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Research field: Substance use and addiction

The use and abuse of drugs – alcohol and narcotics – is an important research specialisation at the Department of Social Work. This research concerns the problems that can arise as a result of drug (ab)use, for individuals (drug users and the people they are close to) and for society, and the public control, support and healthcare systems in place. 

Although the main focus is on illegal narcotics, the field also includes research on alcohol abuse. Some of the areas have been highlighted in a number of different projects, especially: 

  • Living conditions, lifestyles and risk-taking among individuals with drug problems
  • Social and medical problems and mortality among people who inject narcotics
  • Substance abuse and addiction care within the social services and healthcare system
  • Drug policy in Sweden and internationally.

Use and abuse and addiction to drugs need to be analysed from a social perspective and in relation to social, cultural and political factors at different levels. Our research includes analysing the consequences of personalisation, medicalisation and economisation for individuals as well as for the healthcare system and government drug policies.

The research is often based on an agency perspective, focusing on the individual’s reasons for their drug use as well as the various functions and intended use of the drugs. We use both qualitative and quantitative methods (interviews, questionnaires, registers, ethnography). In the projects, we like to work with practitioners, user organisations, and people with personal experiences of drugs. 

Ongoing research projects

"Fat words" or useful definitions? Stakeholders´ usage of the terms ´alcohol abuse´, ´alcohol dependence´ and ´risk drinking´

Khat – A study about users, use and societal targeting

Parents as victims of crime by their own drug-using children

Last updated by Carolin Lind