Sunday, November 30, 2008

Swiss voters approve of heroin prescription plan

Apparently the experimental program for medical providers to prescribe heroin to heroin addicts as part of their treatment has been so successful in the last 10 years in Switzerland that voters approved it on a permanent basis. (Source) The scheme has been successful in getting drug users off the street, and people were impressed by that.

It is hard to imagine such a scheme being approved in the USA, because the symbolism of doctors prescribing heroin is perceived as so dangerous -- medically sanctioned addiction. In Switzerland, it seems that heroin has become less cool at least partly because of this scheme -- heroin is less romantic for young people now, and heroin addiction is more obviously a medical problem. I wonder when such an initiative would have hope of being tried in the USA, where pandering to public opinion gets in the way of effective policy.

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