Calls for drug law reform in Sweden as drug deaths continue unabated

Despite the large number of opioid-related deaths, the government has failed to introduce evidence-based health policies
Talking Drugs (UK)
Thursday, April 18, 2019

The debate around Sweden’s zero-tolerance drug policy has been reignited in recent months, due to the approach’s failure to reduce drug deaths. Sweden currently has one of the highest rates of drug-related deaths in Europe. This rate is more than four times the EU average. The Swedish government claims its strict legislation is aimed at reducing drug use, but that may be on the rise too. Recent government data indicates a slight rise in cannabis use among young people, while “ecstasy” (MDMA) use is also on the increase. Possession of drugs for personal use continues to be criminalised, and can be punished by a fine or prison sentence. A majority of political parties in the government's Committee on Health and Welfare now support reevaluating this approach.