Portuguese drug policy is detailed in three strategic documents (National Strategy for the Fight Against Drugs 1999, National Plan Against Drugs and Drug Addiction 2005-12 and National Plan for the Reduction of Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies 2013-20). Launched in 1999 and envisaged as a long-term policy document, the National Strategy for the Fight Against Drugs defines the general objectives in the drug field. The strategy is built around eight principles, six objectives and 13 actions. The National Plan for the Reduction of Addictive Behaviours and Dependences (2013-20) builds on the 1999 strategy and takes a broad and integrated view of drug and addiction problems, including illicit drug use, new psychoactive substances (NPS), alcohol, prescription medications, doping and gambling. It is guided by five overarching objectives and is built around the two pillars of drug demand and drug supply reduction. It consists of two structural measures (the Operational Plan of Integrated Responses (PORI) and the referral network) and four transversal themes (information and research; training and communication; international relations and cooperation; and quality). The National Plan has defined a set of indicators and targets that are to be achieved during its timeframe (2013-20). Three management areas — coordination, budget and evaluation — support the plan’s implementation alongside two action plans covering the periods 2013-16 and 2017-20.
Like other European countries, Portugal evaluates its drug policy and strategy using routine indicator monitoring and specific research projects. In 2012, an external final evaluation was undertaken of the country’s National Plan Against Drugs and Drug Addictions (2005-12). An internal evaluation of the last action plan (2009-12) was also completed. Both evaluations contributed to the development of the National Plan for the Reduction of Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (2013-20), which expanded the scope of drug policy at the strategic planning level into the wider area of drugs and addiction strategies.
The National Coordination Structure for Drugs, Drug Addiction and Alcohol-Related Problems comprises several entities. The interministerial Council for Drugs, Drug Addiction and Alcohol-related Problems has the overall responsibility for the endorsement, coordination and evaluation of drug policy. It is chaired by the prime minister and consists of ministers from all relevant areas (currently 13) and the national drug coordinator. It is supported by the Interministerial Technical Commission, chaired by the national coordinator and composed of representatives designated by the different ministers. Its main function is to design, monitor and evaluate the National Plan and support action plans on illicit drugs, as well as evaluate the National Plan for Alcohol. The Directorate General for Intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (SICAD), attached to the Ministry of Health, supports the National Strategy’s implementation, through planning and evaluating demand reduction interventions. It is the national focal point to the EMCDDA and provides technical and administrative support to the Commissions for Dissuasion of Drug Addiction. The SICAD General-Director is the National Coordinator for Drugs, Drug Addiction and Alcohol-Related Problems.
Focus of national drug strategy documents: illicit drugs or broader
NBYear of data 2015. Strategies with broader focus may include, for example, licit drugs and other addictions.
The National Plan for the Reduction of Addictive Behaviours and Dependences (2013-20) addresses illicit drug use, new psychoactive substances, alcohol, prescription medications, doping and gambling