Implementation of supervised drug consumption facilities in Zurich: a success story

Cooperation between harm reduction and law enforcement
In programme
Wednesday, 23 October, 2019 - 15:00 to 16:30
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Zurich (Switzerland) looks back to more than 25 years of successfully running several SIIF in the centre of the city of Zurich as well as in the outskirts. Born due to the Opioid crisis in the late 1980ies / early 1990ies, as Europe's biggest open drug scene was located in the city centre, a mere 5 minutes from the main train station and the business centre, due to the disastrous conditions and circumstances, the city council took action and formed the foundation, based on the four pillar policy, to open the first SIIF in Zürich. Over the past 30 years, Zurich has managed to overcome the opiate and HIV epidemics with its drug strategy. Cooperation between the police and the social services was and is a central key to success. Every year more than a dozen delegations from different countries come to visit. They would like to find out why SIIF can be successfully operated in Switzerland. It turns out that many projects to implement SIIF fail because the police forces and social services have contrary missions. Zurich has managed to follow a pragmatic path. The open drug scene no longer exists. The quality of life in the city has improved enormously and the HIV epidemic has been effectively combated through harm reduction measures.