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Since then, the number of heroin addicts, other drug addicts, drug-related overdose deaths, and HIV rates have all been in steady decline.Despite getting all the credit, however, most experts can agree that decriminalization isn’t what solved Portugal’s heroin problem; rather, it was the renewed emphasis on health.

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“While other societies in Europe had opportunities to learn how to deal with drugs, for us it was a very sudden process,” Goulão said.“It just spread silently in the beginning, without the big alarm in society.Autres Regards, Marseille, ), in several cases in an irregular situation.This leads to the second issue dealt with in this chapter—the direct and indirect links between prostitution, illegal activities, and crime.You don’t put a diabetic in jail because he’s sick,” said Goulão, who feels Portugal’s struggles with heroin addiction must be viewed within the context of its recent history.

Many Portuguese people awoke from a near 50-year reign of dictatorship in the mid 70s, eager to experiment with the things that had been forbidden for so long — chief among them were drugs.But just a few decades ago, Lisbon was a hub for illegal drug activity and a devastating heroin epidemic.HIV and hepatitis infections were rampant, and nearly everyone in the country was related to someone or knew someone addicted to heroin.Using examples from human trafficking for prostitution and classic street and indoor prostitution not associated with trafficking processes involving Eastern European and Brazilian women in Portugal, we want to show that the immigration-prostitution nexus does not necessarily involve trafficking and that prostitution is always a “constrained option” balanced between risk and (financial) opportunity taken within a framework of limited social and cultural features.If contemporary society can be considered a risk society with a global nature with dangers that cross national borders and result from transnational interdependence, as Beck (1998, 2006, 2009) puts it, prostitution, an activity that involves strong international links and close intersections with criminality, exposes immigrant prostitutes to various forms of risk, thereby creating a particular risk group out of them.It’s hard to see proof of that now, but Portugal’s history with drug abuse was certainly once troublesome.