HomeDomestic NewsDanish study reveals worrying increase in youth use of dangerous substances

Danish study reveals worrying increase in youth use of dangerous substances

An investigation reveals a worrying increase in young people’s use of dangerous substances. A new study from the Health Authority reveals a concerning rise in the use of hazardous substances among young people. According to the study, 2.7 percent of the surveyed young people aged 18 to 25 have tried opioids or benzodiazepines at some point in their lives. Particularly alarming is that 1.4 percent of the participants have indicated that they have taken these substances within the past year. This equates to around 7,300 young Danes in this age group. Niels Sandø, unit manager at the Health Authority, expresses great concern over the results. “We are seriously concerned about the potential consequences when young people experiment with substances like opioids, which can have serious health effects,” says Niels Sandø in a press release. Sandø points out that the increased availability of illegal opioids in both stores and online is particularly concerning, and therefore, the situation requires increased attention. A recent assessment conducted by the country’s three forensic institutes concluded that the danger of opioids is “very high.” This is because the substances can lead to addiction, and there is a narrow margin between a recreational dose and a lethal dose. The assessment was carried out at the request of the government.

While the USA has been suffering from a widespread opioid crisis for several years, there is now also concern about a similar trend in Denmark. Earlier this year, the Ministry of Taxation announced that customs authorities are finding more opioids than ever before. A study from June last year conducted by the Health Authority and the Local Safety and Prevention (SSP) committee also shows that the misuse of opioids is spreading among Danish youth. 63 municipalities participated in this study, of which 15 reported an increase in the number of young people abusing opioids. These increases were observed in both large and small municipalities and were geographically spread across the country. The Health Authority is now urging municipalities to react quickly if they experience the use of hazardous substances among young people. They recommend using known tools and interventions. “The adults around young people, including parents, SSP staff, and other responsible adults, must react quickly and implement targeted interventions to help the young people,” stresses Niels Sandø.

Read the danish version here

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