What’s the best way for a country to curb heroin addiction? My nation, Switzerland, offers an example for the world to follow.

This video won first prize in News Decoder’s 11th Storytelling Contest.

The year is 1985, and Switzerland is faced with one of the worst heroin epidemics ever.

Deaths due to opioids, HIV infections, hepatitis infections — everything goes through the roof, and the Swiss government is forced to act.

What I wanted to understand when making this video is how to approach drug problems in specific countries. Do conservative or harsh methods work better or is the solution to approach the problem with empathy and more liberal methods?

It’s an age-old question, and people all over the world are still arguing over it. But after this video, you’ll have a better understanding of the entire topic of drug epidemics and will be able to say what methods usually work best in specific situations.

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I would like to thank Felix Gutzwiller and Peter-Paul Bänziger for giving me very interesting interviews.

Music credits:

“Dystopia” by Neutrin05. Creative Commons license (CC BY 3.0) Music promoted by BreakingCopyright: http://bit.ly/Neutrin05-Dystopia

“Cosimo Fogg – Jazzaddicts” is under a Creative Commons license (CC-BY) 3.0. https://soundcloud.com/cosimo-fogg Music promoted by BreakingCopyright: https://youtu.be/e_ItIBfaqXA

“The Age Of Wood” by Savfk is under a Creative Commons license (CC BY 3.0) Music promoted by BreakingCopyright: https://youtu.be/Q6CRmIXcrxw

“Signal To Noise (CC-BY) by Scott Buckley” is under a Creative Commons ( cc-by ) license Music promoted by BreakingCopyright: https://youtu.be/yePye8-D0zs

“KaizanBlu – Remember” is under a Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) license. https://soundcloud.com/kaizanblu https://www.youtube.com/c/KaizanBlu Music promoted by BreakingCopyright: https://youtu.be/SlfQ2KHQric

Three questions to consider:

  1. What is heroin?
  2. How has Switzerland tried to combat heroin addiction among its citizens?
  3. What do you think is the best way to curb heroin use?
damian 1

Kai Lengwiler is in his third year of high school at Realgymnasium Rämibühl Zürich. His favorite subject is English, and in his free time he enjoys parkour, writing stories and experimenting with video editing software. Lengwiler has lived his entire life in Zurich, which he says “embodies exactly what I want to bring to the world: openness.” In the future, he would like to work in the movie industry and perhaps become a writer or director.

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Contest winnersWatch: Here’s how Switzerland has tackled its heroin problem
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