Summer University in Social WorkJuly 2 to 12, 2019

Challenges in addiction medicine in Switzerland

Prof. Jacques Besson — CHUV, Lausanne

Switzerland has been traumatized by the open scenes of drug injectors in the public space during the nineties. The Swiss people have strongly reacted by a collective response and several votations on the topic. The Swiss physicians have joined this effort with pragmatism and the involvement of general practitioners with the support of the Federal Office of Public Health.
The medical integration of somatic, psychiatric, motivational and psychosocial dimensions was an opportunity for interdisciplinary action in network, in a medico-psycho-social step care. The strong development of neuroscience in the addictions gave birth to a new clinical science called “addictology”.
The lecture will present the clinical organization of the outpatient addiction unit of the University Hospital in Lausanne. Five dimensions of the treatment will be described including some emergent fields such as spirituality or heroin medical prescription.

  • Treatment of alcoholism & addictions, Concise guide, second edition, ISBN 0-88048-803-4, American Psychiatric Publishing 2001
  • Textbook of substance abuse treatment, M. Galanter H. D. Klebert, American Psychiatric Publishing 2008
  • Besson J, Beck T, Wiesbeck G, Hämmig R, Kuntz A, Abid S, Stohler R. Opioid maintenance therapy in Switzerland : an overview of the Swiss IMPROVE study. Swiss Medical Weekly. 2014; 144: w13933
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