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Swiss vote on heroin prescription programme

Swiss voters also decided on the controversial issue of whether to continue the prescription of heroin in cases of severe drug addiction.

This content was published on June 11, 1999 - 12:10

The Swiss government wants to continue a programme under which a limited number of heroin addicts can get heroin under medical supervision.

A pilot programme carried out between 1994 and 1996 was considered successful: It was widely agreed that the supervised prescription of heroin had a beneficial effect if used as part of an overall therapy aimed at returning addicts to a life without drugs.

However, critics have argued that taxpayers' money is being used to finance a heroin programme that does not heal an addict but merely helps prolong his or her addiction.

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