Dr João Goulão is the Director-General of The General-Directorate for Intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (SICAD), a body under the Ministry of Health in Portugal. SICAD’s main responsibility is to promote the reduction of the use of licit and illicit substances and the decrease of addictions across Portugal. SICAD coordinates treatment, reintegration and prevention strategies across different state institutions and NGOs, supports harm reduction mechanisms and collects the latest information and statistical data for annual submission at the Portuguese Parliament and to the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).
Dr. Goulão was originally a family doctor and has become the “face” of Portugal’s drug policy reform movement. He was part of the expert panel that developed the initial recommendations for the 1999 Strategy, which included the decriminalization of drugs. He graduated from the University of Lisbon’s Faculty of Medicine in 1978, and became a general practitioner in the Algarve region in 1983. He joined the Taipas Centre in Lisbon for training, when it was established in 1987 by the Portuguese Ministry of Health for the treatment, recovery and social reintegration of drug addicts. In 1997, he became the national director of the network of drug treatment centres in Portugal. He is currently the Portuguese representative in the Management Board of EMCDDA, also based in Lisbon, which he chaired from 2010 to 2015.
New Approach to Drug Policy -The Portuguese Experience
It’s more than just decriminalization