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Prevalence of substance use among Russian, Somali and Kurdish migrants in Finland: A population-based study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 March 2020

E. Salama
Affiliation:
University of Turku, Psychiatry, Turku, Finland
S. Niemelä
Affiliation:
University of Oulu, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Rovaniemi, Finland
A. Castaneda
Affiliation:
National Institute of Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
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Abstract

Introduction

Although substance use is a well-known public health risk factor, European population-based studies reporting the substance use among adult migrant populations are scarce.

Objectives

We aim to: (1) determine the prevalence of alcohol use, cigarette smoking and consumption cannabis and intravenous drugs in Russian, Somali and Kurdish migrants in Finland and compare them to those of the Finnish general population; (2) determine if socio-economic and migration-related factors are associated with substance use in migrants.

Methods

We used data primarily from the Finnish migrant health and well-being study. Alcohol use was measured with the AUDIT-C questionnaire, smoking habits and the lifetime cannabis and intravenous drug use were recorded. Age-adjusted prevalence rates were determined by ethnicity and sex. The associations between background factors and substance use were analysed using logistic regression analysis.

Results

The prevalence rate of risky drinking is lower and the proportion of abstainers is higher in migrants than in the general population. Current smoking is more common in Russian (31%, P < 0,05) and Kurdish (31%, P < 0,05) migrant men than in the general population (21%). Younger age was associated with risky drinking, socioeconomic disadvantage increased the odd for the daily smoking among migrants, and migration-related factors were associated with substance use.

Conclusions

Migrants report less substance use than the general population, but acculturation-related factors seem to be associated with higher levels of substance use among migrants. Substance use seems to be a gendered phenomenon in migrant populations in comparison to the general population, where lately the alcohol and tobacco consumption of women have been growing.

Disclosure of interest

The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.

Type
EV93
Copyright
Copyright © European Psychiatric Association 2016

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