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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