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Public Health Report

Intoxicants and substance use in Norway - summary

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Intoxicants and substance use

The number of people with alcohol and other drug problems is high, with between 10 and 20 per cent having problems caused by harmful alcohol or other substance use in their lifetime.

Substance use is also a major reason why young people are seriously injured in traffic and other accidents. Few drivers are intoxicated, but those that are have high levels of intoxication.

People with concurrent substance use and mental disorders are particularly vulnerable to accidents, domestic violence and premature death, and substance use is more common among people with mental disorders than in the general population.

Access to drugs is the main risk factor for substance use problems. The report shows that alcohol consumption has increased by 40 per cent over the past 20 years, mostly among women and the elderly. Alcohol consumption among adolescents has decreased. The availability of illegal drugs has increased and new synthetic drugs sometimes have unknown effects. Heart attacks have been registered in young people and deaths have been associated with the use of new synthetic drugs.