Published online by Cambridge University Press: 23 March 2020
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.