This document presents a number of results and recommendations collected from “Austerity and the Portuguese Drug Policy Model: an exploratory study”, a research study undertaken by Agência Piaget para o Desenvolvimento (APDES) and co-financed by Open Society Foundations.

The main aim of this project was to monitor what is happening in the Drug phenomenon, in the lives of people who use drugs and in related public care services, while austerity measures are being applied in Portugal. The Portuguese Drug Policy Model has been under international attention and scrutiny and is frequently pointed out as a possible example to follow because of promising related indicators. Nevertheless, its complex and integrated nature of care services and programmes might be at risk because of the currently restrictive public policy framework. In that case, the Portuguese Model itself is also at risk. By losing its inner and idiosyncratic traits, it might become inadequate and inoperative. This project took place at a very critical and decisive moment, in which it was possible to understand in real time how comprehensive policies react to the undermining process of the resources to which they are anchored.

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