Drug and alcohol deaths up again in 2018

Finland has more drugs deaths per-100,000 inhabitants than other European countries.

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File picture of someone buying drugs / Credit: iStock

A record number of people died from drugs-related causes in Finland during 2018 – up more than 20% from the year before at 261 death.

The number of deaths has increased three years in a row, according to the latest figures from Statistics Finland released on Monday morning.

The age group most at risk were 20 to 29 year-olds, and the majority of drug-related deaths were multi-substance accidental overdoses where drugs were the most significant contributor, mixed with alcohol and/or pharmaceuticals.

Three out of four drug-related deaths were due to opioid use, and the most active ingredients were synthetic opioids.

Deaths from drugs is higher in Finland and other Nordic countries than elsewhere in Europe with 4.7 drug-related deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. More than 70% of deaths were men, but women committed most suicides with drugs.

Alcohol deaths also rising 

Deaths from alcohol-related causes increased last year to 1683. That’s up by one hundred deaths from the year before.

However that’s still far below the worst years for alcohol deaths from 2007 to 2009 when when more than 2000 people died from alcoho-related causes.

Three out of four people who died in Finland last year from alcohol were aged over 55.