In 2016 New Jersey experienced 2,221 overdoses to Portugal’s 27 despite having similar sized populations. New Jersey is projected to break 3,000 fatal overdoses in 2018.
Dr. João Goulão, Portugal’s Drug Czar, will be making stops in New Jersey detailing how his country’s drug decriminalization policy has greatly reduced overdose deaths and improved other health outcomes.
The visit was orchestrated by Help Not Handcuffs, Inc, a New Jersey-based nonprofit specializing in drug reform.
Nearly twenty years ago while dealing with its own heroin epidemic, Portugal decriminalized all drugs in order to address drug use as a human rights and health issue rather than a criminal issue.
Since then, Portugal has achieved a drug-induced death rate five times lower than the European Union average, a 95% reduction in drug-related HIV infections, and lower adult drug use.
In 2016 New Jersey experienced 2,221 overdoses to Portugal’s 27 despite having similar-sized populations. New Jersey is projected to break 3,000 fatal overdoses in 2018.
“I will be going to listen and learn,” Mayor John Moor said. “I think it is interesting to how a country that had similar issues we are currently facing seemed to reduce their problems by relaxing legislation.”
“If you care about reducing overdoses while improving health and human rights, not attending is not an option, because Portugal’s policy achieved these goals while New Jersey’s policies continually fail our communities”, said Randy Thompson, CEO of Help Not Handcuffs, Inc.
Portuguese Drug Czar, Dr. Goulão’s appearances on Friday includes:
November 2nd – “Symposium on Opioid Addiction” Rutgers School of Social Work – 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Alexander Library Pane Room 169 College AvenueNew Brunswick, NJ 08901….RSVP Mandatory to firstname.lastname@example.org
November 2nd – “Advocates Round Table with Mayor John B. Moor” Parlor Gallery – 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 717 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ 07712.
Food and drink will be provided, RSVP to Info@HelpNotHandcuffs.org. Mandatory for admission.
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