Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Using Heroin in Switzerland

The International Herald Tribune reports on the new Swiss law which makes their heroin program permanent. Oddly, marijuana decriminalization was denied.

The world's most comprehensive legalized heroin program has become permanent, with overwhelming approval from Swiss voters.

The heroin program, started in 1994, is offered in 23 centers across Switzerland. It has helped eliminate scenes of large groups of drug users injecting drugs openly in parks that marred Swiss cities in the 1980s and 1990s and is credited with reducing crime and improving the health and daily lives of addicts.

Sixty-eight percent of the 2.26 million Swiss voters casting ballots Sunday approved making the heroin program permanent.

By contrast, around 63.2 percent of voters voted against the marijuana proposal, which was based on a separate citizens' initiative to decriminalize the consumption of marijuana and growing the plant for personal use.

The article explains that 1,300 addicts who have been approved for the program can visit one of the centers twice a day to receive the carefully measured dose of heroin produced by a government-approved laboratory.

Doesn't that defeat the purpose of being an addict? I mean, what addict would be satisfied with a "carefully measured dose?" This makes me seriously doubt the government's claims that crime has diminished as a result of the program. I would expect these 1,300 for the most part to take the government handout and augment it in their usual way, hustling, dealing, committing crimes. What do you think?

At the same time, a law to decriminalize marijuana was denied. To me, the Swiss have got it backwards. The laws to decriminalize really do some good in my opinion.

So how do we figure these Swiss? I'm a little bit baffled. Isn't Switzerland the place where many people are armed? Isn't it there where bearing arms is more than a right; it's a requirement? So why do they have such a crime problem that needs to be addressed with this heroin program? Wouldn't the armed citizenry have long ago put an end to the problem?

What do you think?


  1. We have a similar thing here, but they use synthetic opiate called Methadone. I personally think Methadone causes more problems than Heroin as it simply replaces one addiction for another, and you're replacing it with an addiction that carries a victim status, and that is publicly financed.

    This more positive stigma than shooting H has created some HUGE problems, one recent news story was a series of Boston Public Works heavy trucks parked outside a Methadone clinic before they went to work...stoned.

    Also some patients are given methadone to take home to lower administrative costs on the clinics, this methadone has been showing up on the streets, being sold for less controlled doses of Heroin, or pain pills.

    Lastly, I know of several former heroin addicts who were on Methadone, and eventually they had to simply quit the Methadone cold turkey, which they felt was no different than kicking the H. (As a Film buff you may have also seen this represented in "Trainspotting")

    On a final note I will say that a family friend lived in Switzerland in the 80s and she couldn't talk enugh about the Heroin addicts in the public parks. It left quite a negative impression of nation to her.

    Still its not like our methadone system has lessened the number of Heroin, Oxycodone, and other opiates, and because of the illegal sale of methadone on the streets, and addicts operating in open as "Getting Help" has only exacerbated the problem.

    And all of this out of my pocket.

    Why did I choose not to become a drug addict again? Maybe I'll start small and buy a pack of cigarettes and a 40 oz on the way home. I can always sell my drugs illegally on the streets for drug money....

  2. If I claim I'm addicted to gold or hundred dollar bills, will the government give me free doses in measured amounts?

  3. I like the way you think, Bob.

    Hell I have it on VERY good athority that I'm a handgun addict....and so is Tom....And Tom likes his handgun with an elephant gun chaser!

    I'm feelin' the Hope'n Change now!!

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  5. No decrim for reefer but they legalize JUNKIEDOM?!

    Insane. And they say the USA is weird! :P

  6. Heroin addiction is easily curable in this method of clinical administration if one gives injections of 1.5 grams IV to each applicant. Simple and cost effective.

  7. Have you seen the newest results of having an addiction and a machine shop and friends with machine shops at Chez Thomas?

    Mike Bellm is putting finishing touches on the pipe for what will be a red dot topped .375H&H Magnum handgun with 15.5' pipe for a "brush gun" as the 17" versions are good for velocity and you can put a stock on them but don't balance as well one handed and I want one with a proper Encore pistol forend, not a rifle forend, so the new unfinished project started with a .375 JDJ pistol barrel instead of a 26" rifle barrel.

    The little one is a 10" .450 Marlin.

    Why have handguns and elephant rifles segregated if you can build elephant/cape buffalo pistols? That would be classist and perhaps racist!

    Happy hunting!

  8. Jesus, Tom, That revolver is right of the chain!

    I wanna shoot it SO BAD.

    What does it tip the scales at?

  9. 4.7lbs unloaded. It's noticeably heavier with a full complement of 405 grainers in the wheel but I never actually weighed it that way and it would depend on powder charge anyway. Recoil gets more severe as you empty the cylinder. It's quite noticeable.

    It's one-handable to me, barely. The .375 H&H Mag 17" with full house 300 grain loads is very borderline one-handable.

    I almost lost my grip on it with a sweaty hand so I go with both hands on the grip.

    Both make shooting my .30-30AckImp one-handed in the bullseye style seem like you're plinking with a .22LR.

    Wait till you see the new one! It's going to be BETTER.

    Got CITES permits lined up for leopard and buff for 2009! Hunting is more sporting if you do it with single shot pistols and the animals you hunt have a reasonable chance of killing you from close range.

    Gal in my life made me give up amateur racing cars and motorcycles and get a safer hobby, so I did and I've liked the new hobby better ever since. She's long gone but the hobby stuck.


  10. You guys have done it again: hijacked this nice respectable anti-gun blog and turned it into the hottest place on the internet for gun enthusiasts to get what turns them on. (Those are some guns, Tom, really).

    But seriously, Bob, you made a good joke about the gold or hundred dollar bills, but I sense you don't have much compassion for addicts. And, Weer'd, you also said, "Why did I choose not to become a drug addict again?" Do you guys blame the addicts for "choosing" that and credit yourselves for not?

  11. I am currently addicted to Caffeen, I was adicted to Nicotine, and there was a short strech of my life when I belive I was drinking far too much.

    All of those vices were my personal choices (As was it the day I decided to run up a debt on my otherwise pristine credit card buying a shipment of firearms that I felt and urgent need to have)

    Nobody put a cigarette or a bottle to my lips but myself. Those were MY vices, and I owned them. When I saw they were causing harm I quit the butts (a fucking BITCH that was....but I own that as well, and I'm proud of it) and scaled back my drunkeness. I still have a cup of tea in my hand, and while my credit card has no balence on it, there may come a time when I feel the need to fill my armory with "nesesities"

    Likewise I didn't stick a needle into these people's arm, and they aren't claiming I am (as a matter of fact all the adicts I've ever known, I've never known one of them to blame anybody but themselves for their problem...tho I know lots of non-adicts that seem comfortable with blaming outside sourses for addition) But yet now I'm paying for the needles and the smack for them?

    Thank you, NO!

    I am perfectly willing to give some of my hard earned money (given that it is spent in a productive fasion) for aids and resourses for people to QUIT the junk, as Junkies don't to society any favors (and with exception for Marijuanna *which I do not use, nor much care for* I do reluctantly support prohibition of illigal drugs...but that's for another thread) and quitting an adiction often needs tools (I didn't effectivly quit the smokes until I moved in with my Wife, dispite nearly two years of off-and-on attempts) and I have no problem in the govenment making such tools available.

    But taking my money just to give junkies more junk??? No No and No!

  12. Mike,

    Do I blame the addict no. Do I recognize the addict has a choice in how (s)he responds to the stimulus, absolutely yes.

    To say a person is helpless in the face of an addiction is to deny the existence of recovered addicts. The stimulus is still there, they just choose to respond differently. I'm not denying the power of addiction just giving a person due credit for being a thinking being.

    As far as crediting me with not choosing, it is more of a case of "if not for the grace of God, there goes I." I was in the Air Force as you know, one Saturday morning I woke up to find the full case of beer I bought for the weekend - gone, finished off- with no real memory of drinking that much (big surprise). I stopped drinking for 6 months to make sure I didn't turn into an addict. I know the temptation. I know that I could easily be an addict and I make sure I respond appropriately, shouldn't everyone?

  13. Bob.

    I used to smoke. I quit when I realized how much it interfered with my life as far as accomplishing things. Hell I know a guy that torched himself because he was smoking a butt while reloading shotgun shells.

    I still drink, sometimes I might drink a lot if I feel like it and I've arranged things so I don't have to drive anywhere or do anything where impairment would be an issue.

    I've watched people I've known in my life be addicts of everything one can be addicted to and some walked away and some died from it.

    But it's still a choice. A friend of mine and his gf many decades ago got into doing heroin and he realized one day "I don't want to live like this anymore" packed up his stuff, moved out, and called her parents and said they might look into her because he was afraid she was going to die. Never touched the stuff again.

    It's a personal choice but if it's going to be government supplied I still go with each applicant being given a 1.5 gram IV shot of pure heroin. Well past the LD-50. Then you call their family and a funeral home and they're permanently cured by government medicine. Cremation if there is no family to pay burial expenses.

    Problem solved.

  14. I don't think addiction is so simple a thing as you say. Just like I don't think violent offenders are simply making choices. In both these things there's a huge gray area which needs to be considered if any fair judgment is to be had.

  15. 1.5 grams IV administered at once will cure any heroin addict on the planet.

    That's Black and Death, not black and white.

    Cures the the problem.

    What do you do with a gangrenous limb on a patient? If it's threatening the life of the rest of the person you AMPUTATE IT.

    Common medical practice, even in Italy. Same goes for societies.

  16. Mike, at what point in your life were you not in control of your actions?

    A simple question.