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.
"The purpose of this legal change was the reduction of drug use and safeguard of the needs of individuals at preventive, health and therapeutic level. For this objective, Commissions for the Dissuasion of Drug Use (CDT) were created in each capital of district to develop a proximity work in the mediation between situations of use and the application of administrative sanctions (see chapter 9.2 for further developments).
"The CDT’s continued to play in 2011 an important role in the articulation with the CRI’s in the context of the preventive responses. There were a significant number of referrals to structures with responses in risk reduction and harm reduction, as well as regular contacts and meetings with the treatment facilities in the various districts, in a relation of proximity and positive articulation.
"In order to enhance the intra-ministerial articulation under the Health Ministry, regular referrals to structures within the Ministry, as health centers, hospitals and other integrated services were developed.
"Regarding the promotion of inter-ministerial coordination and as in 2011 were extinguished the Civil Governments, it was necessary to find alternative solutions to the functioning of CDT’s which wouldn’t prejudice the defendant and patients
"Under the same goal it should be noted the proximity work with the Public Ministry and Police Forces, maintaining also a regular joint working with partners in the field of social reintegration.
"To achieve these referrals is necessary to assess and evaluate the connexion that the individual has with the illicit substance consumed. This means trying to meet the actual needs of each individual, allowing for early detection of problem drug use and identification of dysfunctional behaviours, which involve greater risks, including escalation of consumption."

Source: 

Institute on Drugs and Drug Addiction, I.P., "2012 National Report (2011 data) to the EMCDDA by the Reitox National Focal Point: PORTUGAL: New Development, Trends and in-depth information on selected issues" (Lisbon, Portugal: 2012), pp. 113-114.
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