Portugal lowers drug use by sending addicts to therapy instead of jail
A study by the British Journal of Criminology found that Portugal’s drug has decreased nearly 50% since the country started treating their addicts.26 Feb 2015
When Portugal’s war on drugs failed, the country was left with an increasing number of users. Portugal’s top drug cop Joao Figueira had a unique view on the problem and in 2000 he warned that more crime equated to more addicts. He pushed for a radically different approach.
Photo source: New York Times.
Portugal discovered the most important aspect of their new plan was to give addicts secure housing and subsidized jobs. This gave the addicts' life purpose and a reason to put down the needle. They also offered treatment programs.
The results have been overwhelmingly positive. A study by the British Journal of Criminology found that Portugal’s drug has decreased nearly 50% since the country started treating their addicts. In fact, the initiative has been so successful that few have any desire to return to the old system.