Zurich's 'Needle Park'

"Increasingly desperate to find a way to control crime and social and health harms associated with injection drug use, in 1987 the Zürich authorities allowed people who used illicit drugs to gather in a defined space near the main train station—the Platzspitz park, which sat on a small spit of land surrounded by the water of two converging rivers (Grob 1995). This space came to be known as the 'needle park.' Up to 1,000 drug users per day would come to the park at its peak (Grob 2010). Surveys conducted in the Platzspitz showed that by 1990 these included not only young people but significant numbers of older working and professional adults among whom heroin use had spread (Grob 1995)."


Csete, Joanne, "From the Mountaintops: What the World Can Learn from Drug Policy Change in Switzerland," Global Drug Policy Program (New York, NY: Open Society Foundations, May 2010), p. 14.