Heroin and other opioids

In the 1980s and 1990s, a heroin epidemic had the whole country in its grip. Today, there are only a few new heroin users in Switzerland. About 20,000 people currently consume heroin on a regular basis. The substance itself is not necessarily harmful. In fact, as a medicinal substance, heroin is relatively well tolerated, if administered properly. What makes it dangerous is the incalculable risk of street heroin being cut with unknown adulterants, the possibility of an overdose and polydrug use.

After only a few seconds, heroin will cause an exhilarating effect known as the rush, followed by a longer phase of pleasure and euphoria. The risk of psychological and physical dependence is high. Since heroin is an illegal substance, people who use it are being criminalised, which puts them under additional pressure. Also causing stress is having to organise the next dose shortly after the last and the dreadful conditions in which the drug is often administered.

We are here for you during this difficult time and will help you regain a better quality of life. We will adapt this process entirely to your needs and abilities – unbiased and with an open mind. Our therapists and physicians will accompany you with respect and empathy.

Arud offers years of experience and a comprehensive range of outpatient treatments for heroin dependence:

  • treatment with so-called opioid agonists (medications that act on opioid receptors in the brain)
  • heroin-assisted treatment
  • outpatient detox: If you wish to stop your substance use altogether, we will help you find the best way to reach your goal. We place particular emphasis on showing you how to deal with possible setbacks and relapses constructively. If required, we will support the detox medically.

This is how we support you according to your needs:

  • addiction treatment: information, assessment and advice, support controlling or reducing consumption, outpatient detox, aftercare and relapse prevention
  • psychiatry and psychotherapy: mental health assessment and psychiatric treatment
  • GP services: general internal medicine, infectiology
  • social care: support in everyday life, e.g. dealing with problems in the social environment, at work, at school or in an apprenticeship, with finances or with the authorities and landlords
  • outpatient/legal measures to reinstate a driving licence or to comply with a court order


Would you like to get in touch or do you have any questions regarding treatment? We are there for you, with straightforward and confidential help.

+41 58 360 50 00
You can contact us from Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.

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