The Federal Association for Accepting Drug Work and Humane Drug Policy Accept eV presented the Alternative Drugs and Addiction Report 2021 at an online press conference on July 15, 2021. This eighth of the annual edition of the Alternative Drugs and Addiction Report comprises almost 200 pages with a critical and simultaneously constructive view of the current developments in the field of drugs and addiction in Germany.
For a holistic and sustainable drug policy
Alternative Drugs and Addiction Report 2021
The main topic this year is the alcohol and tobacco control policy in Germany. It becomes clear that Germany has a very industry-friendly and little health policy orientation with regard to both alcohol control policy and tobacco control policy. The high price we have to pay for it becomes clear in several articles.
Another focus topic is harm reduction (harm reduction). In addition to the many successes achieved in the meantime in reducing harm in drug aid, deficits in the care of people who use drugs in freedom and especially in custody are evident. Some key words are the impending supply crisis in substitution treatment, the increase in drug-related deaths or the supply of patients with cannabis as medicine.
The already achieved successes in harm reduction (harm reduction) in many areas of drug aid are still counteracted by the damage caused by the prosecution of people who use drugs. The steadily increasing prosecution for the acquisition and possession of small quantities for personal use not only wastes enormous resources in police work and the judiciary. It also gives away the opportunity to introduce regulation and quality controls through the controlled release of substances, i.e. to enable the best possible youth and consumer protection in the sense of minimizing damage.
Positive developments due to the Covid-19 pandemic
In spring 2020, a statutory ordinance of the Minister of Health came into force as part of the Infection Protection Act, which temporarily expanded the narcotics and medical law requirements. In this way, in cooperation with all actors (doctors, health insurances, health authorities), at least in the big cities, it was possible to ensure the supply of opoid substitution treatment and to expand the group of those who were substituted. These successful temporary reliefs in substitution treatment need to be implemented on a permanent basis.
Reduce drug-related deaths
The number of drug-related deaths in Germany has increased continuously over the past 10 years. For this reason, a plan of measures for a sustainable reduction in drug-related deaths in Germany is presented in this report. An important component in this is the NALtrain model project recently started by the Federal Ministry of Health. This first nationwide model project on the subject of take home naloxone is intended to lay the foundation for doctors to prescribe the drug and as many opioid users and substitutes as possible to carry and use this vital preparation with them over the next three years. The project sponsors are accept eV, Deutsche Aidshilfe and the Institute for Addiction Research Frankfurt.
Mitigation and Law Enforcement
While the development of relative prevention for legal drugs is stagnating at a very low level, the spiral of criminalization for illegal substances continues unchecked: the increase in police investigations into criminal offenses under the Narcotics Act has continued in 2020: with 365,753 police investigations have never been carried out in Germany so many “Drug offenses“Was registered as in 2020. This development is largely based on the police prosecution of so-called consumption-related offenses (general violations) in the volume range only for personal use.
Authors at the press conference
Prof. Dr. Heino Stöver (Chairman of the Board of Accept eV and Managing Director of the Institute for Addiction Research at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences) spoke on the subject of failed tobacco control policies preventing harm reduction.
Heino Stöver wrote the foreword (p.8) and the chapter with Bernd Werse “Tobacco tax on e-cigarettes: a contradiction endangers your health” (p. 75), with Dirk Schäffer and Claudia Schieren the chapter “100,000 substituted by 2022 – an interim balance after one year” (P. 93), with Dirk Schäffer the chapter “Action plan for a sustainable reduction in drug-related deaths in Germany” (P. 99), with Karlheinz Keppler, Jan Fährmann, Wolfgang Lesting and Ulrike Häßler the chapter “Opioid substitution treatment in the judiciary and penal system: effectiveness, obstacles and possible solutions” (P. 103), with Anna Dichtl and Dirk Schäffer the chapter “Another 9 years – an interim balance with regard to the achievement of the WHO elimination goals (HIV, HCV) in Germany” (P. 128), with Fabian Pitter Steinmetz the chapter “The cocaine e-cigarette – new opportunities for harm reduction?” (P. 135), with Ingo Ilja Michels, Kirsten R. Müller-Vahl and Franjo Grotenhermen the chapter “Position paper: Cannabis as medicine: Why further improvements are necessary and possible” (S. 142)
Jakob Manthey holds a doctorate in psychology and works at the Institute for Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at TU Dresden, at the Center for Interdisciplinary Addiction Research at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, and at the Clinic and Polyclinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University Medical Center Leipzig. He is interested in the epidemiology of alcohol and cannabis and is particularly concerned with the question of how substance-related damage can be prevented. He reported on the development of alcohol consumption under Covid19.
Jakob Manthey wrote the chapter with Carolin Kilian and Christina Lindemann “Consequences of light to moderate alcohol consumption in Germany” (P. 50) and with Sinja Klinger, Sinclair Carr, Carolin Kilian, Ludwig Kraus, Sören Kuitunen-Paul, Georg Schomerus and Sven Speerforck the chapter “Alcohol and COVID-19: an update from 2021” (S. 56),
Dirk Schäffer has been an employee of the German Aids Aid since 1998. From 1998-2000 nationwide coordinator of the JES federal association. Since 2001 speaker and head of the department “Drugs and the prison system” of the German Aidshilfe. He is the initiator of model projects such as „TEST It“ and „SMOKE It“ as “HIV? Hepatitis? THE CHECK ME ” . He is also an advisor to national programs for comprehensive health care for drug users in Nepal and Thailand (GIZ and Global Fund), co-founder of the Schildower Circle and the “Action Alliance for Hepatitis and Drug Use” . He presented the campaign 100,000 Substituted by 2022 – Countering the Supply Crisis.
Dirk Schäffer wrote the chapter with Urs Köthner “Substitution treatment – countering the impending supply crisis with structural changes” (P. 88), with Heino Stöver and Claudia Schieren the chapter “100,000 substituted by 2022 – an interim balance after one year” (P. 93), with Heino Stöver the chapter “Action plan for a sustainable reduction in drug-related
Deaths in Germany “ (P. 99), with Anna Dichtl and Heino Stöver the chapter “Another 9 years – an interim balance with regard to the achievement of the WHO elimination goals (HIV, HCV) in Germany” (S. 128)
Bernd Werse, Dr. phil., sociologist, since 2001 research assistant at the third-party research office Center for Drug Research at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. Main focus of work: drug trends, new psychoactive substances, drug trafficking, substance use in youth cultures. Spokesman for the Schildower Kreis, board member of the European Society for Social Drug Research (ESSD). He lectured on the topic of cannabis as medicine as well as the corresponding law and reality.
Bernd Werse wrote the foreword (S8) and the chapter with Heino Stöver “Tobacco tax on e-cigarettes: a contradiction endangers your health” (P. 75), he also wrote the chapter “Canned fuel – how well-intentioned taxes can have paradoxical effects” (P. 46) and the chapter “Cannabis as Medicine: Self-Medication and Stigmatization” (P. 148) and with Gerrit Kamphausen the chapter “Cannabis use in the corona pandemic: market and ban under pressure” (P. 172) and the chapter with Volker Auwärter and Karsten Tögel-Lins “Old wine in new bottles: Synthetic cannabinoids on CBD hemp as an avoidable health risk for cannabis users” (S.178).
Hubert Wimber studied economics and social sciences at the Universities of Bochum and Göttingen, after completing his legal clerkship for higher general administrative services, he had held various functions in the administration of North Rhine-Westphalia since 1980, including as police chief in Münster. He explained what 365,753 police investigations lead to ‘Drug offenses‘Effect in the fight against drugs.
Hubert Wimber wrote the chapter on drug policy (p. 12).
accept eV Federal Association for Accepting Drug Work and Humane Drug Policy was founded in Bremen in spring 1990. It is an interdisciplinary association of practitioners and researchers, professionals and patients, social workers, medical practitioners, lawyers and people and associations involved in drug policy. Currently 55 institutions and associations as well as 140 individuals are members of accept. The board of directors and the active volunteers work for accept.
A number of demands from the early days have now been implemented by drug policy, such as substitution treatment as’state of the art‘, Syringe exchange, the legal operation of drug consumption rooms, the ability to prescribe diamorphine (heroin). Other requirements still need to be implemented, including the allocation of naloxone in drug emergencies and drug checking.
Alternative Drugs and Addiction Report 2021
The Alternative Drugs and Addiction Report 2021 has been published by Pabst Science Publishers: (Print: ISBN 978-3-95853-717-0) and as an eBook (ISBN 978-3-95853-718-7). The Alternative Drugs and Addiction Report 2021 is available for free download as a PDF file on the website of’Accept eV.
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