22. July 2020  |  News

Shooting for US-Docu in the Arud

A film crew from New York and San Francisco was at the Arud on July 17th to interview professionals and patients and to record for a documentary series.

Thilo Beck (head of psychiatry), Oliver Wehrli (peer worker) and three patients of the Arud gave insights from their professional everyday life and reported about their own experiences and past. The protagonists also took the film team to the Platzspitz and shared their memories of the time when the square was the largest open drug scene in the western world. This was a very emotional moment for everyone involved in the shooting.

As a reaction to the open drug scenes, low-threshold methadone was prescribed in Switzerland from 1992. In 1994, heroin-assisted treatment was introduced as part of a scientific experiment, which was finally enshrined in law in 2008. Various other substances such as morphine or buprenorphine are also available for opioid agonist treatment. Switzerland thus assumed a pioneering role in drug policy worldwide. However, Switzerland is far from being as progressive in other areas of addiction policy (e.g. the use of cannabis), which means that it has now lost its pioneering role.

The 8-part documentary series entitled "The Fix" is inspired by Johann Hari's bestseller "Chasing The Scream" (in English "Drogen: Die Geschichte eines langen Kampfes"). From the fight against drugs to treatment, this documentary fights against misconceptions about addiction and pleads against the "war on drugs".

The documentary is produced among others by award-winning director Jeremiah Zagar and by Johann Hari for the recently launched US mobile streaming service Quibi.