Because of the illegality of the substances they depend on, drug addicts are likely to find themselves in a permanent conflict with the law. As a result they often get into an area of conflict between criminal proceedings and the medical and psycho-social care, they claim for. This thesis is considering this area of conflict and the way it exists in Vienna. The first part of the thesis contains the theoretical basis of the Viennese drug policy, more precisely the Austrian Suchtmittelgesetz (controlled substances legislation) and the drug strategy of the local government. The second part illustrates the implementation of the Viennese drug policy. On the one hand, tendencies of criminalizing drug addicts are being displayed, on the other hand, the spectrum of medical and psycho-social care is being described. Subsequently the role and function of social work in both paradigms is explained. The thesis is completed with a critical examination of the actual drug law and a short view towards alternatives of an effective future-oriented drug policy.