Addiction

Alcohol, illegal drugs and tobacco cause a great deal of suffering for those affected and high consequential costs for society. Besides the "classic" addictions, there are also "new" forms such as dependence on prescription drugs, gambling or excessive use of the Internet.

23.10.2018

Communication is an important tool for improving health literacy

The FOPH has set itself the goal of improving health literacy and self-management of chronic disease among the general public. Communication can, at various levels, help achieve this goal. more

23.10.2018

At first hand

Communicating credibly. Communication in the healthcare sector covers a wide spectrum of activities, ranging from the doctor-patient conversation to public health prevention campaigns. But one rule is common to all: successful communication relies on the existence of trust. more

23.10.2018

“A good relationship with the patient can achieve more than a drug can”

Communication between health professionals and their patients is an important basis for successful treatment. Particularly in the field of health promotion and disease prevention, the right kind of communication can be a decisive factor in bringing about change. Sabina Hunziker, Professor of Medical Communication at Basel’s University Hospital, therefore attaches great importance to the initial and continuing training of professionals. more

04.09.2017

At first hand

Editorial. Addiction is a disease (1). But addiction can also lead to marginalisation. Loneliness. Debt. Addiction can lead to loss of work, loss of social contacts – loss of zest for life. There are often deep-seated psychological problems behind addictive behaviour. The new National Strategy on Addiction therefore assumes a comprehensive, biopsychosocial disease model that includes physical, psychological and socioeconomic factors and views addiction not as a condition but rather as a dynamic process. more

04.09.2017

The course is set for the new addiction strategy

Addiction policy. Since time immemorial, mankind has consumed psychoactive substances, and what a society considers to be an addiction is continually being renegotiated. Besides substances such as alcohol, tobacco, drugs and medication, there are also new substances such as neuroenhancers, whereas opiates (which had long been prominent in addiction services and policies) have recently become less prominent in Switzerland. In the 1980s and 1990s, answers had to be found to the plight of the open drug scenes. Nowadays, thanks to substituent treatment and harm reduction programmes, the heroin problem has somewhat faded into the background. The massive increase in opioid use in the United States, however, illustrates that ongoing monitoring of such developments remains vital. Besides the lingering problems that occur as a result of high-risk alcohol and tobacco consumption, this also means addressing newer manifestations of dependencies that are unrelated to substances. The National Strategy on Addiction which was launched this year takes on the entire spectrum of dependency and addiction, spanning all types of substances and other kinds of addiction. The strategy views addiction as a comprehensive phenomenon that is affected by interacting biological, psychological and socioeconomic aspects and is also dependent on current consumer trends and cultural behaviours. Together with the NCD Strategy, (1) it replaces the National Prevention Programmes on Alcohol and Tobacco as well as the Package of Drug-Related Measures from 2017 on. more

04.09.2017

Stigma – the "second disease"

Mental health. Stigmatisation is a form of social discrimination. For people with mental disorders, but also for their families, it constitutes an additional burden on top of the existing illness. Persons with addictions are particularly at risk of stigmatisation and are marginalised at several levels. more

04.09.2017

Improving health and quality of life at every stage of life

Addiction in old age. Older persons are an important target group of the National Strategy on Addiction and the National Strategy for the Prevention of Non-communicable Diseases (NCD). Their relevance is further underscored by demographic ageing: according to the Federal Statistical Office, the number of people over 65 will almost double by 2045. These prospects illustrate the importance of health promotion measures that will contribute towards longer-lasting autonomy and relieve health systems. more

20.04.2017

Important decisions have been made for tobacco prevention

National Tobacco Programme (NTP 2008–2016). "Smoking-related cases of death and disease in Switzerland have been reduced." With this mission, the Federal Council adopted the NTP 2008–2016 in 2008 and commissioned the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) with its implementation. How have tobacco use and prevention developed since then? A review. more

20.04.2017

Looking back at eight years of the National Alcohol Programme

National Alcohol Programme NPA 2008–2016. Alcohol is a part of our culture – a glass of red wine with dinner, a little champagne as a toast, or a beer in the evening. However, alcohol is not a normal consumer product and one needs to learn how to deal with it. Although most people know how to drink responsibly, about one in five people drink too much, too often or at the wrong time. About 50% of all alcohol is drunk by 11 percent of the population. Excessive alcohol consumption is one of the major risk factors for chronic diseases. It has harmful consequences for society and increases the rate of traffic accidents. The annual costs for the Swiss population are about CHF 4.2 billion*. In order to address this problem, the National Alcohol Programme (NPA) was established in 2008, with the slogan: "If you drink alcoholic beverages, you do so without harming yourself or others." more

20.04.2017

The Swiss drug policy – a pioneer model

Packages of drug measures. Switzerland's four-pillar drug policy is still a commendable example for many countries in their approach to drug problems. These are some of the impressive achievements over the last twenty years: open drug scenes have disappeared, while drug-related deaths, the HIV infection rate and drug-related crime have all decreased and public safety has improved. The drug problem has not been solved, but Switzerland has found a pragmatic, healthoriented and humane approach to the drug problem. The third package of drug measures expired at the end of 2016. As part of the National Addiction Strategy, which includes all types of addiction, the four-pillar drug policy will be developed further into the four-pillar addiction policy. more