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26 July 2019

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Residential treatment services in England cut by third amid drug overdose and funding crisis

The number of live-in drug and alcohol rehabilitation services in England has fallen by one-third in six years, according to a new analysis which reveals the damaging toll of austerity cuts as drug deaths soar.
There were 195 residential rehabilitation and detox services registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England in 2013, but by 2019 this had fallen to just 132 active centres. 
Rehabilitation centres are typically run by charities or private companies, but many rely on councils to fund placements for people with addiction issues.
Experts have warned that as budgets fall councils are sending more people to cheaper community-based rehabilitation, including day centres and groups. 
While community services can provide support for some, treatment providers and people who have used residential rehabilitation say it is still an integral part of addiction, and can be “lifesaving”. Read more
Leaders from 13 U.S. states urge federal court to allow supervised injection sites

Top officials from 13 states are joining Philadelphia in urging a federal court to allow a site to open where people can inject illegal opioids under medical supervision, the latest escalation in a legal battle with the Justice Department that may determine whether such facilities, known as supervised injection sites, can start to operate in America.
In Philadelphia, where drug overdoses — most involving opioids — kill three times as many people as homicides, a nonprofit called Safehouse has been working to launch an injection site as a way of combating the city's opioid crisis. But the Justice Department has mounted a legal challenge to block it before it opens, claiming such a site violates federal drug laws and would enable drug use.
A friend-of-the-court brief submitted Wednesday by leaders from five cities — Ithaca, New York City, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Seattle — says injection sites, widely used in parts of Canada and Europe, need to be part of the way cities respond to the opioid crisis. Read more

New implant could be game changing for HIV prevention
People not infected with HIV can take a daily pill to prevent themselves from contracting the virus, a proven strategy called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). But many people who start PrEP do not stick with it or take the pills only intermittently, undermining its effectiveness. This week, at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City, the pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. reported a potential solution: a slow-release implant of an experimental antiretroviral (ARV) drug designed to be long-lasting in the body. The combination promises to provide an effective HIV shield for 1 year or more, far longer than any ARV now on the market. It’s one of several novel ARV strategies moving forward that offers potentially simpler options for treating or preventing HIV and, if widely used, could change the course of the AIDS epidemic. Read more
Bipartisan push in U.S. Congress to support access to OUD treatment in correctional facilities
U.S. Senators Edward J. Markey  and Lisa Murkowski recently introduced the Community Re-Entry through Addiction Treatment to Enhance (CREATE) Opportunities Act, legislation to help expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) like Suboxone for justice-involved individuals. This legislation would create a new grant program within the Department of Justice for state and local governments to provide MAT in their correctional facilities. The program would require grantees to provide more than one MAT option and to develop a plan for connecting individuals to continued treatment upon release into the community. Data indicates recently released individuals are 129 times more likely to die from opioid overdose in first two weeks of release. 
Read more

Global Commission on Drug Policy calls for a reclassification on drugs including cocaine, heroin and cannabis
Illegal drugs including cocaine, heroin and cannabis should be reclassified to reflect a scientific assessment of harm, according to a report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy. The commission, which includes 14 former heads of states from countries such as Colombia, Mexico, Portugal and New Zealand, said the international classification system underpinning drug control is “biased and inconsistent”.
A “deep-lying imbalance” between controlling substances and allowing access for medicinal purposes had caused “collateral damage”, it said. Such damage included patients in low- and middle-income countries forced to undergo surgery without anaesthetic, to go without essential medicines and to die in unnecessary pain due to lack of opioid pain relief. Read more

Proyecto Hombre Observatory releases 2018 report on the profile of people with addiction problems in treatment
The objective of this study is to analyse and identify the psychological, epidemiological and sociodemographic characteristics of people with addiction problems attended to in the Proyecto Hombre Centres throughout Spain. It also incorporates the analysis of possible influential factors in the problem of addictions: personal aspects, risk behaviours, emotional circumstances and social relationships. With this initiative, Proyecto Hombre demonstrates the effort made, not only in the treatment and prevention of addictions, but also in their study and investigation. Read the report

Earlier this year, at the 62nd Session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, a special event, Evidence-based Treatment and Therapeutic Communities as an Integral Part of the Health System, was organized by the Governments of Greece and Spain, the Therapy Center for Dependent Individuals-KETHEA, Association Proyecto Hombre, the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Read more
Treatment Communities of America (TCA) will hold its Fall Meeting on 10-11 September, 2019 at the Liaison Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. TCA will also honor U.S. Rep. Karen Bass at a special reception for her work on behalf of treatment communities and patients.
The European Federation of Therapeutic Communities (EFTC) will hold its 17th Annual Meeting from Sept. 19-20 in 
Thessaloniki, Greece. Find out more!

The Australasian Therapeutic Communities Association will hold its 2019 Conference from 28-31 October, 2019 in Adelaide, Australia. Find out more!
Consider this a place to post successes about your  program or challenges you face in your home country. If it's news to YOU, it's news us US. Your global neighbor may have resources to help! SUBMIT YOUR NEWS HERE.


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