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Jakarta Post

Discourse: Decriminalizing drugs for public health

  • Ruth Dreifuss

Chairperson, Global Commission on Drug Policy   /   Thu, February 6 2020   /  12:19 am

Switzerland’s drastic change in drug policy followed soaring HIV infection rates related to a heroin epidemic in the late 1980s and 1990s. Switzerland introduced substitution treatment and other harm reduction measures such as supervised injection rooms, which reportedly decreased incidences of drug users with HIV among other outcomes. On Jan. 29, former Swiss president Ruth Dreifuss, who chairs the Global Commission on Drug Policy, talked to The Jakarta Post’s Ardila Syakriah. The following is an excerpt from the interview: Question: You have been among the drivers behind Switzerland’s drug policy reforms. What has changed in the fight against drug abuse there?Answer: We fundamentally changed the focus. We are putting […] the people’s health and also the people’s freedom first, because […] people can [decide] to use drugs and they will st...