Thursday, January 07, 2010

Swiss drug policies: Change (and lack of change!) over the years:

An article appeared in the Tages-Anzeiger (Zurich) 31 Dec 09. It describes how Switzerland became the first country in the world - 15 years ago - to introduce heroin for the treatment of opiate addiction, and highlights events culminating in a law that took effect Jan 1 firmly and formally establishing the legality of what has become longstanding practice (there are now 22 heroin-assisted facilities in the country). Particularly fascinating is the fact that for years there had been strong and very widespread support for legalizing heroin - assisted treatment (in a Nov. 2008 referendum 68% of Swiss voters approved) - but passage was repeatedly blocked because the proposed law also had a provision calling for decriminalization of marijuana possession. The article states that parliamentary debate was resumed and the bill quite promptly passed after all reference to cannabis had been removed.

Another interesting (and, to some, no doubt very distressing!)note: the report ends by stating, "Pursuant to the [new] law the goal of [Swiss] drug strategies is abstinence." Go figure!

Article can be accessed in German: by clicking here


At 1:35 AM, Anonymous Addiction Treatment said...

Thanks for the link to the article. Quite interesting information on the introduction of heroin for the purpose of treatment.
Thanks for sharing.

At 2:04 AM, Anonymous substance abuse said...

Use of heroin for treatment of patients with terminal diseases like cancer to alleviate the pain.

At 7:20 AM, Anonymous neil said...

very informative article

At 5:25 AM, Blogger pkpraveen said...

agree drug policies change a lot. Drug poilcies should be uniform throughout the world.


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