The Swiss and Dutch, are successfully treating drug addicts, including those hooked on hard drugs such as heroin as a primarily medical, rather than criminal problem.

There are several benefits to this policy including the fact that it frees up police time and removes the glamour from drug addiction, discouraging people from starting. 

The police are free to pursue dealers, burglars and other criminals, but not those possessing personal quantities and 'getting high on their own supply' in the privacy of their own home.

Why is this idea important?

 

A ten year heroin medicalisation trial in Switzeralnd concluded that it was a policy they should stick too, as it has helped to cut the number of addicts.

Several of the patients were still taking drugs a few years later, not overly surprising given that they're already failed every other program, however, there was a big drop in the number of new cases, as being 'ill' isn't cool to young people, so associating heroin addiction with hospitals helped to put them off the idea.

Curing addicts is difficult and costly, which is why we should adopt effective policies to minimise the number who start.

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