Alcohol, drug and tobacco prevention in Swedish municipalities - impact from the COVID-19 pandemic considering socio-demographic context.

Owen U, Månsdotter A, Guldbrandsson K, Lindström E

Eur J Public Health - (-) - [2023-08-04; online 2023-08-04]

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and measures to prevent the spread of the virus challenged public health practice at the local level in Sweden. The objective of this study was to explore the impact of the pandemic on the prevention of alcohol, drugs and tobacco (ADT) in Sweden during 2020-21 considering socio-demographic context. Data were collected through the Public Health Agency's survey on ADT prevention in Swedish municipalities (N = 290). This study used data from 2020 and 2021, with a response rate of 90% and 88%, respectively. Survey data were analyzed in logistic regression models (odds ratios, P < 0.05, 95% confidence intervals) against variables of education level, income level and population size from national registers. A majority (n = 198, 76%) of the municipalities reported a decrease in ADT prevention during the pandemic. No correlation between the decrease in ADT prevention and socio-demographic conditions was detected. A majority (2020: n = 165, 63%; 2021: n = 174, 68%) of the municipalities also reported that ADT prevention was adapted, however less common in smaller municipalities and municipalities where residents had lower levels of education and lower incomes. ADT prevention carried out by municipalities in Sweden was initially (2020) deeply affected by the preventive strategies against COVID-19. Adaptation of activities was less common in municipalities with more vulnerable socio-demographic situation. In policy, practice and research, the findings are important not only for continued progress on the national goal of equity in health but also for preparedness for future crises.

Category: Social Science & Humanities

Type: Journal article

PubMed 37541832

DOI 10.1093/eurpub/ckad127

Crossref 10.1093/eurpub/ckad127

pii: 7237445

Publications 9.5.0