Current trends in illegal drug use and drug related health problems in Switzerland

Swiss Med Wkly. 2004 May 29;134(21-22):313-21. doi: 10.4414/smw.2004.10499.


Background and method: As part of the evaluation of the Confederation's measures to reduce drug related problems, a review of available data on drug use and drug related problems in Switzerland has been conducted. Source of data included: population surveys (adults and teenagers), surveys among drug users, health statistics (drug related and AIDS related deaths, HIV case reporting, drug treatments) police statistics (denunciations for consumption).

Results: The aims of reducing the number of dependent hard drug users have been achieved where heroin is concerned. In particular, there seems to have been a decrease in the number of people becoming addicted to this substance. For all other illegal substances, especially cannabis, the trend is towards an increased use, as in many European countries. As regards dependent drug users, especially injecting drug users, progress has been made in the area of harm reduction and treatment coverage.

Conclusion: This epidemiological assessment can be used in the discussions currently engaged about the revision of the Law governing narcotics and will be a baseline for future follow up of the situation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug and Narcotic Control
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs / adverse effects*
  • Illicit Drugs / classification
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Substance-Related Disorders / classification
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Switzerland / epidemiology


  • Illicit Drugs