Poor self-rated health and use of prescription drugs are associated with simultaneous polydrug use
Background There are few studies concerning simultaneous polydrug use although the phenomenon is associated with severe health risks. The aim of this study was to examine simultaneous polydrug use in Finland and the factors associated with it.
MethodsThe data were derived from the population-based Drug Survey conducted in Finland in 2018. The respondents were Finnish adults aged 15–69 years (n = 3229).
ResultsPoor self-rated health and use of opioids, antidepressants and sedatives were associated with simultaneous polydrug use. In addition, use of tobacco products, illicit drugs and alcohol as well as prescription drug misuse were associated with simultaneous polydrug use. Simultaneous polydrug users were male, young and living in big cities more often than the reference population.
The most common substance combinations were cannabis and alcohol (76%) and prescription drugs and alcohol (40%). The users considered the regular misuse of prescription drugs high-risk less frequently than the reference population.
ConclusionsSimultaneous polydrug use may be associated with health problems. To avoid severe interactions, it is important to pay attention to prescription drug misuse, simultaneous polydrug use and the attitudes towards them.
Lotta Leinonen, Niina Karttunen, Karoliina Karjalainen
Ph.D. (Pharm.), University Lecturer
University of Eastern Finland, School of Pharmacy