Obligatory Admission of Drug Addicts into Rehab Rejected in Brazil

Brasilia, May 4 (Prensa Latina) A majority of delegates attending the International Congress on Drugs in this capital rejected today a bill establishing obligatory admission of drug addicts into clinics in Brazil.

The bill, awaiting discussion in Parliament, not only reinforces sanctions against drug traffickers and dealers, but suggests forced admission of addicts into rehab.

Representative of the Health Ministry of Brazil and coordinator of Mental Attention, Leon Garcia, said that involuntary admission means failure in the field of mental health.

“Any psychiatrist forcing a patient’s admission puts his own professional capacity into question and we cannot have a public policy based on failure,” he said.

Professor of criminal law in the University of Rio de Janeiro, Luciana Boiteux, described that policy as authoritarian and said that from the economic point of view it generates more spending rather than results.

According to official figures, at least five million of people take drugs regularly in Brazil.

Organizers of this event, attended by some 700 delegates, are seeking consensus to draft a document to be signed by participants against the said proposal of obligatory admission of drug addicts into clinics, which would be brought to Health Minister Alexander Padilha.

If the bill is approved without any change in Congress, besides obligatory admission there would be a registry of the chemically dependent, and prison sentences against drug traffickers would be increased from five to eight years.

rma/ls/lgo

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