US Perception of Portugal's Decriminalization

(US Perception of Portugal's Decriminalization) "Portugal focuses much of its counternarcotic efforts on treatment and prevention. Drug use remains stable and below the EU average, despite decriminalization of personal drug use in 2001. 'Problem' drug use and HIV cases are referred to the Drug Addiction Dissuasion Commission, consisting of multi-disciplinary teams that assess users and decide the appropriate sanction and referral to educational or treatment programs.

Impact of Decriminalization

(Impact of Decriminalization) "The information we have presented adds to the current literature on the impacts of decriminalization. It disconfirms the hypothesis that decriminalization necessarily leads to increases in the most harmful forms of drug use. While small increases in drug use were reported by Portuguese adults, the regional context of this trend suggests that they were not produced solely by the 2001 decriminalization.

Effects of Decriminalization

(Effects of Decriminalization) "In the Portuguese case, the statistical indicators and key informant interviews that we have reviewed suggest that since decriminalization in July 2001, the following changes have occurred:
"• small increases in reported illicit drug use amongst adults;
"• reduced illicit drug use among problematic drug users and adolescents, at least since 2003;
"• reduced burden of drug offenders on the criminal justice system;
"• increased uptake of drug treatment;

Criminal Offenses in Portugal 2012, by Type of Drug

(Criminal Offenses in Portugal 2012, by Type of Drug) "Concerning the substances involved:
"• As in previous years, most cases involved only one drug (94%):
"• Mainly cannabis (78%) – 76 in 2011, 71% in 2010, 76% in 2009, 68% in 2008 and 64% in 2007;
"• 8% of these processes involved only heroin (9% in 2011, 14% in 2010, 11% in 2009, 14% in 2008 and 17% in 2007). 8% involved only cocaine (7%, 7%, 8%, 6% and 8%, respectively in 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007);

Decrease in Drug-Related Deaths in Portugal Post-Decriminalization

(Decrease in Drug-Related Deaths in Portugal Post-Decriminalization) "In absolute numbers, drug-related deaths from 2002 to 2006 for every prohibited substance have either declined significantly or remained constant compared with 2001. In 2000, for instance, the number of deaths from opiates (including heroin) was 281. That number has decreased steadily since decriminalization, to 133 in 2006 (see Figure 11).56

Lifetime Prevalence of Use in Portugal Compared with Other EU Nations

(Lifetime Prevalence of Use in Portugal Compared with Other EU Nations) "For the period 2001–2005, Portugal—for the 15–64 age group—has the absolute lowest lifetime prevalence rate for cannabis, the most used drug in the EU. Indeed, the majority of EU states have rates that are double and triple the rate for postdecriminalization Portugal (see Figures 15 and 16).68

Portugal's Decriminalization Law and Commissions for the Dissuasion of Drug Use (CDTs)

(Portugal's Decriminalization Law and Commissions for the Dissuasion of Drug Use (CDTs)) "The decriminalisation of possession and use of drugs, Law 30/2000 of 29 of November, is an operational instrument of objectives and policies to combat the use and abuse of drugs, and the promotion of public health, complementary to the strategies of other areas of intervention of IDT, I.P. in the field of demand reduction, representing as well a measure against social exclusion.

Laws and Penalties for Trafficking Offenses

(Laws and Penalties for Trafficking Offenses) "Drug traffic is defined by chapter III art. 21 of the Decree Law 15/93: ‘traffic and other illicit activities’. Producing, offering, selling, preparing or cultivating illicit drugs are, among others, the classic offences constituting drug traffic. It must be mentioned that the same article expressly excludes drug use offences foreseen by article 40 of the same decree law.

Drug Offense Numbers and Trends in Portugal 2012

Crime, Courts, and Prisons

(Drug Offense Numbers and Trends in Portugal 2012) "In 2012 concerning the administrative sanctions for drug use40, the 18 Commissions for the Dissuasion of Drug Addiction (CDT) based in every capital district of Continental Portugal instated 8,573 processes41, representing the highest value since 2001 and an increase of 24% in comparison to 2011, most of which were, again, referred by the Public Security Police (PSP), National Republican Guard (GNR) and Courts.

Harm and Risk Reduction Model in Portugal

(Harm and Risk Reduction Model in Portugal) "The Harm and Risk Reduction model implemented in Portugal, aims to propose, through integrated work, to users who are unable or unwilling to renounce drug use, help to reduce harm they cause themselves trough alternatives paths that lead to treatment facilities and therefore a gradual process of stabilization and organization, which may allow the recovery process.