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Finland - Action Plan

Preventive work in substance abuse and addictions is regulated by The Act of organising alcohol, tobacco, drugs and gambling prevention (523/2015). The act applies to the reduction of harms related to alcohol, smoking, drugs and gambling. Duration of the action plan is 2015–2025.


The Action Plan on Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs and Gambling supports the statutory work done in municipalities and regions. The plan highlights the practical possibilities for effective, wide-ranging and cost effective preventive work.

The aims of the plan are

to promote equity in health and well-being
to ensure the conditions for preventive work nationwide
to support the development and enhance the effectiveness of work done by municipalities and regions
The plan is a continuation of The Alcohol Programme. It makes sense to utilize and implement models that work!


Working together to reduce smoking and harms related to alcohol, drugs and gambling

The work done by municipalities to prevent harms related to alcohol, tobacco, drugs and gambling, impacts the daily lives of citizens. Preventive work is carried out in social and health services, in workplaces, in educational establishments and in recreational activities. It is also important to offer citizens the opportunity to participate in the prevention of alcohol, tobacco, drug and gambling related harms. 


Preventive work should be based on scientific evidence and evaluation.


The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health oversees the prevention of harms related to alcohol, tobacco, drugs and gambling on a national level. The National Institute for Health and Welfare is responsible for the national development and oversight of preventive work. The Regional State Administrative Agencies provide guidance and support to municipalities and supervise responsible serving and retailing of alcohol products. 


National and regional actors, such as the National Institute for Health and Welfare, The National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, the Regional State Administrative Agencies, as well as the future autonomous Sote -areas and NGOs, provide support to municipalities. The provided support can, for example, be in the form of scientific data, information packages, materials, seminars for professionals and interactive consultation visits.


Co-operation is the key to success.

The national, regional and local structures for preventive work are in order
Municipalities and regions prevent harms related to alcohol, tobacco, drugs and gambling by reducing demand and availability.


Co-operation takes place on a local, regional and national level.

Information, which is directed towards individuals and communities or used as a basis for social and health policies, is grounded in scientific evidence

There is an increase in awareness of harms and risks related to alcohol, tobacco, drugs and gambling, as well as of preventive measures.

Information supports measures regulating demand and availability and decision making in social and health policy to reduce harms related to alcohol, tobacco, drugs and gambling.

At risk  drinking and harms are identified and support is provided at an early stage

  • Levels of at-risk drinking, and of drug use, smoking and harmful gambling, are reduced through the systematic use of brief interventions.

  • Other methods for early support/intervention are also offered to users and their close relations.

  • Outreach work is increased to find those unattached to services. Local alcohol, tobacco and gambling policy is carried out systematically and through co-operation. 

There is an increase in the number of municipalities and regions that implement the Pakka -model for reduction of harms related to alcohol, tobacco, drugs and gambling

  • Co-operation is broadened between authorities, businesses and other actors to uphold legal age limits and restrictions to serving alcohol.

  • There is a reduction in the availability of age regulated products to minors as well as in harms related to binge drinking.

An emphasis is put on harm prevention in local communities

  • Preventive work is focused on the everyday environments of different age groups and is carried out systematically and in co-operation (early childhood education, educational establishments, workplaces, recreational activities).

Professionals have sufficient levels of knowledge about preventive work

  • Methods for preventing harms are incorporated into basic and continuing education.

  • Professionals incorporate materials and training into their everyday work.

Source: THL (2019)

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