University of Oulu

Juha Penttala, Antti Mustonen, Antti Koivukangas, Jukka Halme, Karoliina Karjalainen & Mauri Aalto (2023) Concurrent use of alcohol and sedatives in Finnish general population, Journal of Substance Use, 28:5, 704-707, DOI:

Concurrent use of alcohol and sedatives in Finnish general population

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Author: Penttala, Juha1,2; Mustonen, Antti1,2,3; Koivukangas, Antti2;
Organizations: 1Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
2Department of Psychiatry, South Ostrobothnia Hospital District, Seinäjoki, Finland
3Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Harjavalta Hospital, Satakunta Hospital District, Pori, Finland
5Department of Public Health and Welfare, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-11-07


Background: The epidemiology of independent use of sedatives or alcohol is well reported in previous research. However, the epidemiology of concurrent use of sedatives and alcohol is vastly understudied despite the unpredictable interactions associated with it.

Objectives: Our aim was to study the prevalence of concurrent use of alcohol and sedatives and further examine the use of sedatives in some subgroups of people with alcohol use.

Methods: A mailed questionnaire was sent to a randomly chosen representative sample of a Finnish population (n = 5000). The main outcome measure was the prevalence of the use of sedatives in five subgroups of people with alcohol use in the previous week.

Results: Of the participants, 7.8% (142/1818) reported use of both alcohol and sedatives in the previous week. Among the people with sedative use, 67.0% (142/212) reported at least some alcohol use, and 9.9. % (21/212) reported high use of at least 21 units of alcohol in the previous 7 days. The prevalence of sedative use was highest among those who had used at least 21 units of alcohol in the previous 7 days (19.4%).

Conclusion: The use of sedatives was especially common among those who reported having used large amounts of alcohol.

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Series: Journal of substance use
ISSN: 1465-9891
ISSN-E: 1475-9942
ISSN-L: 1465-9891
Volume: 28
Issue: 5
Pages: 704 - 707
DOI: 10.1080/14659891.2022.2084784
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: For this study, JP has received funding from the South Ostrobothnia Hospital District.For this study, AM has received funding from the Emil Aaltonen Foundation, South Ostrobothnia Hospital District and The Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies.The funders had no role in the design or conduct of the study; in the collection, management, analysis, or interpretation of the data; in the preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; or in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication; Etelä-Pohjanmaan Sairaanhoitopiiri [6000 euros].
Copyright information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.