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 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.

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.

Heroin-Assisted 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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