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Portugal: Ten Years After Decriminalization, Drug Abuse Down by HALF

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http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/07/05/ten-years-after-decriminalization-drug-abuse-down-by-half-in-portugal/



 



7/05/2011 @ 3:09PM |204,864 views



 



Ten Years After Decriminalization, Drug Abuse Down by Half in Portugal



 



Drug warriors often contend that drug use would skyrocket if we were to legalize or decriminalize drugs in the United States. Fortunately, we have a real-world example of the actual effects of ending the violent, expensive War on Drugs and replacing it with a system of treatment for problem users and addicts.



 



Ten years ago, Portugal decriminalized all drugs. One decade after this unprecedented experiment, drug abuse is down by half:



 



 



Quote:


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.”






 



 



Many of these innovative treatment procedures would not have emerged if addicts had continued to be arrested and locked up rather than treated by medical experts and psychologists. Currently 40,000 people in Portugal are being treated for drug abuse. This is a far cheaper, far more humane way to tackle the problem. Rather than locking up 100,000 criminals, the Portuguese are working to cure 40,000 patients and fine-tuning a whole new canon of drug treatment knowledge at the same time.



 



None of this is possible when waging a war.


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Portugal is about the size of what, New Jersey?

 

Who is controlling the dispensing of the drugs, the government? :dismay:

 

I wonder how the system will work when they suffer their economic collapse.

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What we're doing for the past forty years has been a monumental failure. We wasted over a trillion dollars anf jailed tens of millions of Americans and drugs are more prevalent than ever. All these laws do are create criminals for victimless crimes and make black market dealers rich. Hollands drug use went down with de facto legalization. Regulate the soft drugs as we do wine or beer. The model is in place.

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All Regulate the soft drugs as we do wine or beer. The model is in place.

 

Nice model. :kook: How many people were killed or maimed in drunk driving accidents last year. How much productivity was lost to drunken workers. How many families destroyed?

 

 

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Nice model. :kook: How many people were killed or maimed in drunk driving accidents last year. How much productivity was lost to drunken workers. How many families destroyed?

 

Yet drinking is legal and pot isn't.

 

Let me ask you this, and it's a very simple question.

 

Is the war on drugs working?

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Well, it's not like you can't easily buy drugs in this country as it is. Very few people are stopping from taking drugs because they can't find any.

 

Hell, I've never bought a bag of cocaine in my entire life, and I bet I could have one in hand by the end of the day if I wanted.

 

Something's got to give. We are broke and the war on drugs is just another way of lighting our taxpayer cash on fire.

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Yet drinking is legal and pot isn't.

Let me ask you this, and it's a very simple question.

Is the war on drugs working?

 

Seems legislators are just ignoring the history of the prohibition era, the war on booze never worked either.

 

For you rugged individualists, that era was classic nanny statism on a national scale, and this current war has spawned and funded an almost civil war in Mexico, and a bloody war on the streets in downtowns all over the USA.

 

The war on drugs is a classic example of the saying, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and it has spawned a moral bankruptcy in all it touches.

 

It has funded drug barons with private armies through to financing the arming of criminals in our streets.

 

It has filled our jails, depleting our treasury to keep them incarcerated.

 

It needs to be ended, and sooner than later.

 

Since legalization will be impossible, decriminalization may prove more palatable and doable in the short term.

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I predict that neuroscience and pharmocology will combine to arrest the scourge of drug addiciton:

 

From Drug Addiciton Treatment:

 

 

Posted on June 3, 2010

 

Researchers unveiled the first opioid-blocking, extended-release injectable suspension naltrexone (XR NTX) at the 2010 American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting held from May 22–26, 2010 in New Orleans. The pharmaceutical company Alkermes, Inc. discussed new data on XR NTX gathered from company-sponsored studies that revealed its significant potential for combating alcohol and opioid addiction. Alkermes recently submitted a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval of XR NTX’s commercial use in the treatment of opioid dependence. Currently, XR NTX is commercially available for the treatment of alcohol dependence as the once-daily pill Vivitrol® by Alkermes since being approved by the FDA in 2006. If the injectable form of XR NTX gains approval, it will become the first non-addictive, non-narcotic drug agent available in a once-monthly prescription.

 

 

During the meeting, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Dr. Nora Volkow, encouraged researchers to approach their studies on the treatment for addiction by investigating the underlying brain circuitry that allows the potential for relapse in substance abusers. Four critical investigations at the meeting presented data on the benefits and potential of XR NTX, including suppressing alcohol and heroin cravings. XR NTX helps block opioid receptors in the brain, thereby reducing the craving for alcohol or opioids. XR NTX combats addiction by working on a biological level as it changes brain circuitry and responses to cues, rather than temporarily repressing the need to drink or smoke.

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I predict that neuroscience and pharmocology will combine to arrest the scourge of drug addiciton:

 

I predict it will never, whether it's booze, drugs or religion, humankind needs it alternative to the mundanity of life.

 

 

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The 'war' on drugs has long morphed into a Big Business, a self-perpetuating monstrosity which dwells on hunting down relatively harmless marijuana, rather than addressing the more dangerous harder drugs, and their accompanying ultra-violent drug cartels. Not to mention the ever-increasing crack down on our American civil liberties in the name of the drug 'war. :kook:

 

But, truth be told, Holland, which is often used by drug legalization proponents as a shining example, has recently begun to crack down on its drugs allowed areas. Too much low life'ism, even for them.

 

But surely a middle ground can be found. Incarceration certainly hasn't proven itself to be the answer.

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Nice model. :kook: How many people were killed or maimed in drunk driving accidents last year. How much productivity was lost to drunken workers. How many families destroyed?

 

So, do you want alcohol prohibition back?:kook: Do you see people going blind or dying from poison moonshine? With rights come responsibilities. Prohibition didn't work. According to the Ken Burns series on Prohibition, after Prohibition was repealed, it became harder to get a drink. By not legalizing it, you place total control of drugs into the hands of Black Market Dealers and for that you get your rights infringed upon, systemically!.

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The 'war' on drugs has long morphed into a Big Business, a self-perpetuating monstrosity which dwells on hunting down relatively harmless marijuana, rather than addressing the more dangerous harder drugs, and their accompanying ultra-violent drug cartels. Not to mention the ever-increasing crack down on our American civil liberties in the name of the drug 'war. :kook:

But, truth be told, Holland, which is often used by drug legalization proponents as a shining example, has recently begun to crack down on its drugs allowed areas. Too much low life'ism, even for them.

But surely a middle ground can be found. Incarceration certainly hasn't proven itself to be the answer.

 

Decriminalize possession for personal use, let docs prescribe, pharmacies dispense and the government tax.

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I predict that neuroscience and pharmocology will combine to arrest the scourge of drug addiciton:

From Drug Addiciton Treatment:

Posted on June 3, 2010

Researchers unveiled the first opioid-blocking, extended-release injectable suspension naltrexone (XR NTX) at the 2010 American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting held from May 22–26, 2010 in New Orleans. The pharmaceutical company Alkermes, Inc. discussed new data on XR NTX gathered from company-sponsored studies that revealed its significant potential for combating alcohol and opioid addiction. Alkermes recently submitted a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval of XR NTX’s commercial use in the treatment of opioid dependence. Currently, XR NTX is commercially available for the treatment of alcohol dependence as the once-daily pill Vivitrol® by Alkermes since being approved by the FDA in 2006. If the injectable form of XR NTX gains approval, it will become the first non-addictive, non-narcotic drug agent available in a once-monthly prescription.

During the meeting, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Dr. Nora Volkow, encouraged researchers to approach their studies on the treatment for addiction by investigating the underlying brain circuitry that allows the potential for relapse in substance abusers. Four critical investigations at the meeting presented data on the benefits and potential of XR NTX, including suppressing alcohol and heroin cravings. XR NTX helps block opioid receptors in the brain, thereby reducing the craving for alcohol or opioids. XR NTX combats addiction by working on a biological level as it changes brain circuitry and responses to cues, rather than temporarily repressing the need to drink or smoke.

 

Most people who use substances, don't abuse them. The Prohibitionists try to peddle any use is abuse, while taking oodles of cash from the Alcoholic Beverage Industry..

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