Portugal’s answer to the heroin crisis

Why Philadelphia is looking to Europe for help with America’s worst big-city drug epidemic
The Philadelphia Inquirer (US)
Wednesday, April 22, 2020

portugal dcr vanAfter years of mounting overdoses, HIV infections and rampant heroin addiction, Portugal opted in 2001 for a daring experiment: The country decriminalized the use of all drugs. It was an unprecedented move, and one that still garners worldwide attention, including from health-care professionals and government officials looking for answers to their hometown drug crises. Portugal’s policy shift wasn’t instituted without controversy. In a deeply Catholic country of only 10 million — just a generation removed from the yoke of a repressive fascist government — stigma toward drug users runs high. Critics raised fears that the policy would increase addiction and turn the country into a haven for drug users.