Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs

The Journal of Nordic Centre for Welfare and Social Issues

6 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.746

CiteScore 2016: 0.54

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.348
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.383

Open Access
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 31, Issue 5-6 (Dec 2014)


Governmental conceptions of the drug problem: A review of Norwegian governmental papers 1965–2012

Astrid Skretting
Published Online: 2014-12-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/nsad-2014-0047


BACKGROUND - It is almost 50 years since the “new” drug problem appeared in Norway. How have central authorities conceived of the drug problem during these 50 years? On what have relevant policymaking and action been based? How has the government’s conceptions of the drug problem been expressed over the years? DATA - White papers, action plans, bills etc. RESULTS - A review of the main policy documents shows how Norway adopted strict penal measures from the outset, while recognizing at the same time the need to apply an interdisciplinary approach to drug abuse and initiate various support measures for drug users alongside the penal measures. In recent years, there has been an increasing emphasis on seeing drug abuse as a health-related problem rather than one of control. Substance abuse is today perceived more in terms of dependency or as a disease, and harm reduction is increasingly seen as a pivotal aspect of policy. People with drug problems were known until recently as substance abusers, though the preferred term today is “drug dependents”. CONCLUSIONS - As such, one could say, Norway seems to have developed a “schizophrenic” view of the drug problem. On the one hand, the health aspects of drug abuse are increasingly central to thinking, while on the other penalties for drug offenses remain high. This health/penalty loop in turn seems to prevent the government from softening its stance on penalties - even if such a move were considered appropriate.

Keywords: Drug policy; governmental documents; Norway


  • Alkohol och narkotika (1982). Norden ska göras narkotikafritt [The Nordic countries shall become drug free]. CAN. Stockholm.Google Scholar

  • Andenæs, J.(1996). En mer human narkotikapolitikk? [A more humane drug policy?]. In W. Pedersen & H. Waal (Eds.), Rusmidler og veivalg [Alcohol, drugs and crossroads]. Cappelen Akademisk Forlag.Google Scholar

  • Bergersen Lind, B (1974). Narkotikakonflikten [The drug conflict]. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.Google Scholar

  • Christie, N. & Bruun, K (1985). Den gode fiende [The good enemy]. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.Google Scholar

  • Evang, K. (1969). Narkotikaproblemer [Drug problems]. Tidsskrift for Den norske lægeforening PubMedGoogle Scholar

  • Hauge, R. (1989). Fra opiumskrig til legemiddelkontroll [From war on opium to pharmaceutical control]. Rusmiddeldirektoratet.Google Scholar

  • Helse- og omsorgsdepartementet (2008). Opptrappingsplan for rusfeltet [National action plan on alcohol and drugs].Google Scholar

  • Helse- og omsorgsdepartementet (2010) Rapport om narkotika [Report on drugs]. Stoltenbergutvalget.Google Scholar

  • Helse- og omsorgsdepartementet (2014). Åpner ikke for røyking av heroin i sprøyterommet i Oslo [No to smoking of heroin in the drugs injection room in Oslo]. 20.02.2014Google Scholar

  • Justis- og politidepartementet (1967). Innstilling fra Straffelovrådet. Endringer i bestemmelsene for overtredelser av regler i lovgivningen om narkotika? [Report from the Penal Code Council. Changes in the regulations for violations of the acts related to narcotic drugs?].Google Scholar

  • Meld. st. nr. 30 (2011-2012). Se meg! En helhetlig rusmiddelpolitikk alkohol - narkotika - doping [See me! A comprehensive drugs - alcohol - doping - policy].Google Scholar

  • NOU (2002:4). Ny straffelov. Straffelovkommisjonens delutredning VII [A new penal code. Report from the Penal Code Council, part VII].Google Scholar

  • Ot. prp. nr 3 & 54 (2002-2003). Om lov om endringer i lov 13. desember 1991 nr 81 om sosiale tjenester m.v. og enkelte andre lover (statlig overtakelse av fylkeskommunens ansvar for tiltak for rusmiddelmisbrukere) [On the act on changes in the social service act etc. and some other acts (the state takeover the responsibility the services for substance abusers from the counties)].Google Scholar

  • Ot. prp. nr. 5. (1971-1972). Om lov om endringer i den alminnelige straffelov 22 mai 1902.nr 10 [On the act on changes in the penal code of 22 May 1902 no 10].Google Scholar

  • Ot. prp. nr. 8 (2004-2005). Om lov om endringer i midlertidig lov 2. juli 2004 nr. 64 om prøveordning med injeksjon av narkotika (sprøyteromsordning) m.m. [On the act on changes in the provisional act relating to a trial scheme of premises for drug injection (the drug injection rooms act) etc.].Google Scholar

  • Ot. prp. nr 23 (1983-1984). Om lov om endringer i straffeloven m.v. (narkotikalovbrudd og heleri). [On the act on changes in the penal code etc. (drug offences and receiving)].Google Scholar

  • Ot. prp. nr. 46. (1967-1968). Om lov om endrede straffebestemmelser for overtredelse av regler i lovgivningen om narkotika m.m.[On the act on changes in the penal provisions for violations on regulations in the legislation on narcotic drugs etc.].Google Scholar

  • Ot. prp. nr. 62 (1980-1981). Om lov om endring i straffeloven m m. [On the act on changes in the penal code etc.]. Google Scholar

  • Pedersen, W. (2010). Krigen mot narkotika går mot slutten. [The war on drugs is coming to an end] Nytt norsk tidsskrift 22, (1-2). Google Scholar

  • Sosialdepartementet (2002). Regjeringens handlingsplan mot rusmidler 2003-2005 [The Government´s action plan to combat drugs and alcohol related problems 2003-2005]. Google Scholar

  • St. meld. nr. 13 (1985-1986). Om narkotikaproblemene og narkotikapolitikken [On drug related problems and drug policy].Google Scholar

  • St. meld. nr. 16 (1996-1997). Narkotikapolitikken [The drug policy].Google Scholar

  • St. meld. nr. 66. (1975-1976) Om narkotikaproblemer [On drug related problems].Google Scholar

  • St. prp. nr. 138 (1978-1979). Om plan for økt innsats mot narkotikaproblemer. [Plan on increased efforts towards drug related problems].Google Scholar

  • EMCDDA (2014). Overviews of legal topics. Retrieved from http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/legal-topic-overviewsGoogle Scholar

  • Åsheim, K. A. (2012). Den tapte krigen [The lost war]. Retrieved from www. manifesttidsskrift.no Google Scholar

About the article

Received: 2014-03-14

Accepted: 2014-06-03

Published Online: 2014-12-11

Published in Print: 2014-12-01

Citation Information: Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, ISSN (Online) 1458-6126, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/nsad-2014-0047.

Export Citation

© by Astrid Skretting. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Kristian Mjåland
Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 2016, Volume 23, Number 2, Page 154

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in