The aim of this study is to investigate the living conditions during child- and adulthood among people of foreign origin who are registered by the Department of Social Services in Stockholm as problematic consumers of narcotics. The results are compared to a control group, which is matched on a number of essential variables but consists exclusively of individuals who are not registered as problematic consumers of narcotics.
The research questions studied are: What were the living conditions of the study group during child- and adulthood? What differences, in terms of living conditions, can be found between the study group and the control group? Are problematic consumers of narcotics primarily recruited from ethnic minority groups from certain parts of the world and if so, can this be correlated to differences in living conditions between the various minority groups?
To answer these questions, information about the study group has been collected from the Department of Social Services in Stockholm, as well as from Statistics Sweden (SCB), The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (BRÅ) and The National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen). Information about the control group has been collected from the same registers with the exception of the registers owned by the Department of Social Services.
The results show that the individuals of the study group have experienced poor living conditions in both childhood and adulthood to a greater extent than those oft the control group, and that the differences are statistically significant. During childhood, it was more common among individuals in the study group to have parents who had little education, were unemployed, received social benefits, had been convicted of a crime and/or imprisoned, or who had been hospitalised for a psychiatric condition or for problematic consumption of alcohol or drugs. It was also more common for the individuals in the study group to have low education. As adults, the individuals in the study group had more often been unemployed, received social benefits, been convicted of a crime and/or imprisoned, or been hospitalised for a psychiatric condition or for problematic consumption of alcohol or drugs.
The results also revealed that there was a correlation between region of origin and living conditions for the control group. Individuals who originated from non-European countries had more often experienced more adverse living conditions as adults than individuals who originated from European countries. Individuals who originated from non-European countries were also more likely to have been raised by parents who were unemployed or who received social benefits. These factors indicate that people of non-European heritage generally have poorer living conditions in Sweden.
No such correlation between region of origin and living conditions was observed for the study group. Instead, the individuals in the study group had experienced adverse conditions irrespective of their origin. This indicates that the individuals who have become problematic consumers were amongst the most vulnerable members of each group.
Stockholm: Institutionen för socialt arbete - Socialhögskolan , 2008. , 104 p.