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Scand J Public Health. 2010 Mar;38(2):184-91. doi: 10.1177/1403494809353822. Epub 2009 Nov 18.

Adolescent alcohol and illicit drug use among first- and second-generation immigrants in Sweden.

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Department of Economics, Swedish Business School, Orebro University, Orebro, Sweden.



This article compares adolescent alcohol and illicit drug use among first- and second-generation immigrants from Nordic, non-Nordic European and non-European countries with that of the native Swedish majority population.


Using data from a 2005 survey, multilevel logistic regression analysis was performed on a sample of 13,070 adolescents. The survey was conducted in three Swedish regions containing 24 municipalities.


Second-generation immigrants from Nordic countries were more likely to use alcohol and to binge drink, while first generation immigrants from non-European countries were less likely to; this difference is mainly explained by the relatively low use by girls from non-European countries. All immigrant groups were more likely to use illicit drugs than were the majority population. The highest drug use was found among first-generation Nordic immigrants and non-European immigrants. Consumption patterns among second-generation immigrants were more similar to those of the Swedish majority population, implying more alcohol use and less illicit drug use.


Preventive policy for alcohol use should target Nordic immigrants in Sweden (second generation), while preventive policy for drug use, which is a more general immigrant phenomena, should mostly target both Nordic and non-European immigrants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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