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Did You Know? Facts About Switzerland's Heroin Maintenance Programs, on

Submitted by David Borden on (Issue #742)

Did you know that addicts receiving heroin legally in Switzerland's heroin maintenance programs stabilize their use, improve their health, and desist from criminal acts? Read about it in the Heroin Maintenance section of, a publication of Common Sense for Drug Policy (CSDP), is an in-depth compilation of key facts, stats and quotes on the full range of drug policy issues, excerpted from expert publications on the subjects. The Chronicle is running a series of info items from, and we encourage you to check it out.

Check back at Drug War Chronicle for the final installment in this six-part series, and sign up for the DWF new facts RSS feed. Read last week's Chronicle blurb here.

Common Sense for Drug Policy is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to reforming drug policy and expanding harm reduction. CSDP disseminates factual information and comments on existing laws, policies and practices.

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CJ (not verified)

without even reading i'm so happy to find this here today and finally some headlines for heroin - ah, thats a great slogan!!! headlines for heroin!! if only there were some place like that for real id produce a million newspapers all the headlines they could possibly want!!

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 8:24am Permalink
CJ (not verified)

AH! Hey! David Broden


right man, yes so true.. listen man it's absolutely correct and it should astound nobody but you know what man, and this time i say this with absolutely no prejudice or contempt i wont invite that to a wonderful page about the wonder drug...hahaha...ah, probably nobody will get that last comment- anyways...but heres the scoop man pot culture, coke culture... dude even stupid lame pathetic and predictable alcohol culture, you know nobody of the mainstream situations could ever truly understand or appreciate the heroin users plight.. and therefore the beauty of heroin.. but.. listen man heres the bottom line you know lets not waste time with it but first of all addiction as is commonly understood is completely incorrect and does not exist. there is no disease of addiction. sorry. drug using, despite the drug, is a choice and 12 step dogma is villainous. It is treachery. 12 step dogma is fundamentally wrong. AA/CA/xA any anonymous group all of them positively incorrect and terrible. 


And as much as I despise the self obsessed, transparent, predictable and boring pot elitists of the reform world i will have to tell you that there is nothing more pathetic and worse than a typical ex-heroin user. ESPECIALLY the kind that are a few weeks clean spouting all kinds of BS and nonsense... One trip to bluelight and im not trying to give blue props or any nod in that direction - just a point of reference here - look so many opiate lovers whether its pills or dope, they flock to bluelight, love it, eat it up while theyre using but for some reason id say cowardice mostly and having nothing valuable or relevant to say secondly, these people dont say anything HOWEVER once theyve cleaned up a little bit its the first place they go, armed with their false sense of strength from their BS AA and so called newfound life however, they will soon be back amongst us, they probably dont realize it, but deep down inside the facts simply suggest they will be. that anti H anti pill talk is all a lie. They get their newfound cajones, if you will, and take to the place they had no guts to speak in before, but all of a sudden, high and mighty condemning everybody and everything. So transparent - so full of it.


The bottom line about them is this, you know and this was the point, the deal with heroin is, as the recently deseased, pain pill advocate and pain network founder once said "its really all good, really all nature, really safe stuff" and how our body generates the materials in our spine to make it work and due to the very natural nature, if you will, of what our bodies do to make H and opiates work, our bodies quickly adjust and tolerance goes up - the most wrongly criticized thing in all of opiatism. The higher tolerance is treated with reverance by the old junkies, and hostility by the prohibitionists. The bottom line is, it is what it is and its not because of the so called "evilness" of H but just the natural way the body works. 


So bear with me - you see, the natural nature of our bodies make this wonderful thing quite tolerabe. OK. Well before we even got here we have to absolutely start at the beginning and the problem is self effacing and it really literally starts at the beginning you see prohibition is the ultimate problem prohibition is the ultimate reason that most junkies end up in detox and rehab and spouting that hateful dogma BS. Prohibition. NOT H. Sorry to burst the bubbles of those lame ass losers who think otherwise. Now i do realize unfortunately that there are not many like me, honest, proud, opiate lovers out there, well, as far as internet reform goes and i definitely get that most have absolutely zero experience with real heroin, real heroin users, real heroin life etc. ill just let you know, very quickly, a bag of dope is gonna cost a person 5 bucks to 25 bucks. Opiate pills price vary on the kind of pill and the mgs. As far as i can tell right now the Roxi is still in vogue but probably in its twilight as everybody from the manufacturers to dealers to users to middlemen to cops are trying to find the next thing cause all the lies and propaganda have made a roxi habit go the way of an oxy 80 habit which is you know, not so hot right now but Roxis will run someone up to 30-35 bucks if you can believe it. it started at 4-7 bucks. OK lets be perfectly clear now, heroin, oxy, roxi, vics, percs, d triangles and d anything, look all of this stuff, in an honest, prohibition free world is not gonna run a person more than a dollar. MAYBE 2. 


It comes down to money. Money. The price of opiates because of prohibition has caused the condition of the modern junkie. There would no doubt be those of us who would possibly be in that destitute, hustling, homeless lifestyle even with 2 dollar wops, but the numbers would be so dramatically low in my opinion that those in THAT situation would absolutely be able to get the help they'd need to fix the problem. That lot would be a very very small minority as oppossed to the near half that it is now, if not more than half. 


You  see it all the time the reason people stop using opiates because there so called life got out of hand, no they just ran out of money but not out of desire for dope - instead of going straight to the homeless spending all day hustling cash for dope situatoin, they may go the stealing from friends and family route which only adds to the guilt and the falsehoods going on with them blaming H. OR they commit felonys to fund the habit. The situations vary, the bottom line is MONEY. 20 bucks for a 90 cent product. 


Prescription painkiller prices are probably the closest you could get to seeing the opiate world prohibition free. So many discussions of those pathetic AA idiots who've temporarily stopped using H will look like this "well i got my pills on prescription so i never had to worry about money" yes - you see, these lucky people who get the scripts dont run into the money probably. This lot unfortunately runs into the quantity problem which ultimately results in a whole other list of issues, doctor shopping, writing false scripts, etc which have its own issues attached, this brings about the whole getting arrested and being forced into rehab/detox deal. The bottom line is, once again, H didnt cause anything, they had the desire, they had the love of the H/the pill (and lets just stop here and say if your that prude and that stupid to be getting mad cause of the fact that im basically saying H and PKs are the same, well then you need to stop being an idiot prude and realize that i am a junkie and i have been living this life alot longer than you if thats where your head is at with H and PKs...most of the folks like you eventually get that theyre the same thing and end the stupid bias bigotry but if thats the spot your stuck in well up yours, sorry its the truth get over it man/woman) but they didnt have the quantity - which should have been readily available to them in a prohibition free world.


So many of these people struggle with chaos and sadness and misery and for so long too. Because they dont want to stop, hey, theyll tell you and they may even really WANT YOU to believe that they REALLY do WANT to NOT  WANT opiates but deep down inside they have just not gotten to that point where they understand wait a second wait a second wtf is going on here, theres nothing wrong with me theres nothing wrong with what i want... who says its wrong? who they hell are they? WTF do they know? ITS MY LIFE its MY CHOICE. WTF 

but not enough people get to that point - so look at H maintenance. What is H maintenance? The bottom line is - it has eliminated the two problems. The money problem? Govt takes care of it. The quantity problem? The Govt takes care of it. The two things that because of prohibition ruin lives are taken away and what happens? PEOPLE ARE HAPPY, PROSPEROUS, PRODUCTIVE ETC. WTF! IT CANT BE! WAIT IT MUST BE WRONG - no ITS NOT, its the way it should be. H maintenance is the ONE AND ONLY answer. METHADONE? WHAT A WASTE OF TIME!!!!!!! BUPE? OMFG THE MOST RIDICULOUS, ANNOYING, PATHETIC THING IN THE WORLD ALMOST THE BIGGEST WASTE OF TIME BUT SECOND ONLY TO NALOXONE - which, wtf, why ANY doctor with HALF a brain and an OUNCE of experience in the heroin/pk business should realize nalaxone is the very last thing any of us would ever want anything to do with. Dont believe me? OK google any nalaxone study and check out the dropout rates... 


H maintenance is the only answer and i know we will see it in full force one day and it will be a beautiful beautiful time, nevertheless, it will be the predecessor to what was the way the world worked for over a thousand years - no prohibition of drugs. It will. I promise. H will be legal - AGAIN, emphasis, AGAIN because too many forget or dont know that it was and in some countries still is legal (albeit a controlled substance)

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 8:50am Permalink
jason1969 (not verified)


this is the first time i've ever replied to a comment on-line. (not that that's relevant, mind you), but i couldn't agree more.  i won't go into all the details of my life/situ, i've been through methadone in the u.s. (at a privately owned clinic!!!???, which i just have to wonder?: humanitarian effort or $x a day per person=GREED), and it kept me from being sick, but did not work for me otherwise.  and i elected w/o legal or other coercion to try MM, and was an IV H user at the time as well as fentanyl and M.  not on hydrocodone or oxycodone like most of the other patients.  don't get me wrong i know how powerful those compounds are, but i felt it was wrong for people who could have weaned their habits down relatively quickly (if they so chose) were basically... ah maybe i shouldnt't go there.  Methadone doesn't work for me.  most of my friends have never been along this path and do not understand why or how i could and can say that if there would be no hassles (i.e. legal, $) i would do heroin everyday for the rest of my life.  or at least until i get/got it straightened out like i would like to.  i understand how horseshit that statement can sound, but essentially the (most) opiods behave as an anti-depressent for me and i have no way to legally, regularly and inexpensively obtain them.

so see your doctor if blah blah blah may be right for you.  yeah. hah. 

Fri, 07/13/2012 - 4:13am Permalink
sicntired (not verified)

I live in the only city with a safe injection site.We have a well run needle exchange that is on call.I have a deteriorated spinal condition that causes me great pain and was once on fentanyl,which is the cruelist joke ever played on a drug addict.There is no high.It does,however raise one's tolerance to unbelievable heights.I have been on dilaudid on several occasions but had to get the script from a methadone clinic as no doctor would prescribe it for me.The clinic was always on me to get off and the final result has been that all I can get for the pain is methadone.I have been on and off of methadone for 40 years.More off than on because I hate the stuff and now it's just shy of useless.I have done everything possible to try to get on the heroin program here(evidently,there is one),to no avail.The heroin here is sometimes good but usually crap.The only real relief I get is when it's worth doing but I haven't kept up with my connections and have no one to get it from in quantity when it is good.I have been in the heroin business and those were the best times of my life.They also led to 12 years in several prisons and I've had enough of that.With my current medical situation it's just not an option.The fact that I am unable to access narcotics that are useful to me is a cruel joke that is the result of the climate here and the methadone system which is run by the college of P&S who are in a conflict of interest as they are keeping me from accessing proper medical care even though the neurosurgeons all agree that I am in serious need of pain medications.They do not care that the methadone is ineffective.They refuse to even consider anything else.If someone in my situation cannot access narcotic drugs,there is something very wrong here.This is the result of the current hysteria over prescription drugs and the aforementioned conflict of interest with local doctors.It seems that people can abuse prescription drugs but those who really need them are denied.This is just too comical if it wasn't killing me.The stress of constant pain is becoming a real problem.I have seen far too many people die because they had a need for opiate drugs and just couldn't cope without them.There are a certain number of addicts for whom the only viable option is heroin maintenance.In Vancouver,a 40+ year track record and 12 years in prison are not enough to qualify?I guess you have to be living on the street and fixing out of mud puddles.I did that all before.I had the hep C to prove it.

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 10:30am Permalink
Sammi176 (not verified)

In reply to by sicntired (not verified)

methadone is only treatment that has worked for me here in Australia..... Have to agree about the money situation though... But have done home detox, private and public detox, rehab, rapid detox but methadone is what works for me I work and study my doctor recently gave physeptone for 25 days to travel!! For me it is like an antidepressant/ antianxiety. With so many years of substance abuse it sets off mental health issues. I too am not into the NA/ AA but whatever works for you. What are program's in Canada and USA like?? I want to move to a fab country with medical heroin program Sydney Australia doesn't have...
Thu, 10/11/2012 - 2:45am Permalink
summer (not verified)

ive triesd every form of treatment for my heroin addiction that i was doing for 10 years and the only thing that ever worked was God. Try the right cure people. what makes you think that using your drug as a cure for that drug is going to work?!?! its pure insanity to think its anywere near a long term solution

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 4:12pm Permalink

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