During the summer there are fewer care cases at Maria Youth Emergency Ward – specialised in drunkenness and drug abuse among children and youths'. But those who arrive are usually in a worse state than what is usual.
Many times they have complex mental health problems, a problematic family environment, or a heavy abuse considering the young age they are in.
Those who are taken to the clinic are between 12 and 20 years old. Maybe they're here for the third or fourth time. Maybe it's the first time. What they have in common is that their behaviour in some way have raised concern, either among friends, family, school personnel, or the police. Alcohol is the most common reason. Then it is cannabis. Then it becomes blurred.
“Many have a type of mixed drug use. Some may use benzodiazepines with cocaine," Lena Gustafsson at Maria Youth Emergency Ward, says to daily Svenska Dagbladet.
Several young people also sell drugs, she says.
Chief physician Stefan Sparring sees accessibility and recruitment as a major problem.
“Young people who were previously protected from drug abuse can now get contacts on-line. We must work actively with early detection, and early intervention, with a broad collaboration, healthcare, social services, the police, school, and not least the parents“, he says.
In addition, they can see a more liberal approach towards drugs in general.
“It's not as ugly and dirty any longer, it's more accepted," says Anna Hallgren.
The staff at Maria Youth Emergency Ward feels that much was different before: the social services had more resources, and there used to be more local policeman who really knew the adolescents.
"Now it's almost like you can not afford to see how the situation is", says Anders von Gegerfelt.
However, Lena Gustafsson feel that there are more young people who accept the help they are given.
“Perhaps because they have come further in their addiction, with panic disorder, crime, and self harm effects, many are deeply depressed,” she says.