Global: Bup, Treatment, Recovery and who says???

buprenorphine published–17% respond

A new JAMA study

concludes, “Long-acting buprenorphine depot formulations appear to be efficacious for treatment of opioid use disorder.”

Keep reading.

They compared the effectiveness of sublingual (oral) and long-acting injections of buprenorphine to see if the long-acting injections are as effective as the sublingual version.

The study was 24 weeks. That’s better than we usually see.

They used two measures to compare them:

  1. Average percent of opioid-negative urine samples for 24 weeks.
  2. Percent of subjects with negative urine screens for illicit opioid use for at least 8 of 10 drug screens at prespecified points during weeks 9 to 24. (This was the criteria for being classified as responding to the treatment.)

Measure 1

  • Sublingual buprenorphine – 28.4% (1099 of 3870) of urine screens were negative for opioids.
  • Long-acting injectable buprenorphine – 35.1% (1347 of 3834) of urine screens were negative for opioids.

This means that 71.6% and 64.9% of the drug screens were positive for opioids. It’s also worth noting that they do not report whether they also screened for any other drugs.

Measure 2

  • Sublingual buprenorphine – 14.4% (31 of 215) of these subjects were negative for opioids in 8 out of 10 urine screens at prespecified points during weeks 9 to 24.
  • Long-acting injectable buprenorphine – 17.4% (37 of 213) of these subjects were negative for opioids in 8 out of 10 urine screens at prespecified points during weeks 9 to 24.

So, this measure doesn’t tell us much about what happened during weeks 1 to 8, but we know that 85.6% and 82.6% of subjects screened positive for opioids at least 3 times during the 10 testing points over weeks 9 to 24.


Do we know anything about the number of subject who achieved recovery during this 6 month study?

Not really.

What we know

  • There was a lot of opioid use by subjects.
  • 15.8% of all subjects screened negative for opioids >80% of the time at those 10 testing points.

What we don’t know

  • Did any subjects successfully abstained from opioids?
  • Despite the high rates of opioid use, did some subjects migrate toward something resembling stable recovery?
  • What were the rates of alcohol and other drug use?
  • What kind of quality of life improvements were made over the course of the 6 months?
  • What was the retention rate? (There’s no mention of dropout. If dropout was not an issue, how did they achieve that?)
  • How would these subjects have done if they were offered the gold standard treatment?
  • What other services/supports subjects received.*

Press releases about this study refer to it as effectivepositive and promising. Keep in mind, when people say maintenance medications are the most effective treatments, this is what they are talking about.

It’s not that these medications can’t be or shouldn’t be part of the treatment system. In fact, I believe that they ought to be available to every single person who wants them. At the same time, when some patients, families, providers, and other systems are reluctant to embrace these outcomes, there may be reasons other than stigma or ignorance.*

For complete article


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GLOBAL: W.F.A.D. 2018 Conference Resources


6th World Forum Against Drugs, the 25th ECAD MAYORS’ CONFERENCE

Without your participation the Conference wouldn’t have reached its goal of sharing best experiences, knowledge and new research amongst different actors within the field. Together we work for a drug free world!

You can find presentations and statements at the conference website: and access the conference photos here.

If you would like to continue receiving information from WFAD you can sign up to our newsletter by becoming a member, or by following us on Facebook and Instagram.

To register yourself or your organization as a member of WFAD, apply here:

If you would like to continue receiving information from ECAD you can sign up to our newsletter here or access our website at

To subscribe to Judge Peggy Hora’s (Justice Speakers Institute) newsletter on Drug Treatment Courts and/or other justice issues, go to where you can sign up for the newsletter on the right side of the page.

The organizing committee sees how valuable cooperation between cities and civil society is and look forward to continued collaboration!

Best wishes,

The organizing committee



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UK: Cannabis & Psychosis – It’s a done deal!!!

One in six cases of psychosis are linked to cannabis use, claims psychiatric expert

  • Professor Robin Murray said that smoking cannabis is linked to psychosis
  • He said 50,000 people have the condition due to smoking cannabis as teenagers
  • His comments follow a renewed debate over the legalisation of the drug PUBLISHED: 25 June 2018

A psychiatric expert has claimed one in six people with psychosis in Britain would never have developed it if they had not smoked cannabis.

Professor Robin Murray, an authority on schizophrenia at King’s College London, said about 50,000 people were now diagnosed as psychotic solely because they used the drug while teenagers.

Many had no family history of psychosis and would have had no risk of developing the disease if they had not smoked high-strength cannabis, he claimed.

Professor Robin Murray said one in six people with psychosis in Britain would never have developed it if they had not smoked cannabis. Stock picture

The academic’s comments follow a renewed debate over the legalisation of the drug, following the first ever NHS prescription for cannabis oil being given to 12-year-old Billy Caldwell to treat his epilepsy last week.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has also spoken out to warn that cannabis use doubles the risk of someone becoming psychotic, after former Tory leader William Hague suggested it should be decriminalised for recreational use.

Professor Murray said: ‘If you smoke heavy, high-potency cannabis, your risk of psychosis increases about five times.

‘A quarter of cases of psychosis we see in south London would not have happened without use of high-potency cannabis. It is more prevalent in that area, but the figure for Britain would be one in six – or approximately 50,000 people.’

For complete story


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UK: Pill Testing Back Flip, Why? Because it’s Toxic you git!

Britain’s biggest festival organiser dismays campaigners by backtracking on support for drug testing

‘Considering the huge profits made by companies like Festival Republic from ticket sales, they should be funding essential services like The Loop to protect festival goers from avoidable harm’

There have been several drug-induced deaths at events run by Festival Republic in recent years ( )

The UK’s largest festival organiser has reversed its previous support for drug testing facilities in a U-turn that drew criticism from experts and campaigners.

Festival Republic – which organises Reading and Leeds Festivals, among others – said testing “has the ability to mislead” and cast doubt on the growing body of evidence which suggests testing festival goers’ drugs for potency and impurity, as well as providing individualised advice, reduces drug-related harm.

“Determining to a punter that a drug is in the ‘normal boundaries of what a drug should be’ takes no account of how many he or she will take, whether the person will mix it with other drugs or alcohol and nor does it give you any indicator of the receptiveness of a person’s body to that drug.”

Such a licence is unlikely to materialise since the government’s current position is that “no illegal drug can be assumed to be safe and there is no safe way to take them”.

Steve Moore, the director of VolteFace, a drugs policy think tank, said that “festival organisers can no longer shun responsibility by hiding behind the ‘zero tolerance’ mantra” after last weekend’s tragic deaths, given “what we know about that the dangers of the current illicit drug market”.

“As businesses that legitimately profit from facilitating hedonism on a vast scale they have to be at the forefront of investment in harm reduction and lobbying public authorities for the legal clearances to do so,” he said.

The Home Office said earlier this week: “Drugs can devastate lives, ruin families and damage communities. This government’s approach remains clear that we must prevent drug use in our communities and support people through treatment and recovery.

“No illegal drug can be assumed to be safe and there is no safe way to take them.

“Our drug strategy brings together police, health, community and global partners to tackle the illicit drug trade, protect the most vulnerable and help those with a drug dependency to recover and turn their lives around.”

In comments on his change of stance on drug testing, Mr Benn told The Independent: ”Yes, this has been a change but it’s a minor change. However, the change developed after much discussion with medical professionals, police forces and licensing authorities.”

“There are no safe illegal drugs.”

For complete article (cited 20/6/18)


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USA: Big Weed Moves to Exploit Addiction


Bottom of FormRemarks prepared by Drug Free America Foundation, March 2018. Get a downloadable copy here.
July 2018

Marijuana use is associated with an increased risk of prescription opioid use. The National Institute on Drug Abuse analyzed data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions and found respondents who reported past-year marijuana use in their initial interview had 2.2 times higher odds than nonusers for having a prescription opioid use disorder and 2.6 times greater odds of abusing prescription opioids.[i]

Marijuana use seems to strengthen the relationship between pain and depression and anxiety, not ease it. A recent study that surveyed 150 adults receiving MAT examined whether marijuana use diminishes the relationships between pain, depression, and anxiety and whether self-efficacy influences these interactions. The study concluded that marijuana use strengthens the connection between feelings of pain and emotional distress. Marijuana use was also associated with a low sense of self-efficacy, making it harder for them to manage their symptoms.[ii]

The current opioid epidemic in the US has been universally recognized as one of the most important public health issues to date. Opioid overdoses have increased by 200% since 2000 with more than 53,000 individuals dying from an opioid overdose in 2016 alone. Opioids have dominated drug policy and funding discussions at both the state and federal level and now Big Marijuana is moving in to profit from this health care crisis.

Leveraging an ecological study,[iii] the marijuana lobby is pushing states to expand medical marijuana access to include opioid use disorders. The evidence that increased access to marijuana has reduced opioid overdose deaths however is weak and shortsighted. The cited study fails to account for a decade worth of drug prevention and policy efforts that reduced access to powerful prescription opioids as well advancement of overdose prevention strategies.

For complete article


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USA: 4 Million Cannabis Addicts in US alone!

Marijuana addiction is real: Forget about ‘gateway drug’ fears – 4 million Americans are hooked on cannabis itself and there is NO treatment

  • Marijuana is now legal in 31 states, either for medical or recreational purposes
  • Growers are making strains as much as 10-times stronger than they were 40 years ago
  • Though it can be used safely, many are under the misconception that marijuana is non-addictive
  • The National Institutes of Health estimate that four million Americans are addicted to marijuana

For complete article (June 2018)


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USA: CBD is a controlled substance

Court rules CBD is Schedule 1 controlled substance, cannabidiol sales only where pot legal

KRISTEN NICHOLS, Hemp Industry Daily May 4, 2018

On Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, the Cosmic Grind Coffee Shop on Church Street in Burlington, Vermont, started offering CBD hemp oil shots in their drinks. But don’t worry, CBD is a ‘non-psychoactive’ extract, not to be confused with THC in marijuana. RYAN MERCER/FREE PRESS

DENVER (AP) — A federal appeals court sided with the Drug Enforcement Administration and upheld its decision that CBD is a Schedule 1 controlled substance — a major setback for the American hemp industry.

The decision, issued Monday by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit in San Francisco, means that hemp producers can only sell cannabidiol where it is allowed under state law.

It also means that states that allow CBD — even if they don’t allow the sale of high-THC marijuana – are violating federal law, the same as states that allow recreational cannabis.

CBD producers who brought the case vowed to appeal.

“We will be appealing, and we will be funding that appeal,” said Michael Brubeck, CEO of Centuria Natural Foods and a plaintiff in the case.

Based in Las Vegas, Centuria grows hemp and produces CBD products for sale in all 50 states. Centuria was joined in its challenge by the Hemp Industries Association.

CBD case history

The case started in 2016, when the DEA issued a “clarifying rule” stating that CBD is an illegal drug, because it is extracted from marijuana flowers.

Hemp producers cried foul, arguing that CBD can also be extracted from legal hemp flowers, and there is no way to tell whether extracted CBD came from marijuana or from hemp.

Brubeck and the HIA argued that the DEA was attempting to add a new substance to the Controlled Substances Act, something it cannot do.

The DEA said the extract rule was simply a clarification of existing law and that it “makes no substantive change to the government’s control of any substance.”

The agency also scoffed at the suggestion that CBD is being made from anything but flowering parts of the cannabis plant because cannabinoids “are found in the parts of the cannabis plant that fall within the . definition of marijuana, such as the flowering tops, resin and leaves.”

The three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit agreed. Their decision means that the DEA was within its authority to clarify CBD as a “marijuana extract.”

For complete article:


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Colorado: Tango with THC in Tasting Rooms – Drug Pushing Blocked

Dear Friend, 

We wanted to take a moment and thank you for all the hard work you have done to make today’s achievement a reality!

As you may have heard, the Colorado Legislature sent a bill to Governor Hickenlooper’s desk that would have legalized marijuana “tasting rooms” in our state.

These so-called tasting rooms would have been disastrous for public health as they would have promoted public use of marijuana and could have resulted in even more impaired drivers on our roads and other potential public health risks.

After members of the Marijuana Accountability Coalition stood up in opposition and let our voices be heard, the governor took heed.

Governor Hickenlooper vetoed the marijuana bill!

Without YOUR relentless dedication to fearlessly investigate, expose, challenge, and hold the marijuana industry accountable we would not have gotten this win.

There are countless leaders and organizations that worked to make this a reality and we at the MAC are indeed honored to be among them.

We have a long, uphill battle ahead of us, but we know that together, with advocates like you, we can keep of the momentum up and keep the commercialization efforts at bay.

Be sure to stay up to date with everything going on and find out just how you can better get involved by clicking here to join our Action Network!

Again, thank you so much for all that you do,


Justin Luke Riley – Founder and President

The Marijuana Accountability Coalition



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USA: Reefer Infatuation has Senator as Highest Level Drug Pusher


Dear Friend,
As you might have seen, New York Senator Chuck Schumer introduced a bill on Wednesday that would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act… essentially legalizing it at the federal level.
This bill would make it legal to manufacture and sell 99% pure THC extracts, candies, gummies, and other edibles. What’s worse, because the U.S. Department of Transportation derives its drug testing regulations from the Controlled Substance Act, the bill would essentially end the ability to perform random drug tests for marijuana for DOT licensees, including pilots and truck drivers.
Another shocking takeaway from this bill: it removes the ability of the National Forest system to police highly dangerous illegal grows, which have been devastating to the ecology of National Forests with pesticides and illegal water diversion and are also connected to foreign cartels.
By all accounts, Senator Schumer and his staff were so excited to start getting checks from the marijuana industry, they slapped together a half-baked proposal without giving a single thought to the potential damages.
It is one thing when junior level senators and representatives introduce bills, but it is an entirely different scenario when the Senate Minority Leader introduces a bill that is such a blatant giveaway to Big Marijuana.
Friend, this is what we are up against.
The pot industry is showering lawmakers with money and gaining influence, but this fight is far from over. As evidenced by the many victories our supporters have been able to accomplish at both the state and federal level this year, we know we can stop this train.
If you can, please  click here to chip in with a donation to SAM Action to help us mobilize.

If we are going to win the struggle for public health, it is going to take small sacrifices from advocates who believe in the cause, and I am thankful to be in the trenches everyday with all of you.

Thank you for all that you do.
Dr. Kevin Sabet
Founder and President
Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action

About SAM Action

SAM Action is a non-profit, 501(c)(4) social welfare organization dedicated to promoting healthy marijuana policies that do not involve legalizing drugs. SAM Action engages in high-impact political campaigns to oppose marijuana legalization and commercialization. Under the IRS code, political activity cannot be deducted for tax purposes. Your contribution will be used for maximum impact, but is not tax-deductible as a charitable contribution (IRC § 170) or business expense (IRC § 162(e)(1)).


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USA: FDA approve non-opioid M.A.T for Opioid Crisis!

FDA approves the first non-opioid treatment for management of opioid withdrawal symptoms in adults:

Encouraging more widespread innovation and development of safe and effective treatments for opioid use disorder remains top agency priority.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Lucemyra (lofexidine hydrochloride) for the mitigation of withdrawal symptoms to facilitate abrupt discontinuation of opioids in adults. While Lucemyra may lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms, it may not completely prevent them and is only approved for treatment for up to 14 days. Lucemyra is not a treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD), but can be used as part of a broader, long-term treatment plan for managing OUD.

“As part of our commitment to support patients struggling with addiction, we’re dedicated to encouraging innovative approaches to help mitigate the physiological challenges presented when patients discontinue opioids,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “We’re developing new guidance to help accelerate the development of better treatments, including those that help manage opioid withdrawal symptoms. We know that the physical symptoms of opioid withdrawal can be one of the biggest barriers for patients seeking help and ultimately overcoming addiction. The fear of experiencing withdrawal symptoms often prevents those suffering from opioid addiction from seeking help. And those who seek assistance may relapse due to continued withdrawal symptoms. The FDA will continue to encourage the innovation and development of therapies to help those suffering from opioid addiction transition to lives of sobriety, as well as address the unfortunate stigma that’s sometimes associated with the use of medication-assisted treatments.”

Opioid withdrawal includes symptoms — such as anxiety, agitation, sleep problems, muscle aches, runny nose, sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and drug craving — that occur after stopping or reducing the use of opioids in anyone with physical dependence on opioids. Physical dependence to opioids is an expected physiological response to opioid use. These symptoms of opioid withdrawal occur both in patients who have been using opioids appropriately as prescribed and in patients with OUD.

In patients using opioid analgesics appropriately as prescribed, opioid withdrawal is typically managed by slow taper of the medication, which is intended to avoid or lessen the effects of withdrawal while allowing the body to adapt to not having the opioid. In patients with OUD, withdrawal is typically managed by substitution of another opioid medicine, followed by gradual reduction or transition to maintenance therapy with FDA-approved medication-assisted treatment drugs such as methadone, buprenorphine or naltrexone; or by various medications aimed at specific symptoms, such as over-the-counter remedies for upset stomach or aches and pains. Other treatments may also be prescribed by a patient’s health care provider.

“Today’s approval represents the first FDA-approved non-opioid treatment for the management of opioid withdrawal symptoms and provides a new option that allows providers to work with patients to select the treatment best suited to an individual’s needs,” said Sharon Hertz, M.D., director of the Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia and Addiction Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research

For complete story .



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