(Decline in Incidence of Heroin Use) "The incidence of regular heroin use in the canton of Zurich started with about 80 new users in 1975, increased to 850 in 1990, and declined to 150 in 2002, and was thus reduced by 82%. Incidence peaked in 1990 at a similar high level to that ever reported in New South Wales, Australia, or in Italy. But only in Zurich has a decline by a factor of four in the number of new users of heroin been observed within a decade.
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
Prevalence of Use Among Young People in Switzerland: "Among young people, it is clear that more boys consume cannabis than girls (current consumers number 11.5% and 5.1% respectively). However, here consumption has stabilised and has recently begun to fall among school pupils.56 The number of young men who have experience of hard drugs has increased, whereas the number of young women with such experience has remained stable.57"
"The consumption of cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy has increased in the past ten years. At present, around 20% of the population over 15 years of age have consumed cannabis (24% of men and 15% of women). Experience of consumption has also risen in the case of cocaine (from 1.6% to 2.8%) and ecstasy (from 1.0% to 1.8%)."
"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: "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.
"Total drug arrests increased substantially in the 1990s and rose slightly in this decade. There was a large decline in heroin arrests (from 18,000 in 1997 to 6500 in 2006), compensated for by an increase in cannabis arrests. About 80 percent of arrests are for possession rather than dealing. Switzerland makes more arrests (per capita) for simple possession of cannabis than even the United States; comparative figures for a number of countries are provided in Figure S2.
"Drug-related deaths, most of which are a consequence of heroin dependence, have declined since the early 1990s, from 350-400 per annum to 150-200 per annum in this decade. HIV infections related to injecting drug use have also declined. This may reflect a modest decline in injecting, as opposed to smoking or snorting, of heroin, a decline in needle sharing among users because of Syringe Exchange Programs and the lower population of heroin dependent users."
"Heroin has been, at least until very recently, the principal drug problem for Switzerland, as for most Western European nations. In the mid-1990s Switzerland had a heroin addiction prevalence that may have been the highest in Europe. Switzerland’s heroin problem has been declining steadily over the last decade. The estimates of the size of the group are crude but show a reduction from about 29, 000 in 1994 to 23,000 in 2002, the most recent year for which an estimate is available.
"According to what is currently known, there are only a small number of dependent drug users who exclusively consume cocaine; most of those who are dependent on drugs consume heroin first and foremost. However, cocaine is increasingly consumed in addition to heroin.
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.