The Ranting Kraut

19.3.2006 – 27.9.2010

Legalize it!

Posted by rantingkraut on June 4, 2006

The Independent of 2 June 2006 reported that legal heroin prescriptions in Zürich had led to a fall in the number of heroin addicts after they became available from 1991. The source for this is a recent article in The Lancet:

“Incidence of heroin use rose steeply, starting with about 80 people in 1975, culminating in 1990 with 850 new users, and declining substantially to about 150 users in 2002.
(…)
The harm reduction policy of Switzerland and its emphasis on the medicalisation of the heroin problem seems to have contributed to the image of heroin as unattractive for young people.”

Carlos Nordt and Rudolf Stohler (2006) “Incidence of heroin use in Zurich, Switzerland: a treatment case register analysis” The Lancet Vol.367, No. 9525

I find it surprising that the number of addicts actually fell. I always expected the main benefit of such a scheme to be in producing secondary effects such as eroding the profits of organised crime or reducing drug related theft. Anyway, this looks better still.

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One Response to “Legalize it!”

  1. […] be able to pay the cost of their treatment. The pragmatic option in this case may simply be to do what the Swiss did and give them their Heroin for free [2]. Not because they have a moral right to receiving it, but […]

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