The risks of cannabis and other illicit drugs: Views among French and Finnish addiction treatment providers

Laurence Simmat-Durand, Anja Koski-Jännes

Abstract


Simmat-Durand, L., & Koski-Jännes, A. (2015). The risks of cannabis and other illicit drugs: Views among French and Finnish addiction treatment providers. The International Journal Of Alcohol And Drug Research, 4(1), 61-69. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.7895/ijadr.v4i1.201

Aims: This study explores the effect of cultural context and group-level factors on the views held by treatment professionals in France and Finland about addiction and the dangers of illicit drugs.


Design: Cross-cultural survey.


Setting: Similar questionnaires were mailed to professionals working in specialized addiction treatment units in both countries.


Participants: In Finland, 520 treatment providers working personally with clients responded, and 472 responded in France. The samples differed in several ways. Most notably, the medical profession was more dominant in France, while social work and counselling dominated in Finland.


Measures: In addition to demographics, the questions covered different addictions, and included questions on the levels of danger of heroin, amphetamines and cannabis for individuals and the society.


Findings: Consistent cultural differences appeared in the views of Finnish and French professionals regarding the addictiveness of illicit drugs and their level of danger to society. These differences remained significant after controlling for professions and other background variables.


Conclusions: Cultural context, local prevalence of high-risk behaviors, familiarity with the substance, country of residence, and level of education appeared as major modifiers of risk perceptions.


Keywords


drug addiction; cross-cultural survey; France; Finland; professionals; views on addictions

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7895/ijadr.v4i1.201

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