A Public Health Approach as a Base for Drugs Policy: a main outcome of UNGASS 2016, by Goulão

Since the last United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS), the drug policy landscape has changed. Indeed, there is an ongoing international debate on a need for a change on the status quo, with some countries calling for a new approach, while voicing displeasure with the existing international control system.

The EU Member States have been very much engaged in the UNGASS process, defining its common position, with which Portugal aligns itself fully. As a contribution to the preparations for UNGASS 2016, Portugal has been sharing its approach, emphasizing the benefits to be gained from implementing policies to reduce the harm caused by drug consumption and to socially reintegrate drug dependent individuals. Read paper


*João Castel-Branco Goulão Portuguese National Coordinator for Drug Problems, Drug-Addictions and the Harmful Use of Alcohol. Visit SICAD (Serviço de Intervenção nos Comportamentos Aditivos e nas Dependências)

This paper was prepared for the EU-LAC Foundation’s Newsletter of March 2016 on the theme “The World Drug Problem”. This article gives the views of the author, and not the position of the EU-LAC Foundation.