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. [...]
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.
Of course, the naysayers will tell you that Portugal is not the United States and so we can’t believe those numbers. Then they will proceed to give you numbers of increased addicts with legalization or decriminalization that they have produced from a darkened orifice.