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Drug prohibition is literally killing us

Heroin related overdose deaths have quadrupled in the United States since 2002, a new report finds. In Portugal the overdose rate plummetted during about the same period.

What was the difference between these two countries during roughly the same time frame?

In Portugal, they decriminalized personal drug possession in 2001. In the United States, the war on drugs has never stopped raging. As Johan Hari explains in his must-read book on the drug war, Chasing the Scream, "In the United States, 90% of the money spent on drug policy goes to policing and punishment, with 10% going to treatment and prevention. In Portugal, the ratio is the exact opposite."

© 2021 ACLU of Massachusetts.