Reader ‘s opinion The treatment of drug problems needs to be reformed

Drug use has increased, especially among young people aged 15–29, and is no longer a separate issue from a narrow subculture.

Department of Health and Welfare research professor Pekka Hakkarainen hoped (HS Guest Pen 16.1.) New solutions to the growing drug problem. Traditional measures are not enough, but attitudes and measures to solve the problem need to be reformed.

Drug use has increased, especially among young people aged 15–29. survey carried out by homeless young Blue Ribbon Foundation, the majority of respondents had experimented with drugs, and 60 percent of them had experienced within one or more of an overdose of the past six months.

According to Statistics Finland’s cause of death statistics (2018), the increase in drug-related deaths occurred most in the 20–29 age group. In addition, various infections, tissue damage, and even amputations due to incorrect injection methods are regrettably common in young drug users.

Based on the experience of young people, drug use has changed, especially as a result of the easy availability of online drugs. The online drug trade has brought with it, among other challenges, the fact that the use of young people is no longer necessarily guided by a more experienced user of substances. The online and street trade has also become a dangerous phenomenon, that the drugs on offer may contain dangerous chemicals with which the substances have been continued.

Solving drug problems requires new types of harm reduction and prevention measures. In addition to communication on the dangers of drugs, it is important to provide solutions to combat the risks of drug use and to ensure the necessary treatment.

Providing individual support can reduce the risks associated with drug use. Information on safe use and possible operating rooms can also be solutions to the problem. Access to substitution treatment should also be easier.

Supporting young drug users is in everyone’s interest. As Hakkarainen also stated in his writing, drug use is no longer a separate issue in a narrow subculture. Treating or not treating the drug problem has a wide-ranging impact on the Finnish welfare society.

Leena Rusi

Director of Development

Blue Ribbon Foundation

Kimmo Karvonen

managing director

Blue Ribbon Foundation Group

Reader opinions are speeches written by HS readers, selected and delivered by HS editorial. You can leave a comment or learn about the principles of writing at www.hs.fi/kirjtamielipidekirjoitus/.

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