Universiteit Leiden

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Institutions for Conflict Resolution (COI)

Drug use and harm reduction policies

Harm reduction in practice: a comparative analysis of the Dutch and Brazilian approach towards drug users.

In 1976, the Netherlands officially incorporated harm reduction as its national policy to handle drug use. In the following decades, this approach has influenced many other nations, including Brazil, who adopted the same strategy through a federal law in 2006. Despite the theoretical commitment to harm reduction, the extent, and the manner, to which it has been operationalised in practice by the public agents, first in contact with drug users, of each country is not yet certain. Similarly, the impact of such an approach on the users themselves is not clear, therefore the goal of this project is to evaluate whether harm reduction is indeed the most suitable strategy to deal with the harmful (individual and social) repercussions of addiction.

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