Portugal Approves Supervised Drug Injection Sites, Aims To Establish Prison Needle-Exchange Programs by 2008
The Portuguese government on Thursday approved the establishment of community sites where injection drug users can inject themselves under supervision, and new measures call for needle-exchange programs to be installed in prisons by 2008, AFP/Today Online reports. Advocates of injection sites say such services can help prevent needle-sharing, which can help spread HIV. The measures -- which also call for increased methadone use to treat heroin addicts -- are part of a broader program aimed at "reduc[ing] the consumption of drugs and diminish[ing] their harmful social and health effects," according to a statement from the government. Portugal in 2000 decriminalized drug use, but selling drugs remains illegal, according to AFP/Today Online (AFP/Today Online, 8/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.