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28 June 2019

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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

Treatment Communities of America (TCA) holds briefing on SUD Treatment Strategies for Ethnic Populations
On Wednesday, June 19th, Treatment Communities of America held a briefing for Members of Congress and staff on the barriers facing those in need of treatment for Substance Use Disorders (SUD), specifically addressing and raising awareness about disparities among racial and ethnic minority populations. 
Racial and ethnic minorities often have high rates of addictive disorders, but lower rates of treatment seeking and completion than the overall population. A significant barrier to treatment is the lack of culturally relevant and appropriate treatment. Research indicates that culturally competent treatment practices including providing therapy and materials in the client's language, knowledge, understanding and appreciation for cultural perspectives and nuances, involving the wider family and community and training therapists can enhance client engagement, retention and treatment outcomes for substance use disorder.
The panel consisted of experts and clinicians intimately familiar with issues of mental health and substance use in minority communities. Rep. Lacy Clay, a longtime TCA supporter and ally, also expressed welcome to guests in attendance.

UN says synthetic opioid use booms worldwide amid Africa 'crisis'
Synthetic opioid use is booming around the world, acccording to a United Nations report that showed deaths in the United States from overdoses are still rising and a “crisis” of tramadol use is emerging in parts of Africa.
The estimated number of people using opioids – an umbrella term for drugs ranging from opium and derivatives such as heroin to synthetics like fentanyl and tramadol – in 2017 was 56% higher than in 2016, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime said in the report published on Wednesday.

The report also said that global cocaine production reached an all-time high in 2017, breaking the previous year’s record by 25%, as production soared in post-conflict Colombia.

Newly established fields in remote areas boosted production in the world’s top supplier, despite efforts to steer rural communities away from coca cultivation following a peace deal with Farc rebels.

The surge in opioid use recorded by the survey to 53.4 million people worldwide, was partly due to more data being available from Nigeria and India. But it also highlighted the scale of the problem despite a drought-related fall in opium production last year in the world’s biggest producer, Afghanistan.
Read more

UN Annual World Drug Report says overdose death toll is increasing
The United Nations' Office on Drugs and Crime's (UNODC) annual drug anthology, published today, reports that drug use and dependency is rising around the world. Cannabis continues to be the most widely used drug worldwide.
"Globally, some 35 million people, up from an earlier estimate of 30.5 million, suffer from drug use disorders and require treatment services. The death toll is also higher: 585,000 people died as a result of drug use in 2017. Prevention and treatment continue to fall far short of needs in many parts of the world. This is particularly true in prisons, where those incarcerated are especially vulnerable to drug use and face higher risks of HIV and hepatitis C transmission," states the report. Read more
From our partners at Proyecto Homre:

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

INSOLA: One step further in labour insertion in Proyecto Hombre
Proyecto Hombre recently held its International Days focused on Labour Insertion. During two days, members from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, the European Federation of Therapeutic Communities, the European Social Fund and  the Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs & Social Welfare attended this event in which 20 international organizations participated. Among them, Ashoka, Action Against Hunger and Red Cross.
If working is an important part of anybody’s life, for those who overcome an addiction it represents a double challenge: facing up to a new life with a past which is not easily accepted in society. Of the people who attend treatment at Proyecto Hombre, a high percentage have a job which, as a result of addiction, they tend to lose shortly before entering. This is why Proyecto Hombre, as well as helping users it receives to overcome addiction problems, it encourages and motivates them to keep learning in order to boost their socio-labour insertion.
Between 2016 and 2020, the the Socio-Labour Integration project for people with Addiction problems (INSOLA), carried out by the Proyecto Hombre Association together with the European Social Fund, will make it possible for more than 4,600 people to acquire job-orientated training and/or access to the work environment. And for those who have overcome an addiction process, incorporating into a new job empowers them and helps them to reactivate skills and activities they thought they had forgotten. Read more
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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