Portugal drug law show results ten years on: Health experts in Portugal said Friday that Portugal’s decision 10 years ago to decriminalise drug use and treat addicts rather than punishing them is an experiment that has worked.
“There is no doubt that the phenomenon of addiction is in decline in Portugal,” said Joao Goulao, President of the Institute of Drugs and Drugs Addiction, a press conference to mark the 10th anniversary of the law.
The number of addicts considered “problematic” — those who repeatedly use “hard” drugs and intravenous users — had fallen by half since the early 1990s, when the figure was estimated at around 100,000 people, Goulao said.
Other factors had also played their part however, Goulao, a medical doctor added.
“This development can not only be attributed to decriminalisation but to a confluence of treatment and risk reduction policies.”
Portugal’s holistic approach had also led to a “spectacular” reduction in the number of infections among intravenous users and a significant drop in drug-related crimes, he added.
A law that became active on July 1, 2001 did not legalise drug use, but forced users caught with banned substances to appear in front of special addiction panels rather than in a criminal court.
The panels composed of psychologists, judges and social workers recommended action based on the specifics of each case.
Since then, government panels have recommended a response based largely on whether the individual is an occasional drug user or an addict.
Of the nearly 40,000 people currently being treated, “the vast majority of problematic users are today supported by a system that does not treat them as delinquents but as sick people,” Goulao said.
- Junkie in reference to a person suffering from addiction
- Clean in reference to someone testing negative in a drug test
- Pure in reference to the state of being drug-free
Are all HARMFUL, as they suggest that people struggling with addiction are dirty and inferior, and in doing so, perpetuate stigmas against individuals who are no less deserving of your respect simply because they happen to have an illness.
I’m certainly not anti-vaccines or prescription meds (in fact, I’m on anti-anxiety/anti-depressants myself), but it’s ridiculous how pot is considered Teh Big Evul when plenty of legal pharmaceuticals out there can have more dangerous side-effects and addiction risks.
It’s not like a cold or the flu or a bad heartbreak. You never really heal, it’s never fully gone. Everything is either chaotic and intense or numb, dull. Whether it’s the drugs or the booze or the cutting or the careless sex, the mental illness takes over your entire life until all you have is what you’re using to try and feel alive. But you’re not.
And you wonder if you’ll ever really feel alive again.
Uh-oh. Looks like Florida’s mandatory drug testing for taxpayers is costing the taxpayers more than they’re actually saving.
Governor Rick Scott had praised the program when he signed it June 1st of this year, proclaiming, “It’s the right thing for citizens of this state that need public assistance. We don’t want to waste tax dollars.”
However, the numbers are not adding up. From WFTV:
Just six weeks after Florida began drug testing welfare applicants, WFTV uncovered numbers which show that the program is already costing Central Florida taxpayers more than it saves. 9 Investigates’ reporter George Spencer found very few applicants are testing positive for drugs. The Department of Central Florida’s (DCF) region tested 40 applicants and only two tested positive for drugs, officials said. One of the tests is being appealed.
Governor Rick Scott said the program would save money. Critics said it already looks like a boondoggle. “We have a diminishing amount of returns for our tax dollars. Do we want out governor throwing our precious tax dollars into a program that has already been proven not to work?” Derek Brett of the ACLU said.
DCF said it has been referring applicants to clinics where drug screenings cost between $30 and $35. The applicant pays for the test and the state reimburses [the applicant] if they test negative. Therefore, the 38 applicants in the Central Florida area, who tested negative, were reimbursed at least $30 each and cost taxpayers $1,140. Meanwhile, the state is saving less than $240 a month by refusing benefits to those two applicants who tested positive.
I’m not at all shocked by this, and the ACLU is planning to file suit. Oh, and they’re also saying to Rick Scott: “We told you so.” Literally.
The sad part? These measures scare people off from applying for benefits. If people test positive for drugs, it means two things: Either they ingested that substance at least once, and maybe only once, within the testing window - or it’s a false positive. Here’s a short list of things that can cause a false positive:
- Poppy seeds: (Opioids)
- Cold medications: (amphetamines)
- Wellbutrin: (amphetamines)
- Tricyclic antidepressants: (amphetamines)
- Zoloft: (benzodiazepine)
- Daypro: (benzodiazepine)
- Quinolone antibiotic drugs: (Opioids)
- Sustiva (prescribed for HIV): (cannabinoids)
- Ibuprofen: (cannabinoids, barbiturates, phencyclidine [PCP])
- Foods made with hemp and hemp oil: (cannabinoids)
- Effexor: (phencyclidine)
- Vicks Inhalers: (methamphetamines)
- Zantac: (amphetamines)
- Ultram: (phencyclidine)
- Over-the-counter cough medicine containing dextromethorphan: (Opioids)
Huh. So drug tests aren’t infallible and they’re not saving Florida any money? As the ACLU points out, Florida should have learned this 10 years ago, when they tried this program and had to dump it for cost reasons.
I’ll indulge the governor for a moment, though. Let’s say there’s parents who have used some kind of drugs in the period before the test. Why deprive children of quite possibly the only support they’ll receive because their parent(s) may or may not have used drugs voluntarily or involuntarily in the testing period? I’m not comfortable with that thought, and any other person with an iota of compassion should not be thrilled with that proposition either.
Things that happen when you stereotype people in poverty…
Also the fact that people are concerned that people with addictions might use THEIR MONEYY!11!!1 (Yeah only like literally lessthan 1% of yourtaxes even go to welfare anyways so wtf) and might be ~abusing the system~ while they don’t bat an eye at the fact that GE, a multimillion dollar coporation paid ZERO taxes, alongside multiple other corpoartions, that their tax money was used to bail OUT corpoartions that now are still not paying their taxes, or the myriad of other bullshit places tax money goes to is veryworrying.
Let the rich people get bail out money while they contribute 0 cents to the U.S Government despite making countless more than the average person, BUT IF THE CHILD OF A DRUG ADDICT HAS SOMETHING TO EAT BECAUSE THE PARENT IS ON WELFARE, THEN THE WORLD ENDS.
This. Motherfucking this.
(This issue really pisses me off. Can you tell?)
MARCY DOLIN: I’m lying on my bed, smoking a joint. I smoke about eight a day, and eat a marijuana cookie before I go to sleep at night. I like the peanut-butter ones. I’ve been using marijuana for about 35 years, ever since I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. It takes the pain and muscle spasms away. Without it, I would be living on morphine and other horrible drugs. I couldn’t do that to my family. That’s no life, and I would have ended it. That’s the truth. I used to take a drug called Neurontin, and I just never stopped crying. I was in a fog, totally depressed. I told my doctor that I was going back to just marijuana; he said he would have me arrested if he could. What are they going to do? I’m 71 years old. Are they going to put me in jail? I’m not hurting anybody. It’s just here in my own house.
I HATE when people say bad things about a sexual orientation -.- when i told a friend of mine that i was bisexual, he didn’t talk to me for weeks and he said there’s no such thing, that you’re either attracted to one or the other. well if you feel that way, keep it to yourself. It really, really…
A British court has ruled that activists protesting an animal testing lab are banned from wearing clothing stained in fake blood.
Activists from Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty and the National Anti-Vivisection Alliance are protesting Harlan Laboratories…
Fine. Red paint or ketchup it is, then.
You’re not better than someone who does do drugs
You’re just different
So, stop it
We all have our vices