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Ten Years After Decriminalization, Drug Abuse Down by Half in Portugal [View All]

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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-05-11 09:51 PM
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Ten Years After Decriminalization, Drug Abuse Down by Half in Portugal
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From AFP via Forbes

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g9C6...

Health experts in Portugal said Friday that Portugal's decision 10 years ago to decriminalise drug use and treat addicts rather than punishing them is an experiment that has worked.

"There is no doubt that the phenomenon of addiction is in decline in Portugal," said Joao Goulao, President of the Institute of Drugs and Drugs Addiction, a press conference to mark the 10th anniversary of the law.

The number of addicts considered "problematic" -- those who repeatedly use "hard" drugs and intravenous users -- had fallen by half since the early 1990s, when the figure was estimated at around 100,000 people, Goulao said.

Other factors had also played their part however, Goulao, a medical doctor added.

"This development can not only be attributed to decriminalisation but to a confluence of treatment and risk reduction policies."

Portugal's holistic approach had also led to a "spectacular" reduction in the number of infections among intravenous users and a significant drop in drug-related crimes, he added.



http://blogs.forbes.com/erikkain/2011/07/05/ten-years-a... /

Also, Glenn Greenwald published a white paper about this subject a few years ago for the Cato Institute. The only time, I believe, he has published original material there and for which he's been smeared through guilt by association and mislabeled a libertarian.

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=10080
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