01.01.2011 Good third phase for Switzerland’s drugs policy

Third package of drugs-related measures. The Third Federal Programme of Measures to Reduce Drug Problems (MaPaDro III) describes the starting situation and the shape of Swiss drugs policy for the 2006-2011 period. The aim of MaPoDro lll is to reduce drug- related problems in Switzerland.

Pictures Good third phase for Switzerland’s drugs policy


The earlier programmes MaPaDro I and II had developed and launched the fourfold (or four-pillar) policy on drugs (prevention, treatment, harm reduction and law enforcement). The third package of measures was based on an evaluation of this drugs policy and assessment of its institutionalisation, and comprises the following core concerns:
– Consolidation of the fourfold policy
– The need to take account of changes in the problems involved (emergence of new drugs, growing use of cannabis, cocaine and alcohol and a marked trend towards polydrug use).
– Long-term development of a coherent policy on addiction and prevention that covers all forms of addiction.
– Greater focus on law enforcement in the planning and implementation of the package of measures.
– Increasing the permeability between structures, services and measures in all four policy areas.

Evaluation already underway
To implement MaPaDro III, the FOPH’s Drugs Section drew up an action plan containing all the measures (tasks and projects) envisaged in the third package. These encompass, for instance, the development and testing of early-identification tools and the promotion of quality development using the QuaTheDA Reference system (structural and pro­cess quality) at the addiction treatment centres. The final phase of the programme has now been reached and the measures defined have been largely implemented. The evaluation and impact assessment of MaPaDro III has already been initiated. The main focus is on relating the activities of the programme to the epidemiological situation in the addiction field. To this end, the outcome indicators for the package’s global goals were defined as far back as 2006. These will now be re-measured in order to identify changes in the substance-abuse field since 2006 and to assess the general effectiveness and sustainability of MaPaDro III. Initial feedback reports indicate that the package has made a significant contribution to achieving the defined goals.

Prospect of a comprehensive addiction programme?
Like the national programmes for tobacco (NPT) and alcohol (NPA), MaPaDro III is to be extended so that all three programmes can be concluded simultan­eously. A decision on future action will be taken on the basis of the impact assessment carried out by the University Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine in Lausanne (IUMSP) and the global evaluation of the NPA, NPT and MaPaDro III. Besides a MaPaDro IV, consideration is also being given to the development of an innovative, comprehensive programme that covers not only illicit drugs but all addictive substances and all forms of addiction.

Aims of MaPoDro lll

– To reduce drug use
– To reduce the negative consequences for drug users
– To reduce the negative consequences for society


Isabelle Widmer, Drugs Section, isabelle.widmer@bag.admin.ch

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