AG / Dr. Heinz Welti AG – Drohender Versorgungsengpass mit Methadon in der Schweiz

(Marc Vogel/Thilo Beck/Adrian Kormann, fosumos.ch, 28.12.2022)


Schweiz. Die Methadon-Pille hilft Süchtigen, ein möglichst normales Leben zu führen – jetzt droht in der Schweiz ein Mangel (Podcast)

Rosa nimmt täglich Methadon. Ohne den Heroinersatz fürchtet sie, wieder im illegalen Konsum zu landen. Dabei sei der Engpass vorhersehbar gewesen, sagt Giorgio Scherrer im Podcast. (NZZ – Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Schweiz, 27.01.2023, Podcast, 16:46)


Changes and trends in medication-assisted treatment in Israel. 

Marom A, Levy I, Rosca P. 

Isr J Health Policy Res. 2023 Jan 26;12(1):1. doi: 10.1186/s13584-022-00551-8. PMID: 36698178; PMCID: PMC9876650.