Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 900-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 30th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Government Heroin?

Late last year I received an email from a social worker from Bern, Switzerland.  He was to be in the United States in about six months.  Could I make time for him to tour our program?   I told him yes. Then forgot about it.

Well, he showed up this week.  And I learned interesting things about how his country deals with drug addicts.  Their approach radically differs from ours.

Treatment isn't the primary focus.  Their approach is "harm reduction."  Government mandated insurance provides heroin, cocaine, and other drugs.  The drugs are essentially free. But clients must use them on the premises.  They can hang out for the day if they choose.  Or they can get their fix and go to work.

My visitor from Switzerland says the public supports the program.   That's because addicts aren't cluttering the prisons. Or stealing from merchants. Or spreading hepatitis and HIV

To learn more about how Switzerland deals with addicts click here.

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