BDN publishes Glover’s op-ed about how Portugal addressed opioid crisis

The Bangor Daily News published Rob Glover’s op-ed “Look to Portugal to address the opioid crisis.” He advised the United States and Maine could learn from Portugal’s approach to its nightmarish situation in the 1990s, when roughly 1 in 10 individuals was using heroin. “Portugal’s prisons brimmed with those convicted of drug-related crime. High-risk behaviors produced public health crises, exploding HIV and hepatitis infection rates, homelessness and violent crime,” wrote the associate professor of political science and Honors at the University of Maine. Glover wrote that “bold decriminalization and harm reduction measures” have turned the opioid crisis there around. From 2001 to 2015, overdose deaths decreased by 80 percent. And from 1998 to 2011, the number of people in treatment increased by more than 60 percent. “Decriminalization did not increase drug consumption; Portugal’s prevalence of drug use is among the lowest in the European Union.”