Source: (2006) In,Crime Policy in Europe, Council of Europe, Stragbourg: Council of Europe Publishing pp. 27-35

"Following the adoption by the Swiss authorities of the federal decree on the medical prescription of heroin of 13 June 1999, medical prescription of heroin is now a recognised form of treatment for particularly serious forms of drug addiction. The main short-term aim of this type of treatment is to reduce the collateral problems linked to illegal consumption of heroin. These include certain infectious diseases such as Aids or various forms of hepatitis, economic and social problems (homelessness, unemployment) and, finally, crime. In the medium and longer term, the programme is designed to stabilise patients' psychosocial state, with a view to reintegrating them as fully as possible into society in terms of employment, housing and overall lifestyle. "Because it creates victims, crime is one of the collateral problems which impacts most directly on people with no particular links to the drug scene. As a result, this aspect has always been the focus of particular public interest in the debate on drug addiction. Accordingly, one of the main objectives in introducing this new form of therapy was to bring down crime levels." (exerpt)