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Saami and Norwegian clients' use of a treatment facility for drug and alcohol problems in northern Norway

, : Saami and Norwegian clients' use of a treatment facility for drug and alcohol problems in northern Norway. Arctic Medical Research 51(2): 81-86

Saami people ("Lapps") and Norwegians make different use of primary health care services, and Larsen and Nergård (1) reported an under-representation of Saami clients at a treatment facility for drug and alcohol problems in Northern Norway in the years 1986-1988. However, Saami and Norwegian groups did not differ in number of days in treatment, number of treatment incidents, mean age or self-reported years of problem drinking. Since it is believed that Saami clients are under-represented in Norwegian treatment facilities because of cultural differences, the location of treatment facilities within a Saami municipality was expected to increase the incidence of Saami clients. The present study investigated the incidence of Saami clients at Karasjok treatment facility during 1988 and 1989, 8 and 9 years after the opening of this treatment centre. All clients registered at Finnmark County's treatment facility for drug and alcohol problems during 1988-89 were categorized as either Saami or Norwegian by their language preference. Unfortunately, the Saami group was still under-represented among clients at this treatment facility. In addition, a significant difference in the sex-ratio between the two groups was found, indicating that Saami women do not use the institution at all. Results are discussed in terms of availability of health services for minority groups.


PMID: 1622531

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