Use of drugs on the rise: Survey

04 Mar 2019, 19:53

  DF Report

File Photo Finnish Customs.

A survey conducted in autumn 2018 reveals that drug use and experimenting with drugs have continued to increase.

The most common drug used by Finns is cannabis. Experimenting with cannabis has grown fourfold from 6% in 1992 to 24% in 2018, said the National Institute for Health and Welfare.

The next most common is non-medical use of prescription drugs, but its’ prevalence has remained fairly stable during the 2000s. Other drugs have been experimented with by less than five per cent of the population, the most common ones being stimulants ecstasy and amphetamine.

In the majority of the cases, the use of drugs is limited to one or a few experimentations sometime in the past as the figures describing more continuous use i.e. the use during the past 12 months or the past 30 days remain at a distinctly lower level.

“As experimenting and drug use continue to become more common, different harmful effects and the need for services among people who use drugs are probably also on the rise. New methods, operating practices and strategies are needed to control the situation,” pointed out Research Professor Pekka Hakkarainen from THL.

The recent results on drug use and attitudes to drugs in Finland are from the Drug Survey conducted by THL. The data has been collected every four years since 1992 using mailed questionnaires.

The survey also looked into use of doping substances in the country.

A total of 2,229 Finns aged between 15 and 69 responded to the Drug Survey of 2018. The survey, which has already been repeated in a similar form eight times, provides an overall picture of the developments in drug use and changes in attitudes towards and views on drugs and drug policy.