Methadone: A Flicker Of Light In The Dark

Methadone: A Flicker Of Light In The Dark

To provide a better understanding of the very important role methadone plays in the treatment of addiction.
 
HomeHome  PortalPortal  GalleryGallery  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  

Share | 
 

 Swiss drug policy should serve as model: experts

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
lilgirllost
Admin
avatar

Female
Number of posts : 863
Age : 44
Location : live in Louisiana but attend MMT clinic in Tx
Job/hobbies : COUPONING & GEOCACHING are my favorite past times but I also love reading and spending time with my husband and kids
Humor : I don't have a sense of humor.............
Registration date : 2009-05-25

PostSubject: Swiss drug policy should serve as model: experts   Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:52 am

Swiss drug policy should serve as model: experts


By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA | Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:02pm EDT

GENEVA (Reuters) - Switzerland's innovative policy of providing drug addicts with free methadone and clean needles has greatly reduced deaths while cutting crime rates and should serve as a global model, health experts said on Monday.

Countries whose drug policy remains focused on punishing offenders, including Russia and much of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, should learn from a Swiss strategy based on "harm reduction" that protects both users and communities, they said.

Even Iran and China -- while far from espousing Switzerland's system of direct democracy -- have copied its methadone substitution programs, they added.

The Alpine nation's experiment succeeded because Swiss political leaders adopted a pragmatic attitude toward an "uncontrollable" open drugs scene, according to a report "From the Mountaintops: What the World Can Learn from Drug Policy Change in Switzerland," by the Open Society Foundations.

Soaring HIV infection rates, the highest in Western Europe, sparked alarm among the conservative public in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when up to 1,000 drug users gathered daily in Zurich's infamous Platzspitz park, dubbed "needle park."

"We had to change perspective and introduce the notion of public health. We extended a friendly hand to drug addicts and brought them out of the shadows," Ruth Dreifuss, a former Swiss president and interior minister (1993-2002), told a briefing.

Swiss authorities authorized experiments such as syringe exchange programs and safe injection rooms offering a shower, bed and hygienic conditions under medical supervision, said Dreifuss, who led the campaign to reform narcotic drug policy.

HIV, DEATH RATES SLASHED

Some 70 percent of the 20,000-30,000 opiate or cocaine users in Switzerland now receive treatment, one of the highest rates globally, said Dr. Ambros Uchtenhagen, who helped pioneer heroin substitution and chairs the Research Institute for Public Health and Addiction at Zurich University.

"The number of drug injectors with HIV has been reduced by over 50 percent in 10 years. Overdose mortality among injectors has been reduced by over 50 percent in the decade," he said. "Delinquency related to drugs has been reduced enormously."

Family doctors now prescribe about 60 percent of opiate substitution treatment in Switzerland and the Internet was vital in informing users about access to treatment, Uchtenhagen added.

"I'm really impressed with the policies Switzerland has put in place, which are based on sound science and grounded in good global health policies and human rights," said Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. "Switzerland is clearly a pioneer."

Up to 10 percent of all new HIV infections worldwide every year occur through injecting drug use, he said. An estimated 3 million of the 33.4 million people living with the HIV virus inject drugs, he said. "So it is a huge problem."

The AIDS epidemic is spreading faster in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region than anywhere else, led by drug users, according to Kazatchkine. "We are still facing huge societal, political and cultural resistance to implementing evidence-based policies for intravenous drug uses," he said.

He said Russia, home to nearly 1 million people living with HIV, more than half of them drug-users, was especially reluctant to abandon its drugs policy based on law and order.

"Russia is totally closed to the idea, it is impossible to open a dialogue," Kazatchkine said.

This comes from Reuters and the original link is

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE69O3VI20101025




RuthAnn
aka lilgirllost

We are not bad people trying to become good, we are sick people trying to become well.

Methadone; A Flicker Of Light In The Dark
www.medicalassistedtreatment.org
www.suboxoneassistedtreatment.org
We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you cannot afford to call us, send us an email and
we will call you at our expense.
Office: 1-770-334-3655~ Cell: 1-770-527-9119
Email: mrdeanv@aol.com
ALL INFORMATION IS KEPT STRICKLY CONFIDENTIAL
Back to top Go down
View user profile
 
Swiss drug policy should serve as model: experts
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Economy swiss cheese?
» Use of Policy and Non-Policy Opinions Issued
» Gertrud I. Hurlimann - the well-known Swiss chirologer
» Iraq and the Arab spring ... Look at the policy of axes On: Tuesday 21/2/2012 9:45
» Economist warns of the lack of economic policy in the country On: Wednesday 15/2/2012 7:57

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Methadone: A Flicker Of Light In The Dark :: News Articles-
Jump to: