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21st June 2017

Study: heroin addiction costs the United States more than $ 50 billion a year

Researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago have concluded that heroin addiction among young people in the US is costing the state more than $ 50 billion annually. Researchers pointed out that this amount represents a huge rate that is equivalent to the GDP of some countries such as Lebanon and Croatia, according to a study published in the American journal "Plus One".

Moreover, according to the study published by the "Newsweek" magazine, these costs include, the treatment of diseases that are more likely to spread through the use of syringes, such as hepatitis C infection, Hepatitis B, HIV / AIDS and tuberculosis. They also include treatments for the withdrawal syndrome in newborns that are problems faced by infants exposed to heroin during pregnancy. Heroin users are also more likely to be detained and commit crimes having high costs to the state and are much less productive than other members of society.

Scientists estimate, according to the study, that each heroin addict costs the United States about $ 75,000 a year. This figure results from $ 29,000 estimated cost of loss of productivity, $ 31,000 for detention costs, $ 9,000 for treatment of hepatitis C and $ 300,000 for HIV lifetime treatment of each case.

On the other hand, studies have shown that investments in the treatment of drug addiction reduce costs of criminal justice, child care, educational and social services and loss of productivity.

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20th June 2017

New fatal drugs spread in Europe

Brussels - Overdoses of drugs cause more deaths in Europe, where new types of substances that are dangerous on health are spreading, according to the annual report of the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

Presenting the report at a press conference, held on Tuesday in Brussels, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos said: "The ever-growing scourge of drugs poses a permanent threat to our societies. "

Laura Darigo, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Observatory, said: "No country has yet succeeded in finding the magic solution to solve this problem", while stressing "the importance of sharing experiences and practices that have been successful in this regard and also those that have not achieved the expected results. "

It should be noted that Indian hemp remains the most widespread narcotic substance in Europe, ahead of cocaine, MDMA (an active ingredient in ecstasy) and amphetamines.

Avramopoulos also noted "the growing number of deaths from overdoses for the third consecutive year," warning that young people are increasingly exposed to new types of drugs that are dangerous to health, especially those made in laboratories.

This increase for the third consecutive year affected "almost all age groups" and several countries such as Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Lithuania and Turkey. The effect is becoming more disastrous for the 1.3 million Europeans who are "opioid users".

The European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction found that in countries such as France, Denmark, Ireland and Croatia, drugs used in substitution therapies (methadone and buprenorphine) result in overdoses death that exceed the number of death caused by heroin.

These substances which are marketed in the form of powders, tablets and even nasal fluids and sprays are "easy to transport and distribute" which makes them difficult to track down, according to the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

One of these substances is fentanyl, a potent anesthetic that causes tens of thousands of deaths each year as a result of overdoses, particularly in North America. According to the Observatory, more than 60% of opiate seizures in 2015 belong to the category of Fentanyl substance that has an effect much stronger than that of heroin.

Cocaine is the most widespread substance in western and southern countries, while methamphetamines are the most popular in the north and east, as methamphetamines are currently available in large quantities in some regions, and their presence is increasingly detected in the wastewater.

Seizures of cocaine are also increasing, according to the report.

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19th June 2017

Hydromorphone works as well as heroin-assisted drug addiction treatment

Hydromorphone was as effective as pharmaceutical heroin for opioid addiction treatment, but it was associated with fewer serious side-effects, according to results from the SALOME trial presented yesterday at the 25th International Harm Reduction Conference (HR17) in Montréal.

These findings suggest that both hydromorphone and heroin should be included among the treatment options for opioid dependence, allowing providers to tailor treatment to the individual, said study co-investigator David Marsh of Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

Methadone and buprenorphine are the standard medications used for opioid substitution therapy, but they do not work for everyone. Around 15 to 25% of people who inject heroin will not respond well to methadone. European studies have found that diacetylmorphine – the active ingredient in heroin – can be more effective for this population.

The NAOMI (North American Opiate Medication Initiative) study, a phase 3 randomised controlled trial conducted in Vancouver and Montréal, was the first major North American study comparing injectable diacetylmorphine versus oral methadone. As previously reported, participants who received heroin were more likely to stay on treatment and to reduce illicit drug use and other illegal activities.

But heroin remains illegal for this purpose in most countries. Hydromorphone (brand name Dilaudid) is a semi-synthetic morphine derivative that works similarly to heroin, but it is an approved painkiller and is widely legally available for medical use.

The phase 3 SALOME (Study to Assess Long-term Opioid Medication Effectiveness) trial, conducted at the Providence Health Crosstown Clinic in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, evaluated whether hydromorphone is as effective as diacetylmorphine for the treatment of long-term opioid addiction.

The earlier NAOMI study included a small group of participants who received injectable hydromorphone to validate self-reports of ongoing drug use, because unlike diacetylmorphine it can be distinguished from illicit heroin on a urine test.

Some participants couldn't tell the difference between hydromorphone and diacetylmorphine, prompting researchers to conduct a larger study comparing these two drugs, Marsh said.

SALOME enrolled 202 participants between 2011 and 2013. About 70% were men, the mean age was 44 years and a third were of aboriginal origin; 60% reported being homeless or unstably housed.

The participants were long-term chronic street opioid users, with at least a five-year history of heroin use (mean 15 years) and regular heroin or other opioid injection during the past year. On average they had been on methadone maintenance therapy for almost five years, but had been abstinent from illicit drugs for just seven months, Marsh said.

Participants were randomly assigned to receive injectable diacetylmorphine or hydromorphone up to three times a day for six months, self-administered under the supervision of nurses at the clinic.

The study showed that hydromorphone was non-inferior to diacetylmorphine in reducing use of any illicit opioid, both in an intent-to-treat analysis (5.50 vs 3.15 days of use) and a per-protocol analysis that excluded people who did not complete treatment (4.08 vs 2.64 days of use). However, hydromorphone did not quite match diacetylmorphine in reducing street heroin use specifically in the intent-to-treat analysis.

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18th June 2017

Egypt: The International Narcotics Control Board praises the experience of the "Solidarity" in the treatment of drug addiction

A delegation of the International Narcotics Control Board of the United Nations, chaired by Judge Bernard Layuri, visited the Ministry of Social Solidarity's Treatment and Addiction Fund to learn more about the Egyptian experience in the fight against the problem of drug abuse and addiction. This is the first visit by the delegation to Egypt since 2001.

Mr. Amro Osman, Director of the Fund, outlined the experience of the Addictions Fund in the implementation of the national drug control plan, the current drug problem status and the integration of the drug issue in the school curricula to raise awareness of students and teachers in pre-university education about the dangers of smoking and drug use in all their forms. Amro Osman also spoke about the campaign "You are stronger than drugs" in addition to the increase in the number of hospitals specializing in the treatment of addiction from 10 to 19 hospitals during the last five years, as well as the integration of cured patients in the community by providing loans that help them set up small projects.

The delegation's visit to the headquarters of the Fund came following the presentation done by Mrs. Ghada Wali, Minister of Social Solidarity and Chairperson of the Drug Treatment and Addiction Fund, which highlighted the experience of the Fund and the Egyptian plan to deal with the phenomenon of drug addiction and reduce the demand for drugs, at the plenary session of the United Nations International Conference. The Conference was held in the Austrian capital of Vienna in March, at the invitation of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Mrs. Wali’s presentation was received with great interest by the conference’s participants who wanted to learn more about the Fund experience in the treatment of addictions.                        

The delegation of the International Narcotics Control Board of the United Nations praised the Fund's experience in implementing the national plan to combat drug use. The delegation also took note of the working mechanism of the "16023" hotline and how calls from patients and their families are received in absolute confidentiality and treatments are provided for free. Currently, 500 calls on average are received on a daily basis. The delegation members stressed the importance of implementing a plan to combat drugs and the use of scientific research on a regular basis to assess the dimensions of the drug phenomenon and its evolution, which the Fund is currently doing.

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15th June 2017

Latest data reveal drug-taking habits in over 50 European cities

The latest findings from the largest European project in the emerging science of wastewater analysis are presented by the Europe-wide SCORE group, in association with the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA). The project analysed wastewater in over 50 European cities in 18 European countries in March 2016 to explore the drug-taking behaviours of their inhabitants.

From London to Nicosia and from Oslo to Lisbon, the study analysed daily wastewater samples in the catchment areas of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) over a one-week period.  Wastewater from approximately 25 million people was analysed for traces of four illicit drugs: amphetamine, cocaine, MDMA (ecstasy) and methamphetamine.

Wastewater based epidemiology is a rapidly developing scientific discipline with the potential for monitoring near-real-time, population-level trends in illicit drug use. By sampling a known source of wastewater, such as a sewage influent to a wastewater treatment plant, scientists can now estimate the quantity of drugs used in a community by measuring the levels of illicit drugs and their metabolites excreted in urine.

The SCORE group has been conducting annual wastewater monitoring campaigns since 2011. This is the first time, however, that data are published within only a few months of the campaign, underlining the potential of this method for the timely monitoring of trends in illicit drug use at population level.

The results are released today through an innovative interactive map and chart-based tool allowing the user to look at geographical and temporal patterns and zoom in on results per city. The findings offer a valuable snapshot of the drug flow through the cities involved, revealing marked regional variations in drug use patterns:

•             Methamphetamine use, generally low and traditionally concentrated in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, now appears to be present also in the east of Germany and northern Europe, particularly in cities in Finland.

•             Traces of cocaine in wastewater indicate that cocaine use is highest in western and southern European cities, particularly in cities in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK. The analysis points to very low to negligible cocaine use in the majority of eastern European cities.

•             For MDMA, the 2016 wastewater data confirmed the trend established in 2015. In most cities, wastewater MDMA loads were higher in 2016 than in 2011, with sharp increases seen in some cities, which may be related to the increased purity of MDMA or increased availability and use of the drug.

•             The loads of amphetamine detected in wastewater varied considerably across the study locations, with the highest levels reported in cities in the north of Europe. Amphetamine was found at much lower levels in cities in the south of Europe.

•             When weekly patterns of drug use were examined, cocaine and MDMA (ecstasy) levels rose sharply at weekends in most cities, while methamphetamine use appeared to be more evenly distributed throughout the week.

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14th June 2017

Video: shocking footage of the heart under the influence of drugs!

The American program "Doctors" broadcasted on the "CBS" channel showed shocking footage that reveals the impact of cocaine on the heart.

The distressing report showed the heart of a person who has been addicted cocaine for a long time and whose heart size is three times the size of a normal heart . It also beats irregularly outside the body for 25 minutes.

Doctor Travis Stork said that the normal heart must have the size of the fist but when it reaches three times its size it causes long-term health problems and premature death.

He pointed out that the heart shown in the report is severely affected with the onset of symptoms of dilated cardiomyopathy, such as dyspnea, fainting, ankles and abdomen swelling and excessive fatigue.

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Les dernières données révèlent les habitudes de consommation de drogues dans plus de 50 villes européennes… https://t.co/xF5yemtFbP

a week ago

أحدث البيانات تكشف عن عادات استخدام المخدرات في أكثر من 50 مدينة أوروبية https://t.co/0UlfaNV81D https://t.co/DjK0VmU4Ws

a week ago

Latest data reveal drug-taking habits in over 50 #European cities https://t.co/fIUewK8WKP https://t.co/s0OV0iLEkI

a week ago

مطالعے سے پتہ چلتا ہے کہ آکسی ٹوسن منشیات کی علت پر قابو پانے میں مددگار ہوسکتی ہے https://t.co/w7HlcGvfwd https://t.co/gFX2Pt8SZ2

a week ago

Une étude suggère que le traitement par l'ocytocine peut aider à surmonter l’addiction aux drogues… https://t.co/qZd7AS3OOm

a week ago