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04/02/2014 16:39

As of 28 October 2013, six cases of   wound botulism have been reported in  Norway among people who had injected heroin (most reported intramuscular injection of heroin) in the region of Oslo.

The source of infection is thought to be a batch of contaminated heroin. The geographical distribution of the potentially contaminated heroin is unknown at this time, as is the distribution stage at which the heroin may have been contaminated.

So far, no cases of botulism in heroin users in Belgium have been reported. Also, there are no indications that this contaminated batch of heroin is present on the Belgian market.

Guidelines on drug treatment, prevention and control of infections among injecting drug users have recently been issued by ECDC and the EMCDDA. The two agencies will continue to monitor the evolution of this situation in terms of the epidemiological information available.
More information is available on the ECDC website and in this rapid risk assessment. Prevention and control guidelines are available in this document. 
04/02/2014 16:32

A new global drug survey was launched. Annualy, this survey maps the consumption of illicit drugs. In this edition of the survey, new psychoactive substances were included as well.

More information on how to participate, and the survey itself, can be found on the survey website.

04/02/2014 16:22

Europe has responded to rising concern over the use of four new drugs by formally requesting a scientific investigation into the health and social risks of the substances. The decision was communicated to the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) by the Council of the EU today, in line with a legal procedure designed to respond to potentially harmful new psychoactive drugs in the EU.

The Council requests the EMCDDA Scientific Committee to conduct formal risk assessments of the four new substances — 25I-NBOMe, AH-7921, MDPV and methoxetamine — after harmful effects related to the drugs were reported by the Member States and picked up by the EU Early-warning system.
The substances will be scrutinised by the Committee in Lisbon in April, with the participation of additional experts from the EU Member States, European Commission, Europol and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). More information can be found on the EMCDDA website.
04/02/2014 16:03

The most recent risk assessment regarding new psychoactive substances, performed by the EMCDDA and the EU member states, are available for the public. They can be found online on the EMCDDA website.

The risk assessments can be found online here as well, for 4-methylamphetamine and for 5-IT. Older risk assessments are available here.