Thursday, August 31, 2006

Portugal Approves Drug Injection Sites

This article, published on the 30th August 2006 and from Medical News Today, reports that Portugal has approved drug injection sites where users can inject themselves under supervision. These initiatives are aimed at reducing the spread of disease by preventing needle-sharing, reducing drug deaths (through rapid medical response to overdoses), as well as reducing street nuisance from users and drug litter (needles etc). The efficacy of such schemes has been well established over a number of years in a number of countries including Holland, Germany, Canada and Australia, and there has been a series of high level reports, most recently from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2006) arguing for similat initiatives to be implemented in the UK. The UK Government has steadfastly refused for what can only be concluded are entirely political reasons. Tragically, while they prevaricate, injecting users will continue to die and become infected with HIV and hep C.

In 2000 Portugal de-facto decriminalised personal drug use but not the selling of drugs.

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