FSD3512 Alcohol and Drug Survey 2018

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  • Karjalainen, Karoliina (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare)
  • Hakkarainen, Pekka (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare)
  • Aarnio, Anna-Riikka (Statistics Finland)
  • Hokka, Päivi (Statistics Finland)
  • Salasuo, Mikko (Finnish Youth Research Society. Finnish Youth Research Network)


alcohol use, cannabis, drinking behaviour, drug abuse, health status, polydrug use, smoking, substance use


The 2018 Alcohol and Drug Survey studied the substance use of Finnish adult population as well as attitudes and opinions on drugs and drug policies. Additionally, the survey charted legal drug or medicinal product abuse and use of performance-enhancing drugs (doping).

The respondents were first asked about smoking and snus use. Alcohol use was charted by asking the respondents how often they drank and how much they tended to drink. The survey also carried a set of attitudinal statements about the health risks of different substances. The respondents were also asked if certain actions, such as polydrug use or growing cannabis plants, should be punishable by law. Regarding cannabis, the respondents were asked whether it should be legal to buy cannabis, and if it were legal, where it should be sold. The respondents' cannabis use was charted by asking them if they had used cannabis in the previous 12 months, and whether their cannabis use was recreational or medical. Ways of obtaining and using cannabis were investigated. The respondents were also asked if they knew people who grew cannabis or if they had grown cannabis themselves.

The respondents were asked which illegal drugs they would try if using them was not illegal, and whether they personally knew people who used illegal drugs. They were also asked if someone had offered them illegal drugs, and how easily they thought they could obtain drugs within 24 hours. Concerning the respondents' own drug use, they were asked if they had ever used any of the various drugs listed, such as cocaine or LSD. The respondents' recent drug use was charted by asking which illegal drugs they had used during last 12 months and the last 30 days. Furthermore, the respondents were asked if drug use had ever caused difficulties in different areas of their life.

One set of questions surveyed which legal drugs, if any, the respondents had used for non-medical purposes. Reasons for non-medical use of legal drugs were investigated. The respondents were also asked where they had obtained the drugs. Use of nitrous oxide and glues was examined. Polydrug use was investigated by asking the respondents which combinations of drugs they had used and what their reasons for using them were. Use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports (doping) was surveyed.

Opinions on drug use were probed with several statements, such as "Use of marijuana and hashish should be legal". The respondents were also asked if they feared that other people's drug use could cause them physical harm, and whether they considered drugs or alcohol to be the bigger social problem in Finland. The most important sources of information on drugs for the respondents were surveyed. The respondents' health was charted by asking them if they had been prescribed different medicines, such as anti-depressants or opiates. The respondents were also asked if they attributed any health problems to their alcohol or drug use. Finally, the respondents were asked how often they engaged in physical activities.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, age, type of municipality, marital status, household composition, education, and economic activity and occupational status.

Study description in machine readable DDI-C 2.5 format

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