Portugal began a radical experiment by decriminalizing all drugs in 2001, as a way of reducing social harm and getting addicts into treatment. Has it worked? What has been learned?
According to the European Monitoring Center for Drug and Drug Addiction, Portugal now has only six overdose deaths each year per million people – compared to 60 deaths per million in the U.K.
HIV infections and drug-related crime are also down. But many challenges still exist.
For a recent, lengthy analysis of the Portuguese experience with drug decriminalization, published in The Guardian, click here.