Ireland should follow Portugal and decriminalise personal drug use, says addiction specialist

Ireland needs to follow Portugal's example when it comes to drugs according to a leading medic.

Addiction specialist Dr Garrett McGovren says the Portuguese who decriminalised drug use nearly 20 years ago have the lowest number of fatal overdoses in Europe.

The Government yesterday launched a public consultation to find out the general opinion on our own laws.

It is considering scrapping criminal convictions for people caught with drugs for their own use.

Addiction specialist Dr Garrett McGovren

Dr McGovren thinks it is time for a change.

He said: "You know, we've been doing the same old thing for many many years, and it doesn't seem to be very effective, it's costing an awful lot of money.

"I think we need a new approach and the Portuguese model in terms of decriminalising drugs for personal use doesn't result in an increase in drug use, and it actually captures the people who need treatment."

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