Headline September 29, 2017/ ''' PORTUGAL'S DRUG-drugs-DRUG PANTHEON'S '''



A VERY RARE HEADLINE : Apostrophe's all the way................. See if you or the entire world  can figure it out. This to honor every single student in the world.

Zilli, Despite the writing on the wall being in neon letters ...  How then to build, in order to win a  *Global War* on drugs? 

*THE WORLD STUDENTS SOCIETY* belongs to every single..........  *Drug Addict*  in the world, just as it belongs to every single student in the world

*May Almighty God save you all, from the dark dungeons drugs*. Stay well and totally clear. God forbid, if hooked, the best the world can do, is to help you live a wretched life.

As masterly research filters in from India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Siri Lanka, Somalia, Burundi, Hong Kong, !WOW!  goes stagger.

But let me roll out the Green Carpet : In the case of  ''Proud Pakistan'' , let me say this to you all, very pointedly, very lovingly and very coaxingly, that :

Terrorism, and Extremism, unpleasant as they are have never truly presented an existential threat to Pakistan.   

Neither has come close to bringing down the edifices of the state and neither shows that capacity on current form nor is likely to in any foreseeable future.

But drugs kill six times more people in Proud Pakistan year, after year, and every single year. And that in a very *by and large * way holds good for most of the world.    

Health workers are not, nobody has or could truly wean himself off drugs and remain clean for any length of time. Drug Addict Brito remained clean for 10 years. But ''relapsed'' last year. 

Mario told me that he had started with heroin at age 14 -another man I met started at age of II-  and used it during the two years he had worked as fisherman in Massachusetts.

''Portuguese heroin isn't so high quality as American heroin,'' he complained. He then reached for a pipe and began to smoke cocaine.

Public Health workers like Lopes may never be able to get Mario to give up drugs., bur she can help keep him alive. Seeing Mario, his blood spattered on the steps from his constant injections, tottering off to get more drugs-

It was clear that the Portuguese model isn't as effective as we might hope -but it occurred to me that in America, Mario might well be dead.

Portugal switched to its health focus under the leadership of a socialist prime minister named Antonio Guterres, and if the name sounds familiar, it's because he's now the United Nations secretary general.

The new approach was a gamble. ''We were facing a devastating situation, so we had nothing to lose recalled Joao Castel Branco Goulao, a public health expert and the architect of the policy  [''our national hero''], as one Portuguese cabinet minister told me.

So let's be clear on what Portugal did and didn't do. First, it didn't change laws on drug trafficking. Dealers still go to prison. 

And it didn't quite legalize drug use, but rather made the purchase or possession of small quantities [up-to-a-10day supply] not a crime but an administrative offense, like a traffic ticket.

Offenders are summoned to a ''Discussion Commission''  hearing  -an informal meeting at a conference table with social workers who try to prevent a casual user from a from becoming addicted.

''How long have you been using?''  Nuno Capez, a sociologist and member of the Dissuasion Commission in Lisbon, asked a 26-year old factory worker caught with hashish.

They chatted, with Capaz trying to figure out of the young man was in danger of taking up harder drugs. The dissuasion board can fine offenders, but that's rare.

Mostly the strategy is to intervene with counselling or other assistance before an offender becomes addicted.

''My main concern is the health of the person.'' Capas explained afterward. ''Our approach is much closer to that of a medical doctor than to a court of law.''

The public health approach arises from an increasingly common view worldwide that addiction is a chronic disease, perhaps comparable to diabetes, and thus requires an medical care rather than punishment. 

After all we just don't tell diabetes, Get over it.

My sense from observing the hearings and talking to users is that the Discussion Commission isn't terribly effective at dissuading. How successful could a 15-minute session be?

Then again, criminal sanctions also seem ineffective at discouraging drug use; when scholars look at the impact of crackdowns, they find there's typically little impact.

In the first year or so of decriminalization in Portugal, there did seem to be the increase in drug use that critics had predicted.

But although the Portuguese model is often described simply as decriminalization, perhaps the most important part is a public health initiative to treat addiction and discourage narcotics use.

My take is that decriminalization on its own might have led to a modest increase in the use of hard drugs, but that this was swamped by public health efforts that led to an overall decline.

Portuguese.......... introduced targeted messaging to particular groups  -prostitutes, Ukrainians, high school drop outs, and so on.         

The Health Ministry dispatched workers into the most drug-infested neighborhoods to pass out needles and urge users to try methadone. At big concerts or similar gatherings, the Health Ministry  some times authorizes-

The testing of users drugs to advise them if they are safe, and then the return of the stash.

Decriminalization makes all this easier, because people no longer fear arrest, 

So how effective are the methadone vans and prevention campaigns? I thought I'd ask some real experts : drug dealers.

Sadly, and sorrowfully but objectively :  The Honor and Serving of the latest Operational Research  on Societies, Sufferings, Drugs, Abuse and Disasters continue.  

With respectful dedication...to the all the Drug Addicts,..... Leaders, Parents, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society and Twitter-!E-WOW!   -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Sand & Wand  '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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