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.
Excessive Internet use. The report "Gefährdungspotenzial von Internet und Online-Games" [Risk Potential of the Internet and Online Games"] produced by the Federal Office of Public Health does not yet sound the alarm on online addiction, but warns that increased vigilance is required. more
Editorial Isabelle Widmer. The Internet is addictive. The intense fascination exerted by some Internet activities can result in excessive use that amounts to addiction, particularly in adolescents and young adults. And because the Internet access on mobile devices is improving all the time, the problem is likely to grow over the next few years. The distinction between the virtual and the real world will become increasingly blurred. Consequently, the up-and-coming generation will experience an entirely new form of socialisation, with consequences for society that can scarcely be predicted at present. more
Snow Control": the online Snow Control course helps cocaine users in their efforts to reduce their intake – or to achieve abstinence. more
Projects of the National Programme Alcohol. Within the framework of the National Programme Alcohol a total of twenty alcohol prevention projects financed or co-financed by the federal government have been realised or initiated in the last one and a half years. Some of them focus on alcohol consumption in the workplace and on protecting the children of alcoholic parents. This issue of spectra outlines three of the projects. more
National prevention programmes. The Swiss government has prolonged the national prevention programmes on tobacco, alcohol and diet & physical activity by four years until 2016. more
Position of the Federal Office of Public Health. The Federal Office of Public Health commissioned evaluations of the 2008–2012 national prevention programmes on alcohol, tobacco, diet & physical activity and of the Swiss government’s Package of Measures to Reduce Drug Problems 2006–2011 (MaPaDro III). The evaluators argued strongly in favour of prolonging the programmes and proposed a number of improvements. The recommendations have been incorporated into the programmes and some have already been implemented. more
Alcohol prevention. In 2011, the Federal Office of Public Health used the "Alcohol Dialogue Week" to launch the alcohol prevention campaign "Talking about alcohol" – a platform that society can use to discuss the topic of alcohol. The second "Dialogue Week" will take place in 2013. more
"Prevention measures always require careful weighing up of the demands of health protection and economic freedom."
Ursula Koch answers five questions. The Swiss government has prolonged the national prevention programmes on diet & physical activity, alcohol and tobacco until 2016. What does Ursula Koch, joint head of the National Prevention Programmes Division of the Federal Office of Public Health, think of this decision and of the role of prevention in our society? more
Networks. Quitting smoking, alcohol withdrawal, prescription of methadone: family doctors are often the first, and also the most important, professionals that addiction patients turn to for help. Collège romand de médicine de l’addiction (COROMA), Addiction Medicine Forum Eastern Switzerland (FOSUMOS) and Addiction Medicine Forum Central Switzerland (FOSUMIS) are networks that were set up to help family doctors professionalise and facilitate their work with addiction patients. more
2012 SmokeFree campaign. The new edition of the current anti-smoking campaign again celebrates the pleasurable life of the non-smoker. The public and the campaign partners appreciate this positive approach. more