Interviewed about their views upon and experiences of treatment, heavy alcohol and drug abusers in four towns in Finland and Sweden today will tell us two different stories about dependence, loneliness and (lack of ) autonomy. In Finland, the client has himself or herself to earn his/her right to treatment by proving his or her motivation, making independent or "autonomous" decisions. In Sweden, the authorities are strongly present in the lives of the abusers, who instead often have a conditional freedom.
Historically, the two countries have had very similar legislation and similar administration of alcohol and drug treatment, from the 1930s until the 1980s. In this tradition compulsory treatment had a central role. From the 1980s, Finland stopped using coercive treatment, while the position of administrative coercive measures have continued to be strong in Sweden.
This presentataion will give an historical interpretation of the similarities and differences in praxis and in ideologies between the countries, both at the national and at the local level. Based on interview data and vinjette-studies, the presentation will discuss the relationship between heavy substance users and society, and the present treatment system.
2007. 14- p.