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Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy
Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs
Volume 3 - Public Policy Options

Chapter 20 - Public Policy In Other Countries - Sweden



As in other countries, systematic figures on drug-related costs are not readily available.


Public costs

Treatment for alcohol and drug abuse has been estimated to cost municipalities SKR 3.7 billion (over $500 million Canadian) per year (55% of which is for institutional care). The police used 6% of its budget to combat drugs during 2000 (for a total of SKR 702 million–over $100 million Canadian). The police had 869 people involved in drug issues while customs had 1,080 involved in border defence. No costs were available for customs.


Social costs

The Commission on Narcotic Drugs estimated the social costs at SKR 7.7 billion per year (does not take into account prevention, training and evaluation).




As discussed above, the coordinator will now be responsible for coordinating the national drug policy. In the past, this role had been played by the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs. With respect to the legal distribution of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, the Medical Products Agency is responsible for issuing authorizations for the import and export of drugs. This Agency also provides drug related statistics to the UNDCP.

The Swedish National Police have responsibility for drug enforcement. The Drug Offences Division of the National Police Board conducts criminal investigations in relation to organized crime, or other drug-related offences, on a national or international scale. The Swedish Customs Service is responsible for points of entry.

The National Institute of Public Health coordinates demand reduction activities. It is also the National Focal Point in the REITOX network. Operational activities are coordinated at the regional and municipal level. There is also local coordination with the participation of social services, the police, prison and probation services, medical services, schools and other concerned parties. Thus, in prevention and care and treatment, local groups and municipalities play a key role.

Because of its encompassing nature, the drug issue also involves many other ministries, for example the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


[1][124]  The following information is based on the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, National Report – Sweden 2001, op. cit., page 15.

[2][125]  The information in the following section is based on the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, Country Drug Profile – Sweden, op. cit., page 12.

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