INPUD matiza los éxitos del enfoque portugués, indicando fallas en la ley y la práctica y su impacto sobre la vida de las personas usuarias. Más información, en inglés, está disponible abajo.


Since the adoption of Law 30/2000 in 2001, Portugal is frequently cited as the most important example of successful decriminalisation of drug use and of people who use drugs. Held up as the principal model of progressive drug policy, Portugal’s shift to a focus on health as opposed to criminalisation has seen a decline in morbidity and mortality related to drug use. Incidence of HIV amongst communities of people who use drugs has dropped considerably since the introduction of the 2001 law, from 1,016 cases in 2001 to 56 a decade later3 , where “there has been a large decline in the incidence of HIV and AIDS associated with injecting drugs in this risk group since 1999-2000 (though CASO argue that hepatitis C prevalence amongst people who inject drugs has remained high)”4 . Further to this, drug-related deaths have dropped considerably since 2001, from around 80 in 2001 to 16 in 2012.5 But interest in – and advocacy for – the Portuguese model of decriminalisation does not tend to go much further than analysing HIV prevalence, incidence, and drug-related deaths. Though these are, of course, extremely important and pressing considerations, the lived experiences, perspectives, and rights of the drug-using community are equally important, and these considerations are rarely taken into account in assessing the outcomes of decriminalisation in Portugal. Interactions with the state and the police, and issues of violence, social exclusion, stigmatisation, and discrimination, are often entirely omitted from discussion and analysis of decriminalisation in Portugal.