Disease and Mortality Trends in Portugal Since Decriminalization

"In 1999, a few years prior to decriminalization, Portugal had the highest number of drug-related AIDS cases in the European Union and the second highest prevalence of HIV among drug-infected users.127 The number of drug-related AIDS cases was also increasing, even though the number was decreasing in neighboring France, Spain, and Italy.128 Research suggests that drug-related disease has declined in Portugal after decriminalization. Incidences of HIV and AIDS among drug users declined substantially.129 The number of tracked cases of Hepatitis C and B in treatment centers also declined, despite the fact that many more drug users sought treatment after decriminalization took effect.130
"Drug-related mortality in Portugal has also declined since decriminalization. During the 1990s, the number of drug-related deaths multiplied tenfold.131 Between 1999 and 2003, however, there was a significant drop in drug-related deaths within the country.132 Drug policy experts credit this decline to the increasing number of heroin users who entered substitution treatment programs after decriminalization.133"

Source: 

Woods, Jordan Blair, "A Decade after Drug Decriminalization: What can the United States learn from the Portugese Model?" University of the District of Columbia Law Review (Washington, DC: The University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law, 2011) Volume 15, Number 1, pp. 20-21.
http://www.udclawreview.com/wp...

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