It is encouraging to see the Swiss have a sensible and realistic approach to substance misuse policy.
Christoph Buerki, a doctor at the clinic in Berne, which has 210 patients, said: “Their average age is 40 now and they have an average of 13 years of heroin addiction before they enter this programme. Basically we are aiming at a group of people where everything else has failed. We have medicalised heroin in Switzerland. It has the image of an ugly illness, and that is why, I think, numbers of new addicts are falling.”
This is the right approach.
The 'War on Drugs' is a colossal failure and we need a new approach in the UK and the US.