The main priority established by the current national plan in the area of risk and harm reduction is to promote and develop the existing risk and harm reduction intervention model and adapt it to the evolving drug use phenomenon by promoting effective and integrated responses. The governance and implementation of harm reduction services and interventions occur within the framework of the Operational Plan of Integrated Responses (PORI). This plan, managed by the General-Directorate for Intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (SICAD), relies on the diagnosis made by the regional authorities of health, after which intervention needs are identified in specific territories. While non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were instrumental in the creation of an infrastructure of health and social service providers under Decree Law 183/2001, harm reduction has become an integrated part of the services provided by the national network of health service providers.
A nationwide network of harm reduction programmes and structures, including needle and syringe exchange programmes, low-threshold substitution programmes, drop-in centres/shelters, refuges, contact units and outreach teams, has been consolidated in areas of intensive drug use with the aim of preventing drug-related risks such as infectious diseases, social exclusion and crime.
The National Commission for the Fight Against AIDS (Comissão Nacional de Luta Contra a SIDA), in cooperation with the National Association of Pharmacies (Associação Nacional de Farmácias), implements the national needle and syringe programme, Say No to a Used Syringe. The programme involves pharmacies, primary care health centres and NGOs, and includes several mobile units. Approximately 55 million syringes have been distributed under this needle and syringe programme between its launch in October 1993 and December 2016.
An increasing trend in the number of syringes dispensed has been observed in the recent years, with more than 1.35 million syringes distributed in 2016.
Treatment for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and hepatitis B and C virus infections is included in the range of services provided by the National Health Service of Portugal and is available free of charge.
|Country||Needle and syringe programmes||Take-home naloxone programmes||Drug consumption rooms||Heroin-assisted treatment|