Headline September 28, 2017/ ''' PORTUGAL'S DRUGS PUMMELING '''


AT AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION -weaving through electronic measures, 
and electronic counter measures, Zilli, as masterful as ever, chairs a meeting:

*The Agenda of the meeting  : How to Bring Proud Pakistan's, drug problem at the educational institutions,......  *under growing coverage and state's firm control*. 

Student DilawarKPK, makes a professional presentation : slides, videos, interviews...............and snippets from crime and sufferings and tragedies The team is tearfully spellbound. 

It's a one way street. No one may, never and ever, be truly able to help you. The world can only keep you alive, somehow.

Elsewhere, though, just 4,330 aerial nautical miles away, master researcher and writer Nicholas Kristof sets his own pace and illuminating brilliance......
LISBON : On a broken down set of steps, a 37 year old fisherman named Mario mixed heroine and cocaine and carefully prepared a hypodermic needle. 

''It's hard to find a vein,'' he said, but he finally found one in his forearm and injected himself with the brown liquid. Blood trickled from his arm and pooled on the step, but he was oblivious.

''Are you O.K.?''  Rita Lopes, a psychologist working for an outreach program called Crecer, asked him. 

''You're not taking too much?'' Lopes monitors Portuguese heroin users like Mario, gently encourages them to try to quit and gives them clean hypodermics to prevent the spread of AIDS.

Decades ago, the United States and Portugal both struggled with illicit drugs and took decisive action -in diametrically opposite directions. The U.S. cracked down vigorously spending billions of dollars incarcerating drug users.

In contrast, Portugal undertook a monumental experiment   : 
It decriminalized the use of all drugs in 2001, even heroin and cocaine, and unleashed a major public health campaign to tackle addiction.

Ever since in Portugal, drug addiction has been treated more as a medical challenge than as a criminal justice issue.

After more than 15 years, it's clear which approach worked better. The United States drug policy failed spectacularly, with about as many American dying last year of overdoses- around 64,000  -as were killed in the Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq Wars combined.

In contrast, Portugal may be winning the war on drugs -by ending it Today, the Health Ministry's estimates that only about 25,000 Portuguese use Heroin, down from 100,000  when the policy began.

The number of Portuguese dying from overdoses plunged from more than 85 per cent before rising a bit in the aftermath of the European economic crisis of recent years.

Even so, Portugal's drug mortality is the lowest in Western Europe -one-tenth the rate of Britain or Denmark -and about one-fiftieth the latest number for the U.S.

I came to Portugal to talk with the drug dealers, users and public health experts because this nation has become a model for the drug policy that is not only compassionate but also effective.

It's not a miracle or perfect solution. But if the U.S. could achieve Portugal's death rate from drugs, we would save one life every 10 minutes. We would save almost as many lives as we are now lost to guns and car accidents combined.

This issue is personal to me, because my hometown in rural Oregon has has been devastated by   methamphetamine and, more recently, by opioids. Classmates have died or had their livers destroyed, my seventh-grade crush is now homeless because of her addictions.

Many people are also coming to Portugal to explore what a smarter, health-driven approach might look like. Delegations from around the world are flying to Lisbon to study what is now referred to as the ''Portuguese Model.''

''This is the best thing to happen to this country,'' Mary Oliveira, 53, a former typesetter who become hooked on heroin 30 years ago, told me as he sipped from a paper cup of methadone supplied a mobile van.

The vans, a crucial link in Portugal's public health efforts, cruise Lisbon's streets every day of the year and supply users with free methadone, an opioid substitute, to stabilize their lives and enable them to hold jobs.           

Methadone and other drug treatment programs also exist in the U.S.. but are often expensive or difficult to access. The result is that only 10% of Americans struggling with addiction get treatment; in Portugal Treatment is standard.

''If I couldn't come here, I don't know if I'd still be alive,'' Oliveira told me. He said that he used to steal to support his habit but is now getting his life under control.

Two weeks ago, he began reducing his dose of methadone, and he hopes to wean himself off opioids completely.

YET PORTUGAL'S  approach is no  magic wand. 

''I'm homeless and jobless and addicted again,'' Miguel Fonseca, a 39-year old electrical mechanic, said as he held a lighter under a sheet of tin foil to turn a pinch of heroin powder into fumes that he smoked to get high.

He spends about a $100 a day on his habit, and in the past sometimes has turned to theft to support it.

Less than 100 feet away, Mario, the fisherman I began this story with, was injecting himself heroin and cocaine, and showing little interest  in Lope's health outreach.

He assured her that he wasn't overdosing and he scoffed at the idea of methadone as an alternative to heroin.

The Sad and suffering honor of this *tragic research post* continues. In the best traditions and sacrifice, ....... of suffering humanity.

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Parents, All Addicts, Students, Professors and Teachers of the World.

See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society and Twitter-!E-WOW!  -the Ecosystem 2011: 

''' Slums & Dumps '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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