Portugal decriminalised drugs 14 years ago – and now hardly anyone dies from overdosing

Portugal decriminalised the use of all drugs in 2001. Weed, cocaine, heroin, you name it — Portugal decided to treat possession and use of small quantities of these drugs as a public health issue, not a criminal one. The drugs were still illegal, of course. But now getting caught with them meant a small fine and maybe a referral to a treatment program — not jail time and a criminal record.

Among Portuguese adults, there are 3 drug overdose deaths for every 1,000,000 citizens. Comparable numbers in other countries range from 10.2 per million in the Netherlands to 44.6 per million in the UK, all the way up to 126.8 per million in Estonia. The EU average is 17.3 per million.

Read more  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/portugal-decriminalised-drugs-14-years-ago–and-now-hardly-anyone-dies-from-overdosing-10301780.html