Switzerland

Statistics and other data regarding drugs and drug policies in Switzerland, covering all areas including public safety/criminal justice, public health, harm reduction, treatment, and prevention

Heroin Assisted Treatment in Switzerland

"Based on its 1992 call for proposals, the Federal Office of Public Health authorized HAT trials in Zürich, Bern, Basel, and Geneva involving about 1,000 persons in the first instance (Bammer et al. 2003). Studies of HAT continued in Switzerland beyond the first trials. The full results of this work are beyond the scope of this paper, but what may be hundreds of peer-reviewed journal articles on the trials, as well as a book produced by FOPH (Rihs-Middel et al.

Swiss Harm Reduction Policy

Swiss Harm Reduction Policy: "The activities of the FOPH [Federal Office of Public Health] in the area of harm reduction up until now have proved to be effective and will be continued. Nevertheless, because of changes in the nature of the substances consumed, of the patterns of consumption and of the target groups, it is necessary to adapt the concept of harm reduction in order to take it on to a further stage.

Swiss National Drugs Policy and "Four Pillar Model"

Swiss National Drugs Policy and "Four Pillar Model": "The vision towards which the federal government is directing its efforts is a reduction in drug-related problems in Switzerland. This vision is to be implemented by achieving three goals:
"– reducing the consumption of drugs
"– reducing the negative consequences for drug users
"– reducing the negative consequences for society as a whole.

Drugs Policy Becomes Lower Priority in Switzerland

Drugs Policy Loses Importance and Cannabis Decriminalization Fails in Switzerland: "In 1995 the last open drug scene, the Letten in Zurich, was closed. After that the importance attached to the drug problem in opinion polls decreased. Today only a handful of people still regard the drug issue as one of our country’s most pressing problems. At the same time, the number of motions in Parliament connected with drugs policy has also fallen.

Swiss Heroin-Assisted Treatment

Swiss Heroin-Assisted Treatment: "It has emerged that heroin-assisted treatment is a suitable option only for a small proportion (currently 4%) of the 30,000 severely dependent injecting drug users. Heroin-assisted treatment is not a replacement for other substitution or abstinence-based therapies, but an important addition for those drug users that have so far fallen through the therapeutic net. This is confirmed by the relatively modest increase in patient numbers since the bar on the legally permitted maximum number was lifted."

Effectiveness and Benefits of Supervised Consumption Facilities

"Generally speaking, it is reasonable to conclude, on the basis of the available knowledge, that to a large extent DCFs [Drug Consumption Facilities] achieve the objectives set for them, and that the criticisms made of them are rarely justified. In fact, DCFs help to:
"• reduce risk behaviour likely to lead to the transmission of infectious diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS, among the population of the worst affected drug users;
"• reduce the incidence of fatal overdoses and, therefore, the mortality rate in this population;

Heroin-Assisted Treatment and Decline in Problematic Heroin Use

"Heroin misuse in Switzerland was characterised by a substantial decline in heroin incidence and by heroin users entering substitution treatment after a short time, but with a low cessation rate. There are different explanations for the sharp decline in incidence of problematic heroin use. According to Ditton and Frischer, such a steep decline in incidence of heroin use is caused by the quick slow down of the number of non-using friends who are prepared to become users in friendship chains.

Drug Treatment and Crime Reduction

Drug Treatment and Crime Reduction: "With respect to the group of those treated uninterruptedly during four years, a strong decrease in the incidence and prevalence rates of overall criminal implication for both intense and moderate offenders was found. As to the type of offense, similar diminutions were observed for all types of offenses related to the use or acquisition of drugs. Not surprisingly, the most pronounced drop was found for use/possession of heroin.

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