Substance abuse treatment

Substance abuse services in Finland

Substance abuse treatment refers to various outpatient and inpatient services that provide treatment and rehabilitation for problems related to intoxicant use. Some services may also be technology-assisted. The use of intoxicants may also involve physical illnesses and social problems, which require other social and health care services in addition to substance abuse treatment.

THL examines and develops services for people with substance abuse problems

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) produces statistical data and research knowledge on the need for services among substance abusers and the availability and use of these services.  

Service system studies (e.g. the one-day survey of intoxicant-related cases) explore the use of services in the social and health care service system as a whole. In recent years, substance abuse services have been assessed as part of an evaluation of the organisation of social welfare and health care services. 

Changes in the use of intoxicants are reflected in the use of social welfare and health care services. According to data from the one-day survey of intoxicant-related cases for 2015, almost 11,000 visits to different services occurring during a single day were related to intoxicants. The special services for substance abusers accounted for 35% of these visits, while 30% of them were health care, 18% housing service, 17% social service and 2% other service appointments.

The most recent one-day survey of intoxicant-related cases was carried out in autumn 2019 and its results will be published in 2020.

One-day survey of intoxicant-related cases (in Finnish)
Health and social services system performance assessment

Substance abuse services are developed as part of the development of the other social welfare and health care service system. The specialised services for substance abusers are changing as a result of the ongoing social welfare and health care reform. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health’s 

Social welfare and health care reform
National Mental Health Strategy