The Norwegian National Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research has each spring, since 1968, conducted a survey of the youth of Oslo, the capital of Norway, to determine their use of drugs and their attitudes towards them. These and other surveys, as well as data from the police, provide a basis for a description of certain main traits in the development of drug use in Norway. The surveys suggest--amongst other things--that there has been no increase in the use of drugs among young people in Norway since the beginning of the 1980s. Cannabis is by far the illicit drug most commonly used, and use of drugs like amphetamines, cocaine and heroin seems to be rather limited. The surveys also suggest that alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking declined somewhat among Norwegian youth towards the end of 1980s.
Based on data from a comparative survey of drinking in four Scandinavian countries (Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), the experiencing of positive consequences of drinking was studied in relation to alcohol consumption, intoxication frequency and the experiencing of negative consequences of drinking. In all four countries a substantial portion--both of the men and of the women--reported having experienced various positive effects of drinking during the last 12 months. The positive consequences clearly correlated with yearly alcohol consumption and even more with intoxication frequency. A strong link between the experiencing of positive and negative consequences of drinking was also found. The study also indicates that there are national differences in the experiencing of positive consequences of drinking which do not reflect the national differences in total alcohol consumption.