Finland country overview

Finland country overview

Map of Finland

About NFP: 

The national focal point is hosted by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

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Last updated: Thursday, May 26, 2016

Drug use among the general population and young people

Content for prevalence: 

A general population survey on drug use has been carried out in Finland every two to four years since 1996 among people aged 15–69. It is conducted online (since 2010) or via a postal questionnaire, with the exception of the survey carried out in 2000, when a face-to-face interview method was used.

The 2014 survey results indicate a steady increase in cannabis use among people aged 15–64 in Finland since the start of the observation. In the 15–64 age group 21.7 % reported that they had used cannabis at least once in their life (18.3 % in 2010). Lifetime prevalence of amphetamines use was reported by 3.4 % of respondents, ecstasy by 3 % (which is a statistically significant increase when compared to 2010), cocaine by 1.9 % and LSD by 1.5 %. Last year prevalence of cannabis use was 6.8 % and last month prevalence was 2.5 %. The highest rate of drug use was recorded among 15- to 34-year-olds. Some 31 % of respondents in this age group reported ever having used cannabis, while 13.5 % had used it in the last year and 4.9 % in the last month. In 2014 recent use of cannabis was most prevalent among 25- to 34-year-old males; this group also showed the steepest increase in recent cannabis use prevalence from 3 % in 1992 to 18.5 % in 2014. Regarding females, recent cannabis use was more prevalent among 15- to 24-year-olds, when compared to those aged 25–34 (12.6 % and 5.3 % respectively). The results of European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) for 15- to 16-year-olds, from 2011, indicate that 11 % of respondents had ever tried marijuana or hashish (8 % in 2007; 11 % in 2003; 10 % in 1999). The reported lifetime prevalence of cannabis use was 12 % for males and 10 % for females. In 2011 the lifetime prevalence of inhalants use was 10 %, the same as in the 2007 study (10 % in 2007; 8 % in 2003; 5 % in 1999). Lifetime prevalence of the use of ecstasy and other illicit drugs was reported by 1 % of the sample. Last year prevalence of cannabis use was 9 % (6 % in 2007; 8 % in 2003) and last month prevalence was 3 % (2 % in 2007; 3 % in 2003).

Drug experimentation has increased in Finland since the first ESPAD survey was carried out in 1995. The surveys indicate that pupils who are doing well in school use substances of any kind less than do pupils who are performing poorly. By contrast, the educational background of the pupil’s family does not significantly influence experimentation.

Look for Prevalence of drug use in the 'Statistical bulletin' for more information  


Content for prevention: 

Substance use prevention in Finland is part of the wider concept of the promotion of well-being and health. It is the responsibility of both central and local governments under the umbrella of the National Prevention Programme, and is coordinated by the National Institute for Health and Welfare, with local governments focusing on practical measures and coordination of activities. It is recommended that local authorities have in place strategies for mental health and substance use services at health centres, but a 2008 survey of health centres showed that about one-third of centres do not have such a strategy in place. Quality criteria have been determined for substance use prevention. Substance use prevention also includes the prevention of smoking and functional dependencies.

School-based prevention is focused on all school levels and aims to create safe and risk-reducing environments for pupils. Substance education is a part of compulsory health education. In addition, counselling and support in substance-related problems are offered by health and social services in schools. All schools have a substance use prevention strategy as part of their student welfare plan, comprising guidelines for substance use prevention and substance-related problems, together with information on cooperation and networking with local stakeholders. Individual schools can decide independently about specific school-based drug prevention activities, but these activities are not systematically reported. The most popular approaches are knowledge transfer, experimental pedagogy, life-skills education, affective education and alternatives to substance use. Substance abuse prevention is also embedded in general prevention programmes for young people, but manualised substance abuse prevention programmes in schools are rarely implemented, since the whole system is focused on offering a protective school climate. Youth work is considered an important part of substance abuse prevention among young people, and Preventiimi [] is a focal point for training on preventive programmes in Finland.

With regard to selective and indicated prevention, the National Institute for Health and Welfare has published a guide for social welfare and healthcare professionals on the early identification of mental health and substance abuse problems. In 2009 guidebooks were published on the management of substance use problems, and on the identification and screening of mental health and substance abuse problems. Risk prevention activities targeting school dropouts or young drug users are mainly implemented through health counselling centres, outreach youth work teams run by non-governmental organisations (NGOs), sheltered youth homes, rehabilitation units and workshops for young people. The family support centre Free from Drugs, a volunteer organisation, provides family-oriented substance use prevention services. In Finland, as in some other European countries, drug testing has been introduced in workplace settings to facilitate early interventions and referral to support services for those who may need it. A low-threshold web service, Addiction, is an additional tool to provide information and self-help for high-risk populations.

See the Prevention profile for Finland for more information.  

Problem drug use

Content for problem drug use: 

Up to 2012 the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) defined problem drug use as injecting drug use or long duration/regular use of opiates, cocaine and/or amphetamines. However, in 2012 a new definition of ‘high-risk drug use’ was adopted. The new definition includes ‘problem drug use’, but is broader (mainly in its inclusion of high-risk use of more substances). Details are available here.

The latest estimates of high-risk drug use populations using the capture–recapture method are available from 2012 and are based on data from the Police Information System (including driving under the influence), the Hospital Discharge Register (including outpatient data and opioid substitution treatment) and the National Infectious Diseases Register. Nearly 13 900 high-risk drug users used amphetamines (sensitivity interval: 10 980–17 760). There were about 13 800 high-risk opioid users (sensitivity interval: 12 700–15 090), or 4.12 per 1 000 inhabitants aged 15–64 (sensitivity interval: 3.78–4.49). The opioid most commonly used was buprenorphine. It is estimated that in total there are between 18 400 and 30 200 high-risk drug users Finland and that a large proportion of them use both amphetamines and opioids.

The previous estimates of problem amphetamine and opioid use were reported for 2005, but should only be used for comparison with great caution due to considerable differences in the sampling and statistical methods applied between both studies, and improvements in the registration practices and treatment availability.

The prevalence of frequent cannabis use was estimated based on 2010 general population survey data, which indicated that about 0.2 % of 15- to 64-year-olds used cannabis daily or almost daily.

Look for High-risk drug use in the Statistical bulletin for more information. 

Treatment demand

Content for treatment demand: 

In Finland the National Institute for Health and Welfare collects data on drug treatment patients, but there is no official register of drug treatment centres. Anonymous individual data are collected by the national focal point. The collection of drug treatment information is voluntary for treatment centres in Finland, and many centres, in particular general healthcare centres, do not report data. The last studies carried out in 2004 and 2011 to estimate the level of data coverage in specialised drug treatment centres indicated coverage of around 32 %, varying according to facility type.

In 2014 drug treatment information was collected from 94 outpatient and 72 inpatient treatment centres and six prisons. Data were collected on 1 289 clients admitted for treatment, of which 531 were new clients entering treatment for the first time.

In 2014 some 58 % of all treatment clients entered treatment due to opioid use (mainly injecting buprenorphine), followed by cannabis at 21 % and stimulants at 14 %. Among new treatment clients, the majority (42 % or 222 clients) also reported that opioids were their main problem drug, followed by cannabis at 35 %, and stimulants at 17 %. Injection rates remained high among all treatment clients (78 % for opioids and 82 % for stimulants) and new treatment clients (68 % for opioids and 80 % for amphetamines). It should be noted that the overall proportion of clients with primary opioid use has increased over the years, which might be due to a combination of factors, including the increased number of problem drug users and the specialisation of drug services in interventions targeting those clients.

In 2014 the mean age of all treatment clients was 29 years, while the new treatment clients were on average 26 years old. With regard to gender distribution, around 66 % of all treatment clients were male and 34 % were female. A similar gender distribution was reported among new treatment clients, with 63 % male and 37 % female.

Look for Treatment demand indicator in the Statistical bulletin for more information.  

Drug-related infectious diseases

Content for drug-related infectious diseases: 

The National Institute for Health and Welfare operates the National Infectious Diseases Register. In 2014 it recorded 181 new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection; however, more than half were among foreigners. In 2014 seven cases of HIV were attributed to injecting drug use (six of them were foreigners). In 1997 only two cases of diagnosed HIV infection were attributed to injecting drug use, increasing to 85 in 1999. The number of cases has decreased significantly since then. The national prevalence rate of HIV infection among people who inject drugs (PWID) for 2007 was estimated at 1.2 %, based on a sample of 722 people. In 2014 a sample of 588 current injecting drug users in needle and syringe programmes indicated HIV prevalence at 1.2 %.

In 2014 some 1 224 new cases of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection were diagnosed (1 172 in 2013), more than half of which were linked to injecting drug use. HCV prevalence among 589 clients of needle and syringe programme sites was 74.02 % in 2014, and is considerably higher among those older than 34. In 2014 some 17 cases of acute hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections and 248 chronic HBV cases were diagnosed; the means of transmission were identified in a small proportion of cases, and none was attributed solely to injecting drug use.

In general, there has been a significant decline in HIV and HBV infections linked to injecting drug use over the past decade, which is largely attributed to the work of health counselling centres, including the exchange of used needles and syringes for clean ones and provision of the HBV vaccination free of charge to risk groups. However, the prevalence of HCV has remained fairly stable. It is believed, that sharing used injecting paraphernalia is a main transmission route for HCV in Finland, and therefore the first national strategy on HCV infection is proposed for adoption in 2016.

Look for Drug-related infectious diseases in the Statistical bulletin for more information.  

Drug-induced deaths and mortality

Content for drug-induced deaths: 

The National Cause of Death Register (General Mortality Register — Statistics Finland) and the Special Registry provide data on drug-induced deaths in Finland. Data from the Special Registry are based on forensic toxicological examinations that must be conducted in cases where death is unexpected or sudden. Data extraction and reporting are in line with the EMCDDA definitions and recommendations.

A third indicative source is the Hjelt Institute, which provides data on the number of cases with positive chemical findings in forensic autopsies. The drug is not necessarily the direct cause of death for these cases.

According to the standard definition for the general mortality registries there were 176 drug-induced deaths in 2014, which is a reduction in the 203 and 213 cases reported in 2013 and 2012. Over the past 11 years the number of drug-induced deaths has generally increased and there was a fairly sharp increase in 2011 and 2012, mainly due to an increase in opioid- , amphetamine- and cannabinoid-induced deaths. In 2014 a total of 146 deaths involved opioids — mainly opioid-containing medications such as buprenorphine, usually in combination with other psychoactive substances, e.g. alcohol or benzodiazepines. In 2014 the mean age of the victims was 37.3 years and the majority of the deceased were male (141). In 37 cases new psychoactive drugs were detected in the post-mortem toxicological analyses, of which alpha-PVP and MDPV were the most commonly found.

The drug-induced mortality rate among adults (aged 15–64) was 47.4 deaths per million in 2014, more than three times the most recent European average of 19.2 deaths per million.

Look for Drug-related deaths in the Statistical bulletin for more information.  

Treatment responses

Content for treatment responses: 

The provision of drug treatment is the responsibility of the regions and municipalities, and is regulated by the Act on Welfare for Substance Abusers, the Social Welfare Act, the Mental Health Act and a Decree governing detoxification and substitution treatment for opioid addicts.

Specialised services are mainly provided by social welfare, while a trend to move drug treatment to primary health is increasingly noticeable. In particular this can be observed in the provision of opioid substitution treatment (OST), which has increasingly been transferred to health centres or pharmacies. Drug treatment is mainly funded by the public budget of the communities and delivered by NGOs or foundations, or public treatment agencies; it is either free of charge or a subject to a small customer fee. Inpatient treatment usually requires a payment guarantee from the social welfare office of the client’s home municipality. Fractured systems, limited funding, long waiting times and the attitude of primary health providers are mentioned as obstacles to accessing treatment services. Decentralisation of the treatment services makes the monitoring of service provision rather challenging.

Problem alcohol use is a much greater problem in Finland than is illicit drug use. Thus, there are more generic addiction treatment facilities than specific facilities, and this is the case for both outpatient and inpatient facilities. Drug treatment can be divided into five main categories: outpatient clinics; short-term inpatient care; long-term rehabilitation units; support services; and peer support activities. Outpatient services provide treatment for all kinds of addictions, and also include specialised youth outpatient services and outpatient services for problem drug users. They provide an assessment of mental and somatic status, counselling, individual, family or group therapy, referrals, detoxifications or OST. Short-term inpatient care refers to inpatient detoxification treatment, which is usually arranged in rehabilitation units, detoxification units or specialised healthcare services. The duration of the detoxification period varies from 24 hours to four weeks. Long-term rehabilitation includes residential psychosocial treatment for problem drug users, residential services for youth and psychiatric services for problem drug users. Residential long-term rehabilitation has been increasingly substituted by housing services with out-patient drug treatment. The move has been largely motivated by cutting the costs of long-term rehabilitation In addition, income-related activities, living and employment assistance are provided to facilitate treatment and recovery. Specialised medical care for addiction is also provided in emergency clinics and mental health services. It should be noted that available treatment is often focused on the needs of opioid users, while long-term treatment options for amphetamine users remain limited. The care guideline on the treatment of drug abuse was updated in 2012 and now incorporates guidelines for the treatment of users of new psychoactive substances and cannabis, emergency care cases, pregnant women, users with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and intoxicants users.

OST is provided in inpatient and outpatient settings. It is typically initiated in specialised inpatient units, after which clients are transferred to social outpatient services or health centres. General practitioners and pharmacies are increasingly involved in the provision of these services. Methadone was introduced in Finland in 1974 and buprenorphine became available in 1997. The buprenorphine/naloxone combination was introduced in 2004, making Finland the first country in Europe where this substitution medication became available.

In 2014 a total of 3 000 clients were estimated to be receiving OST.

See the Treatment profile for Finland for additional information.  

Harm reduction responses

Content for harm reduction responses: 

In 1998, when the HIV epidemic began among Finnish drug users, public attention focused on preventing the disease being transmitted among people who inject drugs. Based on the Communicable Diseases Decree of 1986, which stipulates that the local level of governance (municipalities) is in charge of the prevention of infectious diseases, harm reduction services were established and are implemented by municipal bodies.

Current harm reduction responses in Finland include outreach work and local health counselling centres. In addition, some harm reduction activities are carried out at treatment units. Outreach work mainly involves street patrols, with the aim of mediating between drug users and the official care system. Peer work is used in several locations and focuses on reaching the most excluded and hardest to reach groups of drug users.

Health counselling centres are low-threshold facilities catering for problem drug users, offering: referral to treatment; case management; information on drug-related diseases and risks such as overdoses; provision of injecting equipment; testing for infectious diseases and vaccination provision; and limited healthcare. It should be noted that referral to treatment for infectious diseases and for dependencies is considered an integral component of harm reduction services in Finland. However, there is some variation in service provision, depending on the facilities. The health counselling centres that provide sterile injecting equipment to prevent infectious diseases are located mainly in cities of over 100 000 inhabitants, and are available at about 30 locations across Finland (26 fixed sites, one site serviced by outreach workers and 13 sites serviced by needle and syringe programme vans).

A decree on vaccinations passed in 2004 recommends, as part of the general vaccination programme, free vaccination against hepatitis A and B viruses for people who inject drugs (PWID), their sexual partners and individuals living in the same household. The most recent data indicate that more than one-third of PWID in contact with the drug treatment system had received all three vaccine doses, and more than half had received at least one.

According to available data, the number of clients using needle and syringe programmes at health counselling centres significantly increased during the period 2001–10, and the number of service users increased from 8 400 to more than 14 000 individuals. Between 2011 and 2013 client numbers stabilised at 11 000 but in 2014 more than 14 000 clients were reported by the services. The number of syringes given out has increased year on year from 950 000 in 2001 to 4.5 million in 2014. Needles and syringes can also be purchased without medical prescription at most pharmacies in Finland, and pharmacies play a key role in needle and syringe provision in areas where there are no health counselling centres.

In Finland the HBV vaccine is recommended for several high-risk groups, including prisoners and injecting drug users.

See the Harm reduction overview for Finland for additional information.  

Drug markets and drug-law offences

Content for Drug markets and drug-law offences: 

Finland is not a prime target of the worldwide drug trade; however, the drug trade is professional and dominated by organised crime groups with strong international connections to the neighbouring countries of Estonia, Lithuania and Sweden. Because of its location, Finland is increasingly seen as a route to Russia for cocaine and hashish, for example.

While the Finnish drug market is fairly stable, there is concern over an increase in the domestic cultivation of cannabis and its professionalisation, and the smuggling of amphetamines, ecstasy and other synthetic psychoactive substances and narcotic pharmaceuticals. Hashish mainly originates in Morocco, reaching the Finnish market from central or eastern Europe. Amphetamine is smuggled to Finland mostly via Sweden and Estonia, primarily from western European sources. The availability of heroin in the Finnish market plummeted after 2001, and it was replaced by buprenorphine. In the earlier years, Subutex was mainly diverted from illegal prescriptions in Estonia and Latvia. Although the shipping route between Tallinn and Helsinki remains a major channel for smuggling buprenorphine-based medications, recently mainly from Lithuania, they are often also smuggled from France, and recently also from Norway, via the northern route through Sweden. The increased availability of new psychoactive substances (NPS) is one of the emerging trends of the Finnish drug scene, and they are usually ordered online from abroad. In 2010, for the first time ever, police discovered a local production site of synthetic drugs and the quantity of mCPP tablets seized indicated that the production was intended for export. NPS are mainly imported via mail or express cargo services from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Poland and Germany.

The domestic cultivation of cannabis has become more popular, which is also reflected in the high numbers of cannabis plants seized in recent years (21 800 plants and 189 kg of substance in 2014, and 23 000 plants and 62.5 kg of substance in 2013). However, in general the volumes of seizures fluctuate from one year to next, and are affected by the priority of law-enforcement agencies to focus on large-scale smuggling. In 2014 a total of 313 kg of herbal cannabis and 52 kg of cannabis resin were seized. Record quantities of amphetamine and ecstasy were seized in 2014 (298 kg of substance and 131 700 tablets respectively). Cocaine has been appearing on the market more frequently in past 10 years, but it remains rather marginal. In 2012 an exceptionally large amount of cocaine was seized: about 26 kg, of which 20 kg was en route to Sweden. In 2014 a total of 6.3 kg of cocaine was seized. As heroin has been largely replaced by illegally obtained Subutex, it is worth noting that more than 25 150 Subutex tablets were seized in Finland in 2014.

In 2014 a total of 21 781 drug-law offences were reported, which is lower than in 2013 (22 636 offences). There is an increasing trend in the proportion of use-related offences, which is attributed to the growing popularity of home-grown cannabis and the increase in its use, and to the smuggling of medicines. In 2014 more than 62 % of all reports were use-related offences.

Look for Drug-law offences in the Statistical bulletin for additional data. 

National drug laws

Content for National drug laws: 

The central framework for drug legislation in Finland is based on the Narcotics Act. The provisions for drug offences are laid down in Chapter 50 of the Penal Code. The use of drugs and possession of small amounts of drugs for own use constitute drug-use offences punishable by a fine or a maximum of six months’ imprisonment. Prosecution and punishment can be waived if the offence is considered insignificant, or if the suspect has sought treatment specified by the Decree of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

A ‘drug offence’ includes possession (whether for personal use or supply), manufacturing, growing, smuggling, selling and dealing. There is no specific offence of dealing or trafficking. The penalties for a drug offence range from a fine to a maximum of two years’ imprisonment, while an aggravated drug offence is punishable by 1–10 years’ imprisonment. Aggravating circumstances for a drug offence include, for example: substances considered as ‘very dangerous’; large quantities of drugs; considerable financial profit; or if the offender acts as a member of a group that has been organised for the express purpose of committing such an offence.

In 2014 the Narcotics Act was amended to address both narcotics and ‘psychoactive substances banned from the consumer market’. These latter substances are listed in a Government Decree following a defined procedure of evaluation, and unauthorised supply is classed as an offence endangering health and safety, punishable by up to one year in prison.

Go to the European Legal Database on Drugs (ELDD) for additional information.  

National drug strategy

Content for National drug strategy: 

The principles and objectives of Finland’s drug policy were described in its 1997 National Drugs Strategy, and subsequent resolutions outline action for specific periods. Following resolutions for the periods 2004–07 and 2008–11, the Government Resolution on the Action Plan to Reduce Drug Use and Related Harm was adopted in August 2012. Covering the period 2012–15, it is primarily concerned with illicit drugs and represents continuity with the approach set out in the 1997 strategy.

The 2012 Action Plan addresses five areas: (i) preventive work and early intervention; (ii) combating drug-related crime; (iii) treatment of drug addiction and reduction of harm from drug use; (iv) the European Union’s drug policy and international cooperation; and (v) information collection and research regarding drug problems. A new Action Plan for 2016–19 is being developed

Coordination mechanism in the field of drugs

Content for Coordination mechanism in the field of drugs: 

In 1999 the Government set up the National Drug Policy Coordination Group, which is composed of representatives from all involved ministries and is re-appointed every four years. This group has the task of coordinating national drug policy and intensifying collaboration between authorities in their effort to implement and monitor the Government’s Resolutions on Cooperation regarding national drug policy. It is coordinated by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, and is attended by representatives from the Ministry of the Interior, the National Police Board, the Ministry of Justice, the Office of the Prosecutor General, the Ministry of Finance, the customs authorities, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the National Board of Education, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the National Institute for Health and Welfare and the Finnish Medicines Agency, Fimea.

The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) is a research and development institute under the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. THL develops and directs drug prevention and coordinates drug policy throughout the country in cooperation with other authorities.

Each municipality has a substance abuse worker who coordinates local actions, mainly in the field of prevention. These substance abuse workers are coordinated and supervised by the THL. Provincial governments have cross-sectoral working groups for alcohol and drug issues, which coordinate and supervise the implementation of actions by the municipalities.

Public expenditure

Content for Public expenditure: 

In Finland the National Drugs Strategy and Action Plan do not have associated budgets. However, the methodology for estimating the public expenditure on drug-related costs has been developed.

In 2013 total drug-related expenditure (1) represented 0.2 % of gross domestic product (GDP) (Table 1), with 63 % spent on public order and safety, 25 % on social protection and 13 % on healthcare. The method used to estimate total drug-related expenditure was updated in 2012, and subsequent data are not comparable with those reported up to 2012.

Trend analysis shows that in 2013 total drug-related public expenditure remained broadly unchanged in real terms (it increased by 1 % compared to the previous year); nonetheless, the increase of 2.4 % registered in nominal terms.

The Finish Government budget for municipals taking care of social and health costs is not identified as drug-related in budgets (‘unlabelled expenditures’) and must be estimated by modelling approaches (2).

Table 1: Total drug-related public expenditure, 2013.


Expenditure (thousand EUR)

% of total (a)

COFOG classification (b)



Public order and safety



Social protection









% of GDP

0.2 %



(a)         EMCDDA estimations.

(b)         According to the United Nations Classification of the Functions of Government (COFOG) Eurostat data sources: (general) and

Source: National Annual Report of Finland (2011)


(1) Some of the drug-related public expenditure is identified as such in the budget (‘labelled’). Often, however, the bulk of drug-related expenditure is not identified (‘unlabelled’) and must be estimated by modelling approaches. The total budget is the sum of labelled and unlabelled expenditures.

(2) Unlabelled expenditures are estimated on the basis of the method developed in Hein, R. and Salomaa, J. (1998), ‘Päihteiden käytön haittakustannukset Suomessa vuosina 1994–1995. Alkoholi ja huumeet’ [Harm-related costs of substance use in Finland 1994–1995: Alcohol and drugs.], Tilastoraportti 4 Helsinki: Stakes.

Drug-related research

Content for Drug-related research: 

Greater emphasis was first placed on drug-related research in the 1990s, as experimentation and use of drugs and their related harms were increasing. In the past 10 years drug-related research has evolved from a global approach and setting up the basic indicators for monitoring the drug situation to detailed research based on the development of the drug situation. The current policy guidelines include a section on information collection and research. Major actors in this area include the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), the National Research Institute on Legal Policy (Krimo) and several university departments. The state budget and the Academy of Finland are the main funding sources of drug-related research. The Nordic Centre for Welfare and Social Issues (NVC), based in Helsinki, also plays an important role in promoting and supporting research cooperation amongst the Nordic countries. The main channels for disseminating research findings are the drug situation report, published online by the national focal point, the domestic and foreign scientific journals that publish drug-related research and internet portals. Recent drug-related studies have focused on responses to and consequences of drug use, but research on prevalence and methodological issues has also been reported. In 2014–15 Finnish researchers published a number of articles on drugs in post-mortem toxicology.

See Drug-related research for more detailed information. 

Data sheet — key statistics on the drug situation

Content for Data sheet: 

        EU range      
  Year   Country data Min. Max.      
Problem opioid use (rate/1 000) 2012   4.12 0.2 10.7      
All clients entering treatment (%) 2014   57.8% 4% 90%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2014   41.9% 2% 89%      
Purity — heroin brown (%) 2014 1 41.0% 7% 52%      
Price per gram — heroin brown (EUR) :   : EUR 23 EUR 140      
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   1.0% 1% 5%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2014   1.0% 0% 4%      
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2014   0.5% 0% 2%      
All clients entering treatment (%) 2014   0.0% 0% 38%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2014   0.0% 0% 40%      
Purity (%) 2014   27.0% 20% 64%      
Price per gram (EUR) :   : EUR 47 EUR 107      
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   1.0% 1% 7%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2014   2.4% 0% 3%      
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2014   1.1% 0% 1%      
All clients entering treatment (%) 2014   12.1% 0% 70%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2014   13.2% 0% 75%      
Purity (%) 2014   24.0% 1% 49%      
Price per gram (EUR) :   : EUR 3 EUR 63      
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   1.0% 1% 4%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2014   2.5% 0% 6%      
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2014   1.1% 0% 2%      
All clients entering treatment (%) 2014   0.2% 0% 2%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2014   0.0% 0% 2%      
Purity (mg of MDMA base per unit) :   : 27 mg 131 mg      
Price per tablet (EUR) :   : EUR 4 EUR 16      
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   11.0% 5% 42%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2014   13.5% 0% 24%      
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2014   6.8% 0% 11%      
All clients entering treatment (%) 2014   20.5% 3% 63%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2014   35.1% 7% 77%      
Potency — herbal (%) 2014   2.7% 3% 15%      
Potency — resin (%) :   : 3% 29%      
Price per gram — herbal (EUR) :   : EUR 3 EUR 23      
Price per gram — resin (EUR) :   : EUR 3 EUR 22      
Prevalence of problem drug use                
Problem drug use (rate/1 000) 2012   6.2 2.7 10.0      
Injecting drug use (rate/1 000) 2012   4.6 0.2 9.2      
Drug-related infectious diseases/deaths                
HIV infections newly diagnosed (cases / million) 2014   1.3 0.0 50.9      
HIV prevalence (%) :   : 0% 31%      
HCV prevalence (%) :   : 15% 84%      
Drug-related deaths (rate/million) 2014   47.4 2.4 113.2      
Health and social responses                
Syringes distributed 2014   4 522 738 382 7 199 660      
Clients in substitution treatment 2011   3 000 178 161 388      
Treatment demand                
All clients 2014   644 271 100 456      
New clients 2014   265 28 35 007      
All clients with known primary drug 2014   644 271 97 068      
New clients with known primary drug 2014   265 28 34 088      
Drug law offences                
Number of reports of offences 2014   21 781 537 282 177      
Offences for use/possession 2014   13 681 13 398 422      

Key national figures and statistics

Content for Key national figures and statistics: 

b Break in time series.

e Estimated.

p Eurostat provisional value.

: Not available.

1 Gross domestic product (GDP) is a measure of economic activity. It is defined as the value of all goods and services produced less the value of any goods or services used in their creation. The volume index of GDP per capita in Purchasing Power Standards (PPS) is expressed in relation to the European Union (EU-27) average set to equal 100. If the index of a country is higher than 100, this country's level of GDP per head is higher than the EU average and vice versa.

2  Expenditure on social protection contains: benefits, which consist of transfers in cash or in kind to households and individuals to relieve them of the burden of a defined set of risks or needs.

3 Unemployment rates represent unemployed persons as a percentage of the labour force. Unemployed persons comprise persons aged 15 to 74 who were: (a) without work during the reference week; (b) currently available for work; (c) actively seeking work.

4 Situation of penal institutions on 1 September, 2014.

5 Share of persons aged 0+ with an equivalent disposable income below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold, which is set at 60 % of the national median equivalised disposable income (after social transfers).

Key figures
  Year   EU (28 countries) Source
Population  2014 5 451 270 506 944 075 bep Eurostat
Population by age classes 15–24  2014 12.0 %  11.3 % bep Eurostat
25–49 31.5 %  34.7 % bep
50–64 20.7 % 19.9 % bep
GDP per capita in PPS (Purchasing Power Standards) 1  2014 110 100 Eurostat
Total expenditure on social protection (% of GDP) 2  2013 21.2 % : Eurostat
Unemployment rate 3  2015 9.4 % 9.4 % Eurostat
Unemployment rate of population aged under 25 years  2015 22.4 % 20.3 % Eurostat
Prison population rate (per 100 000 of national population) 4  2014 56.8  : Council of Europe, SPACE I-2014.1
At risk of poverty rate 5  2014 12.8 % 17.2 % e SILC

Contact information for our focal point

Address and contact: 

National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL)

PO Box 33
FI-00271 Helsinki
(Office: Paciuksenkatu 21, FI-00271 Helsinki)
Tel. ++358 295246544

Head of national focal point: Ms Martta Forsell

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