In Portugal, Drug Use Is Treated As A Medical Issue, Not A Crime

Gandelina Damião, 78, lost three children to heroin in the 1990s. She says she wishes methadone clinics and other government-sponsored drug treatment had been available to her children before they died.

Since 2001, possession or use of any drug has been treated as a health issue in Portugal. The country’s drug-induced death rate has plummeted to five times lower than the European Union average.

(Image credit: Lauren Frayer for NPR)