Geneva is not the worst

Geneva is not the worst
Geneva is not the worst

Drug consumption is increasing throughout Switzerland. Cocaine and its derivative, crack, have spread widely in Swiss cities, particularly in Geneva. But the latest results of the OFSP’s wastewater analyzes show that Geneva is by far not the city most affected by crack consumption. According to the NZZ am Sontag, Lausanne and Chur top this ranking.

It is not in Geneva, but in Lausanne and Chur that Crack consumption is highest in Switzerland. Geneva ranks 6th among Swiss cities.
This ranking is based on the latest wastewater analyzes from the OFSP dated 2023, and disclosed by the NZZ this weekend. For the first time, researchers were able to isolate crack cocaine in the samples.

Catch-up effect

Crack, the consumption of which has exploded in Switzerland, is nevertheless particularly visible in Geneva. To the point of pushing last fall, the cantonal authorities launched a vast plan to try to stem the phenomenon.

The Première ligne association confirms this sharp increase since 2021. Social workers distributed 5,000 crack pipes that year, and around 24,000 in 2023. Its director, Thomas Herquel, does not say he is particularly surprised by this ranking. In Geneva, there is more precariousness and therefore more visibility. And above all, the trend is increasing. “In Lausanne and Zurich, crack consumption has been established for a very long time, and Geneva is catching up. If we could see the last 3-4 years, we would see that Lausanne and Zurich are relatively stable and that Geneva is catching up.”

Cocaine surge

The latest wastewater analysis confirms another concern.
Cocaine consumption has never been so high in Switzerland. Detected residues of this drug increased by a third between 2021 and 2023.

This situation requires a strong reaction, believe experts from the Confederation. In an appeal published last week, the Federal Commission for Addiction Issues proposed changing its approach and testing the controlled distribution of cocaine in certain specific cases. “The recovery of certain markets resolves a certain number of concerns such as violence or street dealing,” recognizes the director of Première Ligne. “But we must do it carefully, particularly regarding the takeover by large private groups. For reasons of profit, this can have effects on encouraging consumption, particularly among young people.”

Analyzes carried out by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction confirm the high presence of cocaine in Swiss wastewater. Zurich and Geneva are in the top 10 cities with the highest cocaine consumption in Europe.

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