Intended for healthcare professionals


Drug decriminalisation in Portugal

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 10 September 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4554
  1. Paula Vale de Andrade, harm reduction coordinator, Harm Reduction Unit,
  2. Ludmila Carapinha, Harm Reduction Unit
  1. 1Institute on Drugs and Drug Addiction, 1700-036 Lisbon, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to: P Vale de Andrade paula.andrade{at}

    A sea change in Portuguese drug law has coincided with a marked reduction in harm, say Paula Vale de Andrade and Ludmila Carapinha

    In the late 1990s the subject of drug use in Portugal had come to the fore. In 2000, 131 people died from something related to drug use. The rate of drug injecting users among the general population was very high (2.3-6.4 per 1000 population aged 15 to 64 years old) as a result of a steady increase in the decade. The associated social and health problems were considerable. The number of notifications of new cases of HIV related …

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