Sweden

Statistics and other data regarding drugs and drug policies in Sweden, covering all areas including public safety/criminal justice, public health, prevention, treatment, and harm reduction.

Support for More Evidence-Based Interventions in Sweden

"In January 2010, a preliminary commission report concluded that Swedish health care and social services were of insufficiently quality and not diversified enough in the area of drug use. In the commission?s final report in June 2011, a number of proposals were submitted including increased financial resources, implementation of national guidelines, increased availability to drug treatment including a statutory enhanced health care guarantee, needle exchange and other evidence-based interventions.

Estimated Number of Current Drug Users in Sweden, 2010

"Two per cent of the men and 0.9 per cent of the women reported some type of illicit drug use in the past 30 days, corresponding to approximately 53,000 men and 24,000 women or a total of 77,000 people. Adding to this the 50,000 people who in the past 30 days had used prescription medicine without a doctor’s prescription, the total figure increases to 127,000 people. The population study indicates that the highest proportion of regular drug use is found among young men between the ages of 15 to 24, while the highest proportion among women is observed in the ages of 25 to 34.

Estimated Prevalence of Past-Year Illicit Substance Use in Sweden, 2013

"In 2013, an additional cross-sectional study of drug use was conducted in a nationally representative sample of the population in Sweden (Ramstedt, 2014). A total of 15,576 individuals (59.3% of the total sample) participated in the study and 10.5% reported that they had used an illicit drug or used some prescription medication in a non-prescribed way during the past 12 months. In this study, cocaine and amphetamines were the most common illicit substance reported after cannabis.

Estimated Number of Problematic Drug Users in Sweden

"In total, the number of problematic drug users in Sweden was estimated at a rounded of figure of 29,500. This number is not directly comparable to the figures previously derived in Sweden due to differences in both the data sources and the methods used. The national estimate relating to population was 3.2 with the 'all ages' denominator and 4.9 with the 15-64 years of age denominator (see Standard table 7 and 8 for details)."

Number of Drug Offenses and Convictions in Sweden, 2013

"According to Sweden’s official criminal statistics for 2013, about 96,200 offences against the Act on Penal Law on Narcotics were reported in 2013, an increase of almost 2% compared to 2012. The number of convictions with drug violations as the main crime decreased by 8% (about 1,910 convictions) compared to 2012. Of the 20,800 convictions in 2013 with a drug offence as the main crime, 13% involved women and 28% adolescents between the ages of 15 and 20.

Lifetime Prevalence of Drug Use Among Youth in Sweden

"The Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and Other Drugs (CAN) conducts annual national studies of the alcohol and drug use of school-age children. Since 1971, they have conducted school-based teacher-monitored surveys among a nationally representative sample of 9th grade elementary school students 15-16 years old. Since 2004, studies have also been carried out in the second year of upper-secondary school (11th grade) among students aged 17-18. In these annual surveys of adolescents, questions are asked about their use of a wide range of different substances and illicit drugs.

Sweden's History of Restrictive Substance Use Policies

"Between 1917 and 1955 Sweden had an alcohol rationing system, and even today embraces a comparatively restrictive alcohol policy. This tradition makes a restrictive drug policy a logical option. The current alcohol policy is based on the “total consumption” model, which holds that the more people use alcohol, the more they will abuse it and the greater the total harm caused by alcohol will be. The implication for policy, then, is to limit alcohol use through the instruments of price and availability."

Sweden's National Drug Control Strategy

"Sweden’s national drug strategy, the Comprehensive Strategy for Alcohol, Narcotics, Doping and Tobacco (ANDT), adopted in 2016, covers the period 2016-20. Its overarching goal is to have a society free from narcotics and doping, reduced medical and social harm from alcohol and reduced tobacco use. In 2018, the Swedish Riksdag adopted eight new target areas for public health policy. The overall aim of the policy has been reformulated to have a clear focus on equity in health. Measures relating to illicit drugs and other substances are relevant for several of the target areas.

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