"Controlled Access to Heroin" explains the result of the Swiss national vote to continue allowing medical doctors to prescribe heroin to heavily addicted people. Research shows that people who do not respond to abstinence or methadone programs can successfully control their addiction to heroin if they are prescribed small, maintenance doses of the drug, while undergoing counselling & therapy. Crime, poverty and homelessness all decreased for people in this program. This advertisement appeared in The New Republic, the National Review, the Weekly Standard and The Nation in 1999. Available in printer-ready Portable Document Format (PDF).
When All Else Fails:
Controlled Access To
Heroin Makes Sense
This June, for the second time in three years, the people of
Switzerland voted to make heroin available to addicts who
have been unsuccessful in treatment and with methadone.

An independent review of the Swiss heroin program published
by the World Health Organization* found:
  • Participants in the heroin maintenance program reduced criminal activity by over 50%.
  • The percentage of participants in the heroin maintenance program holding a job rose from 14% to 32%.
  • The percentage of participants in the heroin maintenance program who were homeless dropped from 12% to 1%.
  • There were significant drops in the use of illegal drugs reported, including heroin, cocaine, marijuana and benodiazepines.
  • There was no diversion of prescribed heroin to the illegal street market.
  • There were no overdoses from heroin prescribed by the program.
Less crime, less illegal drugs, improved health,
higher employment and less homelessness!
Prescription heroin makes sense when abstinence
and methadone treatment fail.
Common Sense for Drug Policy Kevin B. Zeese, President
703-354-5694, 703-354-5695 (fax), info@csdp.org, www.csdp.org
* Robert Ali et al, "Report of the External Panel on the Evaluation of the Swiss Scientific Studies of Medically Prescribed Narcotics to Drug Addicts," The World Health Organization, April 1999.